Declaring that "the public has a right to know" whether the leadership of the U.S. Postal Service has conflicts of interest that are affecting its decisionmaking and ongoing support for Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Monday demanded that members of the USPS Board of Governors immediately release their federal financial disclosure documents.
"One key question for all board members is whether—like Mr. DeJoy—you have investments or outside responsibilities that potentially pose conflicts of interest with your role on the Postal Service Board of Governors."
—Sen. Elizabeth Warren
In a letter (pdf) to the board's six members—all appointed by President Donald Trump—the Massachusetts Democrat wrote that the officials' continued backing of DeJoy's "efforts to degrade and delay mail service is inexplicable, and raises questions about the role of the board and the motivations of its members."
"One key question for all board members is whether—like Mr. DeJoy—you have investments or outside responsibilities that potentially pose conflicts of interest with your role on the Postal Service Board of Governors," Warren wrote. "Unfortunately, this information is not available to the public."
Warren said that after her staffers requested the financial disclosures last week, they were told the documents "are not releasable to the public" because USPS board members are technically classified as Special Government Employees.
"That's a dumb loophole," Warren tweeted Monday. "The board should voluntarily release the reports."
My staff requested the @USPS Board of Governors' financial disclosure reports to look for conflicts of interest, but they're “not releasable” since they work less than 130 days/year. That’s a dumb loophole. The Board should voluntarily release the reports. https://t.co/SCcUZAY1j6
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) August 24, 2020
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Warren's letter comes as the board—which unanimously appointed DeJoy in May—is facing pressure from members of Congress to remove the postmaster general over operational changes that have caused significant mail backlogs across the country, delaying the delivery mail-order medications and other time-sensitive packages.
The board is also under growing scrutiny for its decision to appoint DeJoy—a Republican megadonor to President Donald Trump—despite his complete lack of experience working for the Postal Service and potential conflicts of interest, including tens of millions of dollars of investments in USPS competitors.
David Williams, a former USPS Board of Governors member who resigned in protest at the end of April, said during a Congressional Progressive Caucus hearing last week that DeJoy's appointment was suggested by board member John Barger, also a major Republican donor.
Citing anonymous individuals familiar with the hiring process, Reps. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) and Katie Porter (D-Calif.) confirmed Williams' claim in a letter (pdf) to Barger last week, characterizing DeJoy's appointment as suspicious.
"The appointment of Mr. Louis DeJoy as Postmaster General was highly irregular and we are concerned that his candidacy may have been influenced by political motivations," the lawmakers said in a joint statement. "We need to get to the bottom of why Mr. DeJoy was considered, given that he apparently was not one of the candidates recommended by the firm contracted to make such recommendations."