Schumer accuses White House of ‘concealing’ its role in USPS chief DeJoy’s selection

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U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer updates media on his actions to cease destruction of USPS outdoors his workplace in Manhattan.

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Senate Minority Chief Chuck Schumer accused the Trump administration Wednesday of “concealing” the White Home’s function within the collection of Louis DeJoy, the embattled new chief of the U.S. Postal Service.

The New York Democrat’s accusation got here in a letter to USPS Board of Governors Chairman Robert Duncan demanding transparency concerning the resolution to pick out DeJoy, a serious Republican donor and ally of President Donald Trump, as postmaster normal. 

Schumer’s sharp criticism units a combative tone two days earlier than DeJoy is scheduled to testify earlier than a Senate committee about his overhaul of the company, which has come below intense scrutiny amid the coronavirus pandemic and the 2020 election. 

DeJoy, 63, has confronted a mounting stress marketing campaign to reverse a collection of serious cost-cutting measures which have led to reviews of widespread mail delays. His modifications, which reportedly embrace slicing additional time and halting late-day supply journeys, have fueled fears from Democrats concerning the integrity of the 2020 presidential election, by which extra Individuals than ever are anticipated to vote by mail due to the coronavirus pandemic.

These fears had been exacerbated by Trump’s repeated claims that mail-in voting will result in large voter fraud that can compromise the election. Consultants say these claims are unfounded.

In mid-June, Schumer had requested the board for a collection of paperwork and data associated to its search course of. The secretary of the board, Michael Elston, responded in early July that “with respect to the particular info you requested, a lot of it’s confidential.”

The USPS board chosen DeJoy in Might to be postmaster normal. He started work within the function in June.

Schumer’s letter stated his employees had tried to arrange a briefing with a frontrunner from the Russell Reynolds government search agency that had been concerned in DeJoy’s choice course of. However counsel for Russell Reynolds replied that the USPS board was unwilling to waive a nondisclosure settlement, blocking the agency from totally taking part within the congressional oversight efforts, in accordance with Schumer’s letter.

Schumer additionally wrote that officers within the White Home and the Treasury Division, together with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, had performed roles within the choice. “As a part of my inquiry, my workplace discovered of the function [Mnuchin] had with Postal Board of Governors, together with by conferences with particular person Governors in addition to telephone calls with teams of Governors, which has not been beforehand disclosed by the Board,” the letter stated.

U.S. Postmaster Common Louis Dejoy arrives at a gathering on the workplace of Speaker of the Home Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on the U.S. Capitol August 5, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Alex Wong | Getty Photographs

“This administration has repeatedly pointed to the function of Russell Reynolds to defend the collection of a Republican mega-donor with no prior postal expertise as Postmaster Common whereas on the identical time blocking the power of Congress to acquire briefings from the agency and concealing the function of Secretary Mnuchin and the White Home in its search course of,” Schumer stated within the letter.

A spokesman for USPS didn’t instantly reply to CNBC’s request for touch upon Schumer’s letter to Duncan. The Treasury didn’t instantly present remark.

On Tuesday, DeJoy introduced in an announcement that some proposed modifications on the Postal Service could be suspended till after the election to be able to “keep away from even the looks of any impression on election mail.”

DeJoy’s assertion stated that retail hours at publish workplaces won’t be modified, mail processing amenities won’t be closed and that mail processing gear won’t be moved. He additionally stated that “additional time has, and can proceed to be, accepted as wanted.”

However some critics, together with Schumer and Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., say DeJoy’s assurances aren’t sufficient.

A gaggle of main Democratic senators on Monday urged the Postal Service board to reverse DeJoy’s modifications, and take away him from his function if he does not comply.

On Wednesday, 90 Democrats took it additional, demanding in one other letter that the board “instantly” take away DeJoy as postmaster normal.

“The injury is already achieved for veterans and seniors who have not acquired drugs, households ready for late paychecks, small companies lacking packages, and voters fearing they could by no means obtain their poll,” stated Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., one of many leaders on the letter. “We do not want a brief suspension of the injury he has achieved—we’d like a full reversal. This assault on our democracy is unacceptable and Louis DeJoy have to be eliminated instantly.”  

— CNBC’s Jacob Pramuk contributed to this report.

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