Batches of USPS mail have been found dumped across Los Angeles, prompting House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff to demand assurances from investigators.
‘This matter is of grave importance,’ Schiff (D-Burbank) said. ‘And of course, millions of citizens are concerned that their mail-in ballots won’t be counted.’
In the first incident, captured by a surveillance camera, a man got out of a Budget rental truck, opened up its back door and threw bags of mail out in a Glendale parking lot on September 3.
The first dump was reported to police at 7.30am and the second, roughly two hours later, around 15 miles away in the San Fernando area.
In the first incident, captured by a surveillance camera, a man got out of a Budget rental truck, opened up its back door and threw bags of mail out in a Glendale parking lot on September 3
Representative Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) delivers a press conference outside a US Post Office in Burbank, California to discuss the negative impact of cuts in postal services, August 18. He accused President Donald Trump of ‘deliberately sabotaging’ the service ahead of the election
The US Postal Inspection Service as well as the Glendale Police Department are looking into it but Representatives Schiff and Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles) want the USPIS to keep Congress abreast of the developments.
‘We respectfully request that Congress be kept appropriately apprised as the investigation continues, including whether these were isolated incidents or part of a broader issue,’ the pair wrote to Patricia Armstrong, the chief inspector for the LA division of USPIS.
‘This matter is of grave importance, as it comes at a time when there are still questions and concerns about the Postal Service and accessibility for residents and business owners, as a direct result of deliberate policy changes to the service from the president of the United States and his Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy,’ Schiff and Gomez wrote.
‘Millions of Americans rely on the postal service every day — we’ve heard from veterans and seniors waiting weeks to receive medication, small businesses who are losing money due to package delays, and of course, millions of citizens who are concerned that their mail-in ballots won’t be counted.’
The unidentified man was filmed getting into the back of the Budget rental truck and chucking out mail
Bags of USPS mail fly out of the back of the truck early on September 3
The mail was chucked out behind a spa in Glendale, Los Angeles County
The local postal workers’ union said that the man in the footage from the parking lot of 7Q Spa Laser & Aesthetics was not a USPS employee.
It comes just a few weeks after Schiff held a press conference outside the Downtown Burbank Post Office to accuse President Donald Trump of ‘deliberately sabotaging’ the USPS with budget cuts.
‘With all of Trump’s attacks on vote by mail – something that is not only essential during a pandemic but also the way the President himself likes to vote – it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that this is a deliberate effort to sabotage the postal service.
‘But Congress is fighting back. The ‘Delivering for America Act’ will prohibit the Postmaster General from implementing any changes to operations or level of service it had in place on January 1, 2020 and provides $25 billion in critical funding to support the Postal Service.’
Despite the president’s forceful criticism of the funding, more than two dozen Republicans broke with Trump to vote with the Democrats to pass the bill for the emergency funding on August 22.
Millions of people are expected to opt for mail-in ballots to avoid polling places during the coronavirus pandemic.
The New Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a Trump ally, testified before the Senate last month to declare it was his ‘No. 1 priority’ to ensure election mail arrives on time.
But there are serious doubts that the postal service will be able to handle the colossal volumes of mail anticipated in the ballot crush before the election.
Democrats have argued that Trump’s rhetoric about mail-in ballots being vulnerable to tampering is just a fearful screen about the masses of Americans who will be voting him out of office in November.