A new report from The Washington Post reveals that controversial Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has been placed under FBI investigation over concerns about political fundraising activities involving employees who worked at his former company, New Breed Logistics. According to the Post, “FBI agents in recent weeks interviewed current and former employees of DeJoy and the business, asking questions about political contributions and company activities,” and DeJoy himself has been subpoenaed to provide information. He is alleged to have pressured employees to donate to certain political causes before later reimbursing them, through bonuses, for those donations.
DeJoy spokesman Mark Corallo confirmed that the Postmaster General is under federal investigation. As Corallo put it:
‘Mr. DeJoy has learned that the Department of Justice is investigating campaign contributions made by employees who worked for him when he was in the private sector. He has always been scrupulous in his adherence to the campaign contribution laws and has never knowingly violated them.’
Corallo also said that DeJoy “intends to work with DOJ toward swiftly resolving” the issue. As the Post explains the situation, reimbursing employees for donations to political causes “could run afoul of state or federal laws, which prohibit “straw-donor” schemes meant to allow wealthy donors to evade individual contribution limits and obscure the source of a candidate’s money.” The evidence suggesting that such a scheme unfolded at New Breed Logistics while DeJoy was at the helm is compelling, with the Post reporting that, in addition to other allegations from a larger group of employees of pressure to donate, two employees “said DeJoy would then instruct that bonus payments be boosted to help defray the cost of their contributions.”
The Post also says that they found “a pattern of extensive donations by New Breed employees to Republican candidates, with the same amount often given by multiple people on the same day.” From 2000 to 2014, then-employees of New Breed Logistics gave an overall total of over $1 million to Republican candidates — so the amounts of money at issue are no small matter. Meanwhile, DeJoy has also faced criticism for his handling of the Postal Service while on the job. There have been substantial slowdowns in service around the country at various points of his comparatively short tenure, and he’s proposed making some slowdowns permanent in the name of cutting costs.