House Oversight Committee Will Subpoena Postmaster General For Docs On Mail Slowdown

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 24: Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA), remotely questions U.S. Postal Service Postmaster General Louis DeJoy during a hearing before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on August 24, 2020 on Cap... WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 24: Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA), remotely questions U.S. Postal Service Postmaster General Louis DeJoy during a hearing before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on August 24, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The committee is holding a hearing on "Protecting the Timely Delivery of Mail, Medicine, and Mail-in Ballots." (Photo by Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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August 31, 2020 12:33 p.m.

The House Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) on Monday announced her intention to subpoena the postmaster general for documents related to a slowdown of mail services in recent months.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has not produced “a single additional document” since testifying before Senate and House committees this month, a statement from the Committee read, despite requests from Congress for documents related to new initiatives of his at USPS, as well as his contacts with the Trump campaign.

In a memo, the committee pointed to several unfulfilled or partially fulfilled requests for records, including those related to the decommissioning of mail sorting machines and the vague status of the USPS overtime policy. Another document ran through what specifically DeJoy is would be required to produce, including records on the USPS treatment of election mail.

On the list was the postmaster general’s “complete, unredacted calendar.” That item had been the subject of a rejected Freedom of Information Act request by watchdog groups. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) subsequently asked the committee to consider subpoenaing it during DeJoy’s testimony.

“Despite urgent requests from Members of the House and Senate for Mr. DeJoy to produce documents regarding the nature, scope, and effects of his sweeping changes, as well as other matters, it is clear that a subpoena has become necessary to further the Committee’s investigation and help inform potential legislative actions,” the committee wrote.

In a statement quoted by The Wall Street Journal, the USPS said “given the straightforward and cooperative nature of these communications with the Committee staff, we were frankly surprised and confused by Chairwoman Maloney’s statement today about her intent to issue a subpoena to the Postal Service.”

DeJoy has irked congressional Democrats by not responding fully, or at all, to various requests for documents — a point Maloney highlighted by publishing an internal USPS analysis that showed dramatic mail delivery slowdowns in July after DeJoy instituted a policy cutting back on late trips typically used to avoid mail delays. DeJoy has cast the policy as a matter of making Postal Service trucks run on time — even if they’re missing mail that late trips would include.

Instead of providing the requested documents, the committee wrote, DeJoy sent the committee a letter stating, “I trust my August 24 testimony before the Committee on Oversight and Reform clarified any outstanding questions you had.”

The committee also sent a document request to Robert Duncan, the Republican donor turned Chairman of the Postal Service Board of Governors.

“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.

Tierney Sneed contributed reporting.

Read the House Oversight Committee documents below:

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