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Wednesday June 16th, 2021 3:18PM

Justice Department probing postmaster over fundraising

By The Associated Press
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is investigating Postmaster General Louis DeJoy over political fundraising activity at his former business, a DeJoy spokesman said Thursday.

Federal authorities in recent weeks have subpoenaed DeJoy and interviewed current and former employees of DeJoy and his business, The Washington Post reported. Mark Corallo, a DeJoy spokesman, confirmed an investigation in a statement to The Associated Press.

“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. He has always been scrupulous in his adherence to the campaign contribution laws and has never knowingly violated them," Corallo said.

The agency declined to comment on news of the investigation.

DeJoy, a wealthy former logistics executive, has been mired in controversy since taking over the Postal Service last summer and putting in place policy changes that delayed mail before the 2020 election, when there was a crush of mail-in ballots.

Last year, DeJoy faced additional scrutiny after the newspaper reported that five people who worked for his former company, New Breed Logistics, said they were urged by aides of DeJoy or by DeJoy himself to write checks and attend political fundraisers at DeJoy's North Carolina mansion. Two former employees told the newspaper that DeJoy would later give bigger bonuses to reimburse for the contributions.

It’s not illegal to encourage employees to contribute to candidates. It is illegal to reimburse them as a way of avoiding federal campaign contribution limits.

DeJoy, who has not been charged with a crime, denied he had repaid executives for contributing to President Donald Trump’s campaign, amid questioning before a congressional committee last year.

Campaign finance disclosures show that between 2000 and 2014, when New Breed was sold, more than 100 employees donated a total of more than $610,000 to Republican candidates supported by DeJoy and his family. He and his family have contributed more than $1 million to Republican politicians.

A district attorney in Wake County, North Carolina, earlier this year decided not to pursue a criminal investigation into the allegations, saying the matter was out of her office's jurisdiction.

Corallo said DeJoy will cooperate with the investigation.

"Mr. DeJoy fully cooperated with and answered the questions posed by Congress regarding these matters. 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,” Corallo said.

___

Izaguirre reported from Lindenhurst, New York.

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