Congressman Demands Arrest Of Postmaster General DeJoy Unless He Testifies

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As the final days to the November election wind down, Donald Trump has sped up his attack on America’s democracy. His last antic is to blatantly take down the centuries-old US Postal Service (USPS). Not only is it of great historical importance with Benjamin Franklin as the first Postmaster General, it is still a lifeline for the American public. Certainly, mail-in ballots may be the only alternative for a nation under siege from the coronavirus pandemic.

Even the Democrats’ impeachment of Trump carried little impact. POTUS apparently has never been held accountable for his actions. That hearing only emboldened the president. The Senate led by “Moscow Mitch” McConnell (R-KY) has done nothing to halt the commander-in-chief’s actions. Attorney General (AG) Willaim Barr, unlike previous heads of the Department of Justice (DOJ), has only facilitated the president.

In a surprising turn of events, the House Democrats have come up with a way to stop the systemic dismantling of our mail. Sunday, Democratic leaders requested the new top-level administrators of the US Postal Service testify “at an emergency congressional hearing.”

The purpose of that hearing will be to analyze how the USPS changes could impact the mail-in votes during the November elections. In the past, approximately 30 percent of voters used mail-in ballots. With the COVID-19 pandemic, officials anticipate that number would rise to 50 percent rather than risk their lives.

A group of Democratic leaders headed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer released a statement on Sunday. It told the USPS Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who has no postal experience, and the Chair of the USPS Board of Governors Robert Duncan appear for an emergency hearing on August 24. That date marks the Republican National Convention kick-off, according to MSN.

The problem started with the USPS sending 46 states and the District of Columbia (Washington DC) a notice telling them that they could not count on all the mail-in ballots reaching their destination “in time to be counted:”

‘USPS warns 46 states, D.C. that some mailed ballots may not arrive in time to be counted for November election.’

Screen-Shot-2020-08-16-at-3.00.15-PM Congressman Demands Arrest Of Postmaster General DeJoy Unless He Testifies Election 2020 Featured National Security Politics Top Stories

The Democrats’ responding statement addressed Trump denying “eligible voters access to the ballot:”

‘The President has explicitly stated his intention to manipulate the Postal Service to deny eligible voters access to the ballot in pursuit of his own re-election. Alarmingly, the Postmaster General – a Trump mega-donor – has acted as an accomplice in the President’s campaign to cheat in the election, as he launches sweeping new operational changes that degrade delivery standards and delay the mail.’

In his tweet, Representative Jim Cooper (D-TN) explained the sequence of events:

‘I called Speaker Pelosi today and asked her to call the House back into session immediately to deal with the crisis at the post office. Trump is attempting to sabotage the USPS.’

Screen-Shot-2020-08-16-at-2.59.28-PM Congressman Demands Arrest Of Postmaster General DeJoy Unless He Testifies Election 2020 Featured National Security Politics Top Stories

Cooper told Pelosi that the Postmaster General must comply with their subpoena. Then, the representative added they should “send the Sgt (Sergeant) at Arms to arrest him” otherwise:

‘We need to subpoena the Postmaster General, and if he fails to appear, we should send the Sgt at Arms to arrest him.’Screen-Shot-2020-08-16-at-3.04.30-PM Congressman Demands Arrest Of Postmaster General DeJoy Unless He Testifies Election 2020 Featured National Security Politics Top Stories

After that, Representative Gerry Connolly (D-VA) addressed DeJoy directly, saying that “this invite is not optional:”

‘A note to DeJoy: this invite is not optional. Congress must assert itself if he wont (sic) appear. That means subpoenas and if we have to then we must use inherent contempt.’

Screen-Shot-2020-08-16-at-2.57.54-PM Congressman Demands Arrest Of Postmaster General DeJoy Unless He Testifies Election 2020 Featured National Security Politics Top Stories

Trump brought in DeJoy as Postmaster General early this summer. The man immediately began trying to stream-line aka dismantle the Postal Service. Republicans have long wanted to privatize the USPS and implemented a law forcing the governmental agency and top government employee to pay for retirement unreasonable years in advance. No other agency or business has had to do likewise. The USPS was never intended to be a money-maker. As its title reads, it was named the “Postal Service.”

Some of those changes Trump implemented via DeJoy have been:

  • A price increase less than two weeks prior to the election
  • Refusal to allocate funds in the next stimulus package
  • Removal of local postal collection boxes until after the election, now postponed 90 days
  • Removal and destruction of expensive fast-sorting mail equipment
  • Halting overtime
  • Allocating voter ballots as third-class rather than first-class mail.

What can Congress do as Trump runs roughshod over Americans’ right to vote without endangering themselves? Inherent Contempt gives the House the ability to fine and/or jail Trump officials who will not cooperate with Congress, according to The Washington Post. Congress has used this authority throughout American history. It forced people to comply with subpoenas either in person if so requested or by proving documents.

Although Inherent Contempt has not been used in a century, the Democrats have pulled it out of the closet and dusted it off. The Congressional Research Service defines the term as not adhering to a subpoena issued by Congress:

‘[It is a crime with a] substantial fine and imprisonment for up to one year.’

Legislators can also sue persons who do not comply with their subpoenas.

Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.