Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy (R) arrives for a meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows at the US Capitol in Washington, DC on August 5, 2020. (Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy (R) arrives for a meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows at the US Capitol in Washington, DC on August 5, 2020. (Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

'This Is Against the Law and DeJoy Must Be Fired': Postmaster General Accused of Criminal Violation of Campaign Laws

Former head of human resources at DeJoy's logistics firm, along with other employees, says the major GOP donor now running the Postal Service reimbursed workers for donations—"an arrangement that would be unlawful." 

Jon Queally

New calls went up for Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to be fired from his job Sunday after it was reported that former employees of the GOP megadonor and logistics executive now running the U.S. Postal Service reimbursed workers at the company for donations they made to the Republican Party at his behest—an arrangement that would be illegal under both state and federal campaign finance laws.

"Add Trump's crony DeJoy to the list of allies who should be indicted. This is against the law and DeJoy must be fired."
—Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.)

The arrangement with former employees at his company, New Breed Logistics, was first reported by the Washington Post on Sunday.

Along with other employees who confirmed the story but requested anonymity for fear of reprisal from DeJoy, the Post spoke with David Young, longtime human resources director for DeJoy who is now retired but had access to payroll records from the 1990s up until 2013.

"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," Young explained to the newspaper. "When we got our bonuses, let's just say they were bigger, they exceeded expectations—and that covered the tax and everything else."

One of the unnamed employees said DeJoy "would ask employees to make contributions at the same time that he would say, 'I'll get it back to you down the road.'" That kind of arrangement, the Post explained "would be unlawful."

Responding to the Post's reporting, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called for an urgent probe into the matter.

"These are very serious allegations that must be investigated immediately, independent of Donald Trump's Justice Department," Schumer said in a statement Sunday evening. "The North Carolina Attorney General, an elected official who is independent of Donald Trump, is the right person to start this investigation."

Monty Hagler, a spokesperson for DeJoy, told the Post that the Postmaster General—a major donor to the GOP and President Donald Trump who has been at the center of intense controversy since taking over at the Postal Service and been accused of trying to sabotage from the within the agency he has been charged with leading—was not aware that any of his former employees had felt pressured to make donations. DeJoy, Hagler added, "believes that he has always followed campaign fundraising laws and regulations."

As labor experts like Steven Greenhouse point out, if DeJoy was laundering political giving to the Republic Party through employees at his company, it would be a criminal violation of federal election laws.

"This, if true, is a big no-no," tweeted Blake Hounshell, Politico's editorial digital director, in response to the story. If proven accurate, said independent journalist Judd Legum, "DeJoy blatantly violated federal law."

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), chair of the subcommittee on Government Operations which has oversight over the USPS, said such behavior would be reason to have DeJoy removed from his powerful post.

According to the Post:

Although it can be permissible to encourage employees to make donations, reimbursing them for those contributions is a violation of North Carolina and federal election laws. Known as a straw-donor scheme, the practice allows donors to evade individual contribution limits and obscures the true source of money used to influence elections. 

Such federal violations carry a five-year statute of limitations. There is no statute of limitations in North Carolina for felonies, including campaign finance violations.

During sworn testimony before the House in August, Dejoy was specifically asked by Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) if he had ever reimbursed executives at his company for donations they gave to Trump's campaign. Not only did Dejoy say that he had not, he called the question "outrageous."

Sanho Tree, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C., said it appears as though what DeJoy is alleged to have done is the same "straw donor crime" that right-wing political operative Dinesh D'Souza "was convicted of—and for which Trump pardoned him." In 2014, D'Souza pleaded guilty to one felony charge over the incident and was sentenced to eight months in a halfway house and fined $30,000. Trump pardoned D'Souza for the crime in 2018.

"What is alleged here—"straw" donations— is not a minor violation," said political columnist Karen Tumulty. "Many people have faced prison for this."

Note: This piece was updated from its original to include additional comment from Sen. Chuck Schumer.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

Wyden Warns Millions of Poor Families Could Be 'Denied' Child Tax Credit Unless IRS Acts

Without urgent fixes to a shoddy online application portal, Wyden said, many of "America's most vulnerable communities" will not receive the expanded monthly benefit.

Jake Johnson ·


In Pre-Sentencing Letter, Drone Whistleblower Daniel Hale Says Crisis of Conscience Motivated Leak

"I came to believe that the policy of drone assassination was being used to mislead the public that it keeps us safe... I began to speak out, believing my participation in the drone program to have been deeply wrong."

Brett Wilkins ·


Landslides in India Kill 100+ as Monsoon Rains Pummel Nation

"We have been talking about climate change and it is happening," said one of the country's top environmental officials.

Kenny Stancil ·


150 Voting Rights Groups Warn Biden Against Attempting to 'Out-Organize Voter Suppression'

"Every American deserves and should be able to rely on a baseline level of voting access... Only passage of both the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act can make this aspiration a reality."

Julia Conley ·


'A Day of Shame': Australia Lobbying Thwarts Push to List Great Barrier Reef as Endangered

Greenpeace Australia called Friday's World Heritage Committee vote "a victory for one of the most cynical lobbying efforts in recent history."

Jake Johnson ·