Democrats are urging the FBI to open an investigation into the postmaster general, Louis DeJoy, who they believe has “slowed mail delivery in an attempt to rig the presidential election,” in the words of The Guardian.
In a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, Ted Lieu and Hakeem Jeffries wrote, “There is evidence that making mail-in balloting more difficult may be one of the motivations for the changes instituted at the Post Office.”
The letter continued, “We request the FBI to look into whether postmaster general Louis DeJoy, or members of the board of governors of the US postal service, committed any crimes.”
Here’s what we know:
DeJoy Is a Well-Known Trump Donor
DeJoy, who stepped into the role of postmaster general on June 15, is a Trump campaign megadonor, according to the New York Times. Prior to that, he was a deputy national fund-raising chairman for the G.O.P., the outlet reported.
After he assumed the position of postmaster general, DeJoy implemented a number of changes at the United States Postal Service, such as eliminating employee overtime, removing mail-sorting machines from post offices across the country, and “reorganizing” Postal Service leadership.
While he has stated the changes were necessary, critics have suggested it will now be difficult for the postal service to “handle the historically high volumes of mailed ballots expected in the November election.”
When President Trump spoke to Fox News on August 17, he defended DeJoy. “I want to make the post office great again,” Trump said, according to The Guardian. He reportedly added that the USPS was “running very well.”
Elizabeth Warren & Other Democrats Are Demanding the Changes Be Reversed
According to CNBC, a number of Democratic senators are now demanding the USPS Board of Governors reverse the policy changes implemented by DeJoy. They also demand DeJoy be removed if he doesn’t comply, the outlet wrote.
On Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she is calling the House of Representatives back into session early to vote on the USPS bill.
The assault by President Trump & his mega-donor Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on the Postal Service threatens lives, livelihood & life of our American democracy. I am calling on the House to return to vote on Chairwoman Maloney’s "Delivering for America Act." #DontMessWithUSPS
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) August 17, 2020
In a letter to her colleagues, CNBC reported Pelosi as writing, “In a time of a pandemic, the Postal Service is Election Centra. Lives, livelihoods and the life of our American Democracy are under threat from the president.”
She reportedly continued by calling DeJoy a “top Trump mega-donor [who has] proven a complicit crony as he continues to push forward sweeping new operational changes that degrade postal service, delay the mail, and – according to the Postal Service itself – threaten to deny the ability of eligible Americans to cast their votes through the mail in the upcoming elections in a timely fashion.”
On Sunday, USPS said they would stop removing blue mailboxes from postal offices through mid-November following a string of complaints from customers, according to CNBC.
In a statement, Postal Service spokeswoman Kimberly Frum said, “Given the recent customer concerns the Postal Service will postpone removing boxes for a period of 90 days while we evaluate our customers’ concerns.”
This article will be updated with more information as it becomes available.