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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) speaks during a press conference outside the U.S Capitol in Washington, D.C on June 24, 2019. (Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

Sanders Joins Calls for Resignation or Removal of Postmaster General Over Efforts to 'Suppress the Vote and Undermine Democracy'

The Vermont senator accused Postmaster General Louis DeJoy of "a blatant attempt" to sabotage the U.S. Postal Service ahead of the November elections.

Jake Johnson

Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday became the latest lawmaker to demand the immediate resignation or removal of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a major Republican donor to President Donald Trump whose brief tenure as head of the most popular government institution in the U.S. has brought major nationwide slowdowns in package delivery less than 90 days before an election that could hinge on mail-in ballots.

"Make no mistake about it. This is a blatant attempt by Trump's handpicked Postmaster General (and campaign contributor) to sabotage the Postal Service, suppress the vote, and undermine democracy," the Vermont senator tweeted in response to the Postal Service's decision to charge states higher rates to mail ballots to voters.

"The Postmaster General should either resign or be removed from office—immediately," said Sanders.

Sanders joined a growing chorus of lawmakers and ordinary Americans calling for the swift removal of DeJoy, a former North Carolina logistics executive with tens of millions invested in USPS competitors. In statements over the weekend, Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Alma Adams (D-N.C.) said DeJoy should be removed from his post for threatening "the voting rights of millions of Americans" to "aid Trump's reelection efforts."

Additionally, more than 330,000 people have signed a MoveOn.org petition urging the USPS Board of Governors to oust DeJoy over "actions that are disrupting the mission of the United States Postal Service." The board—which appointed DeJoy in May despite his complete lack of experience at the Postal Service and potential conflicts of interest—has the authority to remove a sitting Postmaster General with a majority vote.

"With a federal election less than three months away in the midst of a global pandemic," the petition reads, "it is imperative that the timely delivery of United States mail be made a priority. Mr. DeJoy is a barrier to this necessity."

Demands for DeJoy's removal have intensified in the wake of his displacement late last week of nearly two dozen top Postal Service officials, a move that was immediately dubbed a "Friday Night Massacre" by lawmakers and critics.

In addition to pressure to step aside, DeJoy is also facing a Senate investigation into his operational changes barring overtime and prohibiting postal workers from sorting mail ahead of their morning deliveries—policies that have alarmed USPS employees and union leaders. Last week, as Common Dreams reported, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) spearheaded a call for the USPS inspector general to launch a probe into DeJoy's actions as well as his potential conflicts of interest.

Warren repeated the demand for an investigation in a tweet Monday, writing that "there is nothing normal about a Trump campaign megadonor with at least $30 million invested in USPS competitors being appointed as Postmaster General to sabotage our mail delivery and threaten our elections."

"The USPS inspector general must investigate this corruption now," Warren added.


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