"The Postal Service should be independent and removed from politics. Engaging in undisclosed contacts with Trump campaign officials directly undermines these goals."
A top Democratic congressman is demanding that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy hand over any and all of his "secret communications with the Trump campaign" after he admitted in testimony before the House Oversight Committee earlier this week that he has been in contact with people associated with the president's reelection bid since taking charge of the U.S. Postal Service.
Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Government Operations, wrote in a letter (pdf) to DeJoy Wednesday that "when confronted with additional facts and information" during the Oversight Committee hearing Monday, the postmaster general "appeared to change" testimony he gave under oath last week to the Republican-controlled Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
DeJoy, a Republican megadonor to President Donald Trump, told Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) last Friday that he has not spoken to any Trump campaign officials about the Postal Service since assuming the postmaster general position on June 16. But when pressed by Connolly on Monday, DeJoy conceded that he has "spoken to people that are friends of mine that are associated with the campaign," just not the campaign's "leadership."
🚨🚨🚨 Postmaster General DeJoy told the Senate, under oath, that he has had no contact with the Trump campaign. I a… https://t.co/tTVUI5cUqB— Rep. Gerry Connolly (@Rep. Gerry Connolly)1598286451.0
"As a threshold matter, it is concerning that you, in your capacity as postmaster general, would be communicating secretly with anyone associated with the Trump campaign," Connolly wrote Wednesday. "You have testified repeatedly that, by statute, the Postal Service should be independent and removed from politics. Engaging in undisclosed contacts with Trump campaign officials directly undermines these goals."
The Virginia Democrat continued:
In addition, you did not disclose to the Senate—or initially even to our committee—that you in fact did communicate with the Trump campaign. As you know, you were under oath on both occasions. This omission, combined with your efforts to conceal other documents our committee has requested, raises grave concerns about the veracity of your testimony.
Finally, it appears that you chose to communicate secretly with the Trump campaign because you did not want to publicly contradict President Trump, who has relentlessly attacked the Postal Service and voting by mail.
Connolly demanded that DeJoy turn over to Congress by next week all communications with "any individuals associated in any way" with the Trump campaign as well as a complete list of all Trump campaign officials he has been in contact with.
On Monday, I pressed Mr. DeJoy on any contact he had with the Trump campaign. I finally got him to reveal the truth… https://t.co/ZfodHDfVHl— Rep. Gerry Connolly (@Rep. Gerry Connolly)1598467679.0
The congressman's demand comes as the House Oversight Committee is threatening to subpoena DeJoy after he refused to say he would comply with document requests, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's (D-N.Y.) demand that he hand over his daily calendar.
"I don't know, I will check with counsel," DeJoy told Ocasio-Cortez Monday in response to her request, saying he doesn't "want to set a precedent for my calendar to be submitted every two months."
.@AOC is pressuring Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to release his calendar to the Oversight Committee. If he refuse… https://t.co/8UVb372ABR— Public Citizen (@Public Citizen)1598296670.0
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), chairwoman of the House Oversight Committee, told DeJoy he "can expect a subpoena" if he continues withholding information from Congress related to the impact his sweeping Postal Service changes have had on mail delivery across the country.
"You're withholding information from us, concealing documents, and downplaying the damage that you're causing," Maloney said during Monday's hearing.