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House Democrat calls on Biden to fire Postal Service board for 'complicity' with Trump

New Jersey Democratic Rep. Bill Pascrell says the agency’s board of governors was silent in face of Trump’s efforts to sabotage the Post Office.

By Josh Israel - January 25, 2021
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Trump Postmaster General Louis DeJoy

President Joe Biden should fire the entire board that oversees the postal service, Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) said on Monday.

In a series of tweets, Pascrell, the chair of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight, accused the United States Postal Service board of governors of “complicity” in Donald Trump’s scheme to undermine mail delivery and suppress mail-in voting during the 2020 presidential election.

“Today I am calling on President Biden to fire the entire Postal Board of Governors for their silence and complicity in trump and dejoy’s attempts to subvert the election and destroy the Post Office,” he wrote. “Trump confessed he was wrecking @USPS to rig the election. His toady Postmaster General dejoy carried out that arson. It’s time to clean house. Dejoy should be fired but also prosecuted. In August I called for dejoy to face criminal subversion charges.”

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a top Republican donor appointed to the position by Trump, has been accused of implementing changes to the Postal Service intended to slow mail delivery last year as the pandemic continued to spread and millions of Americans planned to take advantage of mail-in voting options.

A federal judge called the resulting slowdowns a “politically motivated attack” and ordered the Postal Service to resume normal delivery operations in September. Pascrell’s letter noted that the agency’s inspector general found the changes “negatively impacted the quality and timelines of mail service nationally.”

Trump was candid about his efforts to undermine mail-in voting, which he said “did not work out well” for Republicans, by refusing to give the Postal Service the funds it needed. “If we don’t make a deal, that means they don’t get the money,” he told Fox News in August. “That means they can’t have universal mail-in voting; they just can’t have it.”

In addition to delaying ballots until after the deadline for votes to be counted, DeJoy’s changes also had a harmful effect on many Americans who rely on the mail to receive necessities such as prescription drugs, deliveries of which were reportedly delayed significantly due to the slowdown, according to a report released by Senate Democrats in September.

Members of the board of governors backed DeJoy in September, with one saying they were ‘thrilled” with his performance.

The members of the nine-member independent board are appointed by the president for a fixed term in office, and the law states that they can only be fired “for cause.” Pascrell’s letter notes that their “refusal to oppose the worst destruction ever inflicted on the Postal Service was a betrayal of their duties and unquestionably constitutes good cause for their removal.”

It’s unclear whether the “for cause” rule be need: A 2020 Supreme Court ruling related to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau suggested that the chief executive might have the constitutional right to fire executive branch appointees for almost any reason.

A spokesperson for the Postal Service did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this story.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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