FBI probe Postmaster General DeJoy for ‘illegal political fundraising’
FBI investigate US Postmaster General DeJoy for ‘illegally forcing employees to donate to Donald Trump’s campaign’
- Justice Department is investigating Postmaster General Louis DeJoy over political fundraising activity
- DeJoy raised millions for Republican Party and Donald Trump
- Five people who worked for his former company, New Breed Logistics, said they were urged by aides of DeJoy or by DeJoy himself to contribute politically
- It’s not illegal to encourage contributions; it is illegal to reimburse staff for them
- DeJoy has denied any wrong doing and remains Postmaster General
Published: 18:46, 3 June 2021 | Updated: 06:08, 4 June 2021
The Justice Department is investigating Postmaster General Louis DeJoy over political fundraising activity at his former business.
Federal authorities in recent weeks have subpoenaed DeJoy and interviewed current and former employees of DeJoy and his business, The Washington Post reported. Mark Corallo, a DeJoy spokesman, confirmed an investigation in a statement to The Associated Press.
‘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 said.
The agency declined to comment on news of the investigation.
The Justice Department is investigating Postmaster General Louis DeJoy over political fundraising activity at his former business
Louis DeJoy, a wealthy former logistics executive, has been mired in controversy since taking over the Postal Service last summer; his tenure came under public fire as people posted photos on social media of post boxes being removed ahead of the election
White House press secretary Jen Psaki also declined to comment when asked at her press briefing on Thursday if President Joe Biden believed DeJoy should step down from his position, saying she would leave the matter to the DoJ.
DeJoy, a wealthy former logistics executive, has been mired in controversy since taking over the Postal Service last summer and putting in place policy changes that delayed mail before the 2020 election, when there was a crush of mail-in ballots.
Last year, DeJoy faced additional scrutiny after the newspaper reported that five people who worked for his former company, New Breed Logistics, said they were urged by aides of DeJoy or by DeJoy himself to write checks and attend political fundraisers at DeJoy’s North Carolina mansion. Two former employees told the newspaper that DeJoy would later give bigger bonuses to reimburse for the contributions.
It’s not illegal to encourage employees to contribute to candidates. It is illegal to reimburse them as a way of avoiding federal campaign contribution limits.
DeJoy, who has not been charged with a crime, denied he had repaid executives for contributing to President Donald Trump’s campaign, amid questioning before a congressional committee last year.
Campaign finance disclosures show that between 2000 and 2014, when New Breed was sold, more than 100 employees donated a total of more than £610,000 to Republican candidates supported by DeJoy and his family.
He and his family have contributed more than £1 million to Republican politicians.
A district attorney in Wake County, North Carolina, earlier this year decided not to pursue a criminal investigation into the allegations, saying the matter was out of her office’s jurisdiction.
Corallo said DeJoy will cooperate with the investigation.
‘Mr. DeJoy fully cooperated with and answered the questions posed by Congress regarding these matters. The same is true of the Postal Service Inspector General’s inquiry which after a thorough investigation gave Mr.
DeJoy a clean bill of health on his disclosure and divestment issues. He expects nothing less in this latest matter and he intends to work with DOJ toward swiftly resolving it,’ Corallo said.
DeJoy, 63, is one of just five postmasters general to come to the post from the private sector since 1971, when the Post Office ceased to be a cabinet department and was reorganized as the Postal Service, an independent federal agency.
He was appointed by Trump.
Then President Trump railed against plans to expand mail-in voter access and drop off boxes during the election – changes states were putting into place because of voter fraud.
Trump argued – without evidence – that it would lead to voter fraud. President Trump has long complained about mail-in voting, falsely claiming it leads to voter fraud. Numerous studies shows it does not.
Democrats countered that the changes DeJoy proposed to the mail system would hurt chances of ballots arriving on time to be counted, thus undermining a person’s right to vote.
Some Democratic lawmakers argued DeJoy made the changes to help boost Trump’s chance in the election.
Joe Biden was the ultimate winner.
President Donald Trump railed against plans to expand mail-in voter access and drop off boxes during the election as Democrats charged LeJoy made changes to the postal service to hurt Joe Biden
The source of DeJoy’s wealth, New Breed Logistics, a national logistics and supply-chain services provider, is based in North Carolina.
He sold the company that year for £615 million to XPO Logistics, The New York Times reported, and founded LDJ Global Strategies, a real estate, investment and consulting company.
DeJoy and his wife, Aldona Wos, have significant investments in companies that do business with or compete with the Postal Service, the paper said.
According to disclosures filed with the Office of Government Ethics, the couple hold between £30.1 million and £75.3 million in such investments, mostly in XPO Logistics, where DeJoy was a director until 2018.
DeJoy’s gated home in North Carolina – he also owns a home in Washington D.C. – is next to the Greensboro Country Club golf course.
Trump attended a high-dollar fundraiser in 2017 at the 15,000-square-foot home, known locally as the Castle.
The residence features a tower, a gilded staircase, a swimming pool and a pool house.
Since 2016, DeJoy has donated £1.2 million to Trump’s campaign funds and nearly £1.3 million to the Republican Party.
He became a source of controversy during the 2020 presidential election because of changes he made to the postal system, including eliminating most overtime for postal workers, imposing restrictions on transportation and reduced the quantity and use of mail-processing equipment.
‘I am not engaged in sabotaging the election,’ DeJoy told a congressional committee last year. ‘We will do everything in our power and structure to deliver the ballots on time.’
He called off all changes in August when he was under immense political pressure from Democrats, who repeatedly hauled him to Capitol Hill for congressional testimony.
Several attorneys general in various states were also preparing a lawsuit against him and two House Democrats asked the FBI for a federal criminal investigation.
Public outrage also became a factor when people posted photos on social media of the distinctive blue mail boxes being removed from street corners around the country.
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