The Democratic chairwoman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee is set to issue a subpoena to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, accusing him of withholding documents that the committee has requested related to operational changes and delays at the U.S. Postal Service.
At a hearing last week, House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney of New York threatened to subpoena DeJoy, the recently installed Trump appointee, if he didn’t turn over documents Congress has sought for the past two months by Aug. 26. Two days later, DeJoy sent a letter to Maloney asserting that his testimony from earlier in the week “clarified any outstanding questions” about recent changes and the agency’s plan to navigate a significant uptick in election mail come November.
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The subpoena will request all documents and communications from Postal Service staff after June 15, the period spanning DeJoy’s time as postmaster general, as it relates to proposed or initiated changes to “operations, policies, practices or standards” as well as “adherence to existing” ones. Maloney is also seeking similar records and communications on DeJoy’s briefings, the vetting process related to the appointment of DeJoy and any documents about treating all election mail as first class for the 2020 elections.
“This subpoena includes in one place many requests previously made by members of the House and Senate in writing and directly to Mr. DeJoy during his in-person testimony,” Maloney wrote on Monday. “The subpoena clarifies a number of previous requests based on information obtained to date in order to ensure that it captures all documents within the requested categories, and it also makes clear as a legal matter that the production of these documents is mandatory.”
Lawmakers have raised concerns about DeJoy’s implementation of cost-cutting measures that caused delays during the coronavirus pandemic as fears mounted about potential delays in the lead-up to the November election with record levels of mail-in ballots expected. At the House committee hearing last week, DeJoy acknowledged recent delays but denied that he initiated changes to the treatment of election mail, which is prioritized as first class mail.
“I want to assure you that the Postal Service is fully capable and committed to delivering the nation’s election mail securely and on time, and we will do everything necessary to meet this sacred duty,” DeJoy wrote in a Friday letter to Maloney.
Maloney also sent a document request to Robert Duncan, chairman of the Postal Service Board of Governors, who also testified before her committee last week alongside DeJoy. She also accused the agency’s board of governors of withholding documents sought by Congress. In a Monday letter to Duncan, Maloney opened the door to a possible subpoena if he questions his legal responsibility to hand over the requested documents.
“If there are any questions about whether you are legally authorized to produce these documents, please let the committee know, and we will issue a subpoena to resolve these doubts and compel their production,” she wrote to Duncan.