Two Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee called for the FBI to investigate whether crimes were committed by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy or members of the board of governors of the U.S. Postal Service.
Reps. Hakeem Jeffries of New York and Ted Lieu of California made the demand Monday morning as Democrats raise concerns about whether the Postal Service is ready to handle the high volume of mail-in ballots expected for November’s election amid the pandemic.
The FBI should “evaluate whether Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, or Members of the Board of Governors of the U.S. Postal Service, committed any crimes in light of nationwide delays and issues with USPS,” Jeffries and Lieu wrote in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray.
They cited two statutes.
One states that anyone caught “knowingly and willfully obstructi[ng] … the passage of the mail, or any carrier or conveyance carrying the mail” could be fined and sentenced to a maximum sentence of six months in prison. The second statute outlines that any person in an administrative position who “uses his official authority for the purpose of interfering with, or affecting, the unionization or the election of any candidate” may be fined and face up to a year in prison.
The FBI confirmed receipt of the letter to the Washington Examiner but declined to provide further comment.
The Postal Service has become a hot-button issue with the election less than 90 days away. With more than 75% of the country being eligible to vote by mail, there is growing concern that the Postal Service is not equipped to handle that volume of mail.
Democrats accuse President Trump of removing mail sorting equipment and mailboxes in an effort to squelch mail-in balloting ahead of the November election. Republicans have raised concerns that mass mail-in voting will lead to fraud.
The Postal Service warned 46 states last week that mail-in ballots could be delayed and thus discounted from the Nov. 3 election.
“There is overwhelming evidence that Postmaster General DeJoy and the Board of Governors have hindered the passage of mail,” Jeffries and Lieu wrote.
The House Oversight Committee has invited DeJoy and Postal Service board of governors Chairman Robert Duncan to testify in an emergency hearing on Aug. 24.
Trump administration officials deny claims that they are trying to “sabotage” the Postal Service and point out they offered Democrats a deal to provide the independent agency $10 billion to shore up its troubled finances. Democrats rejected the offer and said they want $25 billion.
Trump appointed DeJoy earlier this year to try to reform the financially troubled Postal Service, which has lost nearly $70 billion over the past 11 years.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said over the weekend that she’s calling lawmakers back to the Capitol to consider legislation that would block the Trump administration from administering changes to the Postal Service.
Author: Mike Brest
Source: Washington Examiner: House Democrats call for FBI investigation into US Postal Service leaders