Politics

House Democrats Call for FBI Criminal Probe of USPS, Claiming Leaders Have Retarded the Passage of Mail

Two House Democrats have called on the FBI to launch an investigation to establish whether the leadership of the United States Postal Service (USPS) committed any crimes in connection with reports of mail delays.

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) said in a statement on Aug. 17 that they have asked federal investigators to probe whether Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, or members of the USPS Board of Governors, have committed any crimes.

“Multiple media investigations show that Postmaster DeJoy and the Board of Governors have retarded the passage of mail,” the two wrote in a letter addressed to FBI Director Christopher Wray (pdf). “If their intent in doing so was to affect mail-in balloting or was motivated by personal financial reasons, then they likely committed crimes.”

The two Democrats—both members of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security—said in their letter that there is “overwhelming evidence” that USPS authorities have hindered the passage of mail. They cited reports about the dismantling of 19 mail sorting machines and a recent announcement by USPS that the agency warned 46 states that their election laws allow such tight deadlines for voters to request blank ballots that it amounts to a “mismatch” with the Postal Services delivery standards and so carries the risk of completed ballots arriving too late to be counted.

The lawmakers also claimed to have evidence that DeJoy has a financial stake in entities that are competitors of the Postal Service and implied that the organizational and operational changes made by the postmaster may have impaired the performance of the USPS and so driven up the value of its competitors.

“If Postmaster General DeJoy instituted these sweeping changes at the Post Office that obstructs or retards the passage of the mail for his own personal financial benefit, then that would be a violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 1701,” they wrote, noting also that breaking this law carries a punishment of a fine or six months in jail.

The USPS didnt immediately respond to a request for comment.

Epoch Times Photo
U.S. Postal Service mail carrier Lizette Portugal finishes loading her truck amid the COVID-19 pandemic in El Paso, Texas, on April 30, 2020. (Paul Ratje/AFP via Getty Images)

In July, DeJoy imposed cost-cutting measures meant to address the Postal Services longtime financial problems, including cutting overtime. Lawmakers from both parties criticized the changes, with 84 House members, including four Republicans, arguing in a recent letter that it is “vital that the Postal Service does not reduce mail delivery hours, which could harm rural communities, seniors, small businesses and millions of Americans who rely on the mail for critical letters and packages.”

DeJoy insisted in Aug. 7 remarks that, despite recent cuts to operating expenses to help the agency shore up its finances amid what he said was a “dire” financial position, the Postal Service is “not slowing down Election Mail or any other mail.” He added that the USPS remains “fully committed to fulfilling [its] role in the electoral process,” and that the agency “will do everything [it] can to deliver Election Mail in a timely manner consistent with our operational standards.”

“We continue to employ a robust and proven process to ensure proper handling of all Election Mail,” he said.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump said that managerial changes at the USPS that have been blamed for mail delays across the country are, in fact, aimed at fixing what he called a long-term “disaster” in its finances.

“This isnt a Trump thing. This has bRead More From Source