Trump Postmaster General Put Under Immediate Federal Investigation By I.G. Office

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The Inspector General’s office overseeing the United States Postal Service has revealed that it is investigating recent policy changes that were instituted by the Trump-allied Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, who is a big money donor to GOP causes. DeJoy’s changes, including the elimination of overtime opportunities for huge swathes of the Postal Service’s workforce, have spurred concerns about potential dangers to mail-in voting this November. In fact, just this week, The Washington Post reported that the Postal Service has warned “46 states their voters could be disenfranchised by delayed mail-in ballots.”

Now, there’s an investigation. Agapi Doulaveris, a spokeswoman for the Postal Service Inspector General’s office, told CNN:

‘We have initiated a body of work to address the concerns raised, but cannot comment on the details.’

The investigation has been launched at the request of nine Democratic members of Congress, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (N.Y.), among others. Besides the issue of the policy changes that have been slowing down mail processing and delivery times, the Postal Service Inspector General’s office is also apparently looking into DeJoy’s compliance with ethics protocol. DeJoy still owns an about $30 million equity stake in XPO Logistics, which is a contractor for the Postal Service, and he also recently purchased stock options in Amazon worth between $50,000 and $100,000. Amazon is, of course, a competitor to the Postal Service, which DeJoy is supposed to be competently leading. Officials have alleged that DeJoy has not violated regulations, but there’s an apparent investigation to see.

Saloni Sharma, a spokesperson for Sen. Warren, told CNN that Warren’s team has “learned that the United States Postal Service Office of the Inspector General is investigating all aspects of our request,” indicating that the Inspector General’s office is looking into the ethics issues along with the issues about mail processing and delivery policy. Sharma indicated to CNN that the office “has already requested documents as part of the ongoing review,” as the outlet summarizes, but they add that it’s “unclear what specific documents they asked for, and who got the requests.”

Trump did not even appoint DeJoy directly — the Board of Governors for the Postal Service did — but DeJoy is clearly a political ally of the White House nonetheless. Recently, he even met with Trump at the White House. A White House spokesperson claimed to CNN that the meeting was “congratulatory” on the occasion of DeJoy’s appointment as Postmaster General, but by the time of the meeting (in early August), DeJoy had been actively running the Postal Service for a month and a half — so what were he and the president really talking about?

Trump has explicitly spelled out his opposition to mail-in voting to the point that he recently suggested that he would oppose emergency funding for the Post Office specifically in order to undercut mail-in voting. On Friday, Trump admitted at a press conference that he would approve funding for the Post Office “if they gave us what we want,” in reference to Democrats. Negotiations over a potential new Coronavirus-connected economic relief package have stalled out on Capitol Hill, although it’s not as though the Coronavirus-connected economic crises have stopped.