The Federal Bureau of Investigation has launched an investigation into past political fundraising efforts of Louis DeJoy, the embattled Postmaster General of the U.S. Postal Service, raising the volume of Democratic calls for his ouster even as he works to enact major postal reforms.
This follows a 2020 investigative report from the Washington Post which alleged DeJoy pressured employees at his former company, New Breed Logistics, to make donations to Republican candidates or attend fundraisers, then reimbursed them for their contributions through bonuses. DeJoy was the CEO at the time.
DeJoy’s spokesperson confirmed the FBI investigation and said DeJoy is cooperating fully.
DeJoy was selected by President Trump a year ago, and he has been a major GOP donor, including to Trump’s reelection bid. He has faced strong partisan opposition since, including a decision to remove some postal boxes and sorting equipment that was seen as a partisan attempt to sabotage mail-in voting in a presidential election year heavily weighted by those ballots. DeJoy said in his defense the plans had been in the works for some time.
Last fall, at least 20 state attorneys general filed lawsuits against some combination of Trump, DeJoy and USPS Board of Governors Chairman Robert Duncan. They alleged the USPS acted illegally in making changes to mail operations without approval from the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC).
In late May, three new members of the USPS Board of Governors nominated by President Joseph Biden were approved by the Senate, raising talk of a possible vote on DeJoy’s ouster from his post, after little over a year in the position.
DeJoy at least has one key person in his corner: Ron Bloom, the new chairman of the USPS board of governors, a Democrat appointed by Trump.
“Right now, I think [DeJoy] is the proper man for the job,” Bloom told The Atlantic in April. “He’s earned my support, and he will have it until he doesn’t. And I have no particular reason to believe he will lose it.”
In April, DeJoy laid out an extensive 10-year plan for reforms to the U.S. Postal Service, in an attempt to make the red ink-soaked agency more solvent while improving its performance. The plan calls for reaching break-even by FY 2023, thus avoiding $160 billion in projected losses, and investing $40 billion in the USPS workforce, new vehicles, plus improvements at local post offices, infrastructure upgrades and technology implementation.
It also asks Congress, once again, to eliminate the heavy albatross of prefunded retiree healthcare benefits. The plan calls for integrating the benefits with Medicare, calculating the liability based on vested employees and requiring all future retirees to enroll in Medicare at age 65 as a precondition for receiving the employer benefit. The USPS calculates that this, along with changes to the pension system, would save a projected $58 billion over 10 years.