- The FBI is investigating Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, the Washington Post reports.
- The probe concerns possible campaign finance violations at his previous company.
- DeJoy was previously an executive at New Breed Logistics before joining the USPS.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is probing Postmaster General Louis DeJoy as part of an investigation into potential campaign finance violations committed by leaders of his former company, The Washington Post reported on Thursday.
DeJoy, a prominent GOP donor and logistics executive, was the chief executive of North Carolina-based New Breed Logistics before being selected as postmaster general in mid-2020, joining the beleaguered agency at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The House Oversight Committee had already been investigating allegations that DeJoy and other executives encouraged and gave bonuses to employees who donated money to Republican political candidates during DeJoy’s tenure at New Breed.
At congressional hearings in 2020, DeJoy repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in connection with campaign contributions made by him or other New Breed employers. A representative for DeJoy confirmed the FBI probe, which has included interviews with multiple current and former New Breed employees and a subpoena to DeJoy, according to the Post.
“Mr. DeJoy has learned that the Department of Justice is investigating campaign contributions made by employees who worked for him when he was in the private sector,” DeJoy spokesman Mark Corallo told the Post about the FBI investigation. “He has always been scrupulous in his adherence to the campaign contribution laws and has never knowingly violated them.”
A Post investigation published in September 2020 detailed claims from former New Breed employees that DeJoy and other top executives pushed employees to donate money to Republican candidates, then covered the cost of those donations in the employees’ bonuses.
Such activity could run afoul of federal laws banning so-called pass-through or straw donations, in which one person makes donations on behalf of another. Straw donations enable donors to sidestep legal limits on individual campaign contributions.
“Louis was a national fundraiser for the Republican Party. He asked employees for money. We gave him the money, and then he reciprocated by giving us big bonuses,” David Young, a director of human resources for DeJoy for 20 years, told the Post. “When we got our bonuses, let’s just say they were bigger, they exceeded expectations — and that covered the tax and everything else.”
An analysis of federal and state campaign finance records by the Post for their investigation found a pattern of multiple New Breed employees donating the same amounts to the same political candidates on the same days. Over the course of a 14-year period, the Post found, employees of the company collectively gave $1 million to Republican candidates but just $700 to Democrats.
“Louis DeJoy’s reimbursement scheme disguised the true source of potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions, which denied voters the right to know who is giving money to influence their vote and our government,” Brendan Fischer, director of the federal reform program at the Campaign Legal Center, said in a statement. “These are serious violations, and we are pleased that CLC’s research and complaint triggered the Department of Justice to investigate.”
Since his appointment, congressional Democrats have heavily scrutinized DeJoy and repeatedly called for the US Postal Service Board of Governors to fire him, both over his ties to Trump and the GOP and cost-cutting measures DeJoy imposed, which Democrats cast as an effort to hobble the agency ahead of the November 2020 presidential election.