Federal authorities are investigating Postmaster General Louis DeJoy over campaign contributions made by him and employees of a company he used to work for, according to his spokesperson.
The Justice Department inquiry, confirmed to various media outlets by their sources, follows a September report from the Washington Post that said former employees of New Breed Logistics have accused DeJoy, who was the CEO of the company, of pressuring them to donate to Republican candidates and paying them back through bonuses.
“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,” Corallo said in a statement to the Washington Examiner. “He has always been scrupulous in his adherence to the campaign contribution laws and has never knowingly violated them.”
DeJoy, a longtime donor to Republicans, became a controversial figure following his appointment to the U.S. Postal Service during the Trump administration. In the lead-up to the November election, the service implemented what DeJoy said were cost-cutting measures, which some critics argued was evidence of his political bias as Trump pushed to defund the agency.
David Young, a longtime human resources director for New Breed Logistics, donated more than $19,000 during his time there, according to the Washington Post. He told the outlet DeJoy “asked employees for money. We gave him the money, and then he reciprocated by giving us big bonuses.”
“When we got our bonuses, let’s just say they were bigger, they exceeded expectations — and that covered the tax and everything else,” he said. “No one was ever forced to or lost a job because they didn’t, but if people contributed, their raises and their bonuses were bumped up to accommodate that.”
Other employees, who spoke to the outlet on the condition of anonymity, made similar accusations.
Such contributions might be considered illegal under federal law.
“No person shall make a contribution in the name of another person or knowingly permit his name to be used to effect such a contribution, and no person shall knowingly accept a contribution made by one person in the name of another person,” 52 USC 30122 states.
The report found that between 2000 and 2014, New Breed employees donated extensively to Republican candidates, with the same amount regularly given by multiple people on the same day. It also found that 124 employees gave a combined total of more than $1 million to GOP candidates during that time period. Many of those people had, according to the outlet, never made a political contribution previously.
In 2014, New Breed was acquired by Connecticut-based XPO Logistics. DeJoy then served as chief executive officer of XPO Logistics’ supply chain business in the Americas. DeJoy retired in 2015 and was subsequently appointed to the company’s board of directors.
The Campaign Legal Center filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission in September asserting campaign finance records showed “several instances of XPO employees contributing to the same candidate or committee, during the same period of time, and often in similar amounts,” adding, “DeJoy family members, including DeJoy’s college-aged children, also made contributions on the same day or in the same period as those employees.”
“Between 2015 and 2018, XPO Logistics employees and DeJoy family members following this pattern together gave over $150,000 to the same candidates and committees, including over $50,000 to Trump Victory, President Donald Trump’s joint fundraising committee,” the group continued.
“As a company, XPO stays out of politics. Our employees have the same right as anyone to support candidates of their choosing in their free time. Whenever our employees support political candidates, they are expected to strictly follow all applicable laws,” XPO Logistics said in a statement to the Washington Examiner.
At a congressional hearing in August, DeJoy was asked whether he repaid company executives for making donations to the Trump campaign.
“That’s an outrageous claim, sir, and I resent it,” he said. “The answer is no.”
When asked about the issue on Thursday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said President Joe Biden would “leave the investigation and the process … to the Department of Justice.”
In February, the White House announced it was appointing three new people to the Postal Service’s governing board. A majority vote of the board would be required to remove DeJoy from his post.
“Mr. DeJoy fully cooperated with and answered the questions posed by Congress regarding these matters,” Corallo added. “The same is true of the Postal Service Inspector General’s inquiry which after a thorough investigation gave Mr. DeJoy a clean bill of health on his disclosure and divestment issues. He expects nothing less in this latest matter and he intends to work with DOJ toward swiftly resolving it.”
The Washington Examiner reached out to Corallo and the USPS Office of Inspector General for more information but did not immediately hear back.
A spokesperson for the Postal Service declined to comment on the matter. The Washington Examiner also contacted XPO Logistics, the FBI, and the DOJ for comment.
Author : Haley Victory Smith