In the endless procession of Trump cronies indulging in illegalities, the latest is Louis DeJoy, his pick to be Postmaster General who immediately began trying to cripple the US Postal Service. The Republican attempts to hobble this venerable national institution have been long standing even though the framers of the US Constitution explicitly included it in the powers allocated to Congress in that founding document, as laid out in Article 1, Section 8 that reads in part: “To establish post offices and post roads.”
There are many reasons why they want to do this, the main one being their desire to privatize every damn thing in sight so that their backers can make money. One way they have tried to do this is by defunding the USPS so that it becomes more and more inefficient so that the idea of privatization will become more attractive and it will also be cheaper to buy.
Trump has added his own twist in that he does not want mail-in voting to succeed and he thinks that by hobbling the USPS, he can create delays and chaos and cast doubt on any outcome that he does not like.
But DeJoy is now in deep trouble and has been charged with the practice of using straw donors to fund political campaigns. In the US there are campaign finance laws that are meant to ensure that people who contribute do so willingly and with their own money and only up to a set limit. What some people do is coerce unwilling people to contribute and then covertly reimburse them. This is a serious crime and DeJoy is being accused of orchestrating this racket.
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy may have violated campaign finance laws by pressuring his employees to make donations to Republican campaigns which he would later reimburse, the Washington Post reported this weekend. Former employees of New Breed Logistics, the North Carolina-based company DeJoy ran for more three decades, have alleged that employees were urged to attend fundraisers at DeJoy’s mansion by him or his aides, then reimbursed for their donations through bonuses. If the allegations are true, it means that at least part of DeJoy’s rise as a major fundraiser for both the GOP and President Trump was facilitated illegally — and further imperils DeJoy’s already embattled position at the USPS.
On Saturday, the Washington Post reported that five former employees at Louis DeJoy’s former business, the North Carolina-based New Breed Logistics, said that they were pressured to attend fundraisers for Republicans and then reimbursed for the donations they made, which is a violation of both federal and North Carolina election laws. It is not unheard of for employers to ask their employees to make political donations, but it’s illegal to coerce those donations or reimburse employees for them.
The article lists an elaborate scheme to raise a lot of money for Trump and Republicans and hide the nature of the contributions.
That Trump has said he welcomes the investigation rather than his usual efforts to push back against any criticisms of his cronies by calling them hoaxes and part of a witch hunt against him by the deep state is interesting, suggesting that the case against DeJoy may be too strong for such a tactic to work. It may be that he is preparing to dump DeJoy because he is becoming a political liability for him.
Reporter Karen Tumulty recalls previous