WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) ─ House lawmakers are deciding whether or not to remove Postmaster General Louis DeJoy from his post.
Democrats have accused DeJoy of several conflicts of interest, including holding tens of millions of dollars in stocks in companies that would benefit from the privatization of the U.S. Postal Service. He’s also accused of pushing employees at his former company to make campaign contributions to Republican candidates, which he would then reimburse.
The House Committee on Oversight and Reform was recently tapped to investigate those reported conflicts of interest, and lawmakers are hoping to shed light on how DeJoy’s leadership could impact the mail-in voting process for the upcoming presidential election.
“We have a crony at the helm of our nation’s Postal Service,” Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Virginia, said.
Connolly said he’s concerned about DeJoy’s leadership.
“We know postal workers can handle the volume of that election mail – the question is, whether those at the helm are taking steps to hinder that capacity and slow it down,” Connolly said.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-New York, said the allegations regarding political contributions are a serious problem.
“If true, these allegations are not only incredibly unethical, they are illegal,” she said.
Some Democratic lawmakers are questioning how DeJoy even got the position in the first place.
Professor Richard Painter from the University of Minnesota Law School said the appointment of DeJoy didn’t go through the Office of Government Ethics because it wasn’t a presidential appointment.
“I don’t think there’s any way the Office of Government Ethics would’ve signed off on an agency head who has large amounts of stock in a company that is contracting with the agency,” Painter said.
Republicans on the House Committee defended DeJoy, calling the hearing a waste of time.
“It’s an absolutely farce,” Rep. Jody Hice, R-Georgia, said. “Not a single one of the witnesses even works for the U.S. Postal Service.”
Hice called the hearing an attempt at a political assassination.
“This is, in my opinion, as close to a kangaroo court I have ever seen,” she said.