Trump's postal service officials called to testify before House as concern mounts over threats to mail-in voting

Trump’s postal service officials called to testify before House as concern mounts over threats to mail-in voting


Trump’s postal service officials called to testify before House as concern mounts over threats to mail-in voting

Trump’s postal service officials called to testify before House as concern mounts over threats to mail-in voting

Trump's postal service officials called to testify before House as concern mounts over threats to mail-in voting 1

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House Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney has invited top officials at the US Postal Service to testify before her watchdog panel later this month as reports of operational breakdowns and inefficiencies dog the agency ahead of the 2020 presidential election that is expected to see a swell of mail-in ballots.

Democrats have accused the Donald Trump-appointed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy of purposely instituting changes in service at the USPS to undermine its operations and throw the mail-in voting system into a state of chaos and unpredictability.

“Over the past several weeks, there have been startling new revelations about the scope and gravity of operational changes you are implementing at hundreds of postal facilities without consulting adequately with Congress, the Postal Regulatory Commission, or the Board of Governors,” Ms Maloney wrote in her letter to Mr DeJoy inviting him to testify before the committee on 24 August.


“Your testimony is particularly urgent given the troubling influx of reports of widespread delays at postal facilities across the country — as well as President Trump’s explicit admission last week that he has been blocking critical coronavirus funding for the Postal Service in order to impair mail-in voting efforts for the upcoming elections in November,” the chairwoman said.

Ms Maloney and several other Democratic leaders sent a letter to Mr DeJoy last week demanding that he produce documents and information by this upcoming Friday, 21 August, about his operational decisions at the USPS.

Before receiving his appointment at the USPS, Mr DeJoy was a major fundraiser for Mr Trump and the Republican National Committee.

Ms Maloney has also requested testimony from USPS Board Chairman Robert Duncan.

The chairwoman sent her letters to the postal service leaders as Speaker Nancy Pelosi considers bringing the House back from its August recess as early as next week to address problems stemming from USPS operations.

Several Democratic lawmakers have publicly pushed Ms Pelosi to bring them back early.

“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,” Representative Jim Cooper, a Democrat of Tennessee, tweeted on Saturday.

Mr Cooper, a member of Ms Maloney’s Oversight panel, was one of a handful of Democrats who did not vote for Ms Pelosi to be Speaker of the House in January 2019.

He added in his tweet over the weekend: “We need to subpoena the Postmaster General, and if he fails to appear, we should send the Sgt at Arms to arrest him.”

Mr Dejoy has made several changes at the USPS in a bid to help the service save money amid a decline in revenue.

Changes have included adjusting delivery policies and overtime pay for workers, which Democrats believe have been intentionally put in place to slow the delivery of mail and cast doubt on sweeping mail-in voting.

Ms Pelosi has gone so far as accusing Mr Trump of trying to rig the election by undermining his own postal service.

“The president is afraid of the American people. He knows that on the legit, it will be hard for him to win,” Ms Pelosi told reporters last Thursday in response to a question about why she thought Mr Trump was trying to diminish an essential government operation during a pandemic.

The president has been transparent that he does not want to fund the postal service because he believes it will lead to more voters casting ballots by mail, which he has claimed is vulnerable to fraud.

There is virtually no evidence of large-scale fraud on vote-by-mail ballots, although at least one recent GOP congressional primary last cycle was mired in illegal absentee ballot harvesting accusations.

During a CNN interview on Sunday, host Jake Tapper told White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows that there is no evidence of voter fraud through mail-in ballots.

“There’s no evidence there is not either,” Mr Meadows said. “What the president is against is changing the process to mail-in ballots to everybody,” Mr Meadows said.

“The President of the United States is not going to interfere with anyone trying to legitimately cast their vote,” he added.


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