Cuomo brushes off talk of becoming Attorney General if Biden wins White House

ALBANY — Gov. Cuomo insisted Monday that rumors about his interest in becoming attorney general under a potential President Joe Biden are coming from those who want to get him “out of New York.”

In an interview on NBC’s “Today” show, the governor tamped down the idea of joining a future Biden administration, saying he remains solely focused on running the Empire State.

“I’m a New Yorker. I said I would serve as governor,” he said. “And those rumors … those are only from people who want to get me out of New York. I don’t know why, but that’s where that’s coming from.”

Cuomo’s comments come after Axios reported Sunday that he is on Biden’s short list for the top law enforcement spot.



Andrew Cuomo, Joe Biden are posing for a picture: Gov. Andrew Cuomo and former VP Joe Biden


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Gov. Andrew Cuomo and former VP Joe Biden

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and former VP Joe Biden

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Cuomo has maintained a close relationship with the former vice president for years and supported his bid for the White House early on.

The governor, who served as housing and urban development secretary under President Clinton, has repeatedly tamped down speculations that he would be interested in heading to Washington should Biden unseat President Trump next month.

At the height of the coronavirus outbreak as Cuomo and New York were in the national spotlight, there were rumors that he could potentially replace Biden at the top of the Democratic ticket.

According to Axios, Democratic donors close to the governor support the idea of him heading up the Justice Department.

Pushed Monday as to what he would say if Biden offered him the gig, Cuomo was coy.

“I would say, ‘You are an old friend. You are a good friend. You’re going to win this election. You’re going to be the president. I’ll help you any way I can,’” he told NBC.

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DeJoy Never Should Have Been Approved as Postmaster General, Expert Witnesses Tell House Oversight Committee

United States Postmaster General Louis DeJoy should not have been chosen for his post due to apparent conflicts of interest that made him ineligible, expert witnesses told Congress on Monday.



a man looking at the camera: Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testifies during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on slowdowns at the Postal Service ahead of the November elections on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on August 24.


© Photo by TOM WILLIAMS/POOL/AFP/Getty
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testifies during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on slowdowns at the Postal Service ahead of the November elections on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on August 24.

That is what Richard Painter, a former top ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush, and David Fineman, former chairman of the U.S.P.S. Board of Governors under the Bill Clinton and Bush administrations, said before the House Overisight Committee.

DeJoy’s $30 million stake in his former logistics company, XPO Logistics, which is a major contractor for the Postal Service and has received $14 million from the agency since DeJoy was appointed in June, should have posed far too great a risk for a criminal financial conflict of interest, the men testified to the House Oversight Committee.

In addition, the witnesses said that if DeJoy had been properly vetted before being appointed by the board of governors, they could have uncovered allegations of potential campaign violations reported by The Washington Post earlier this month.

“You do not get that job if you keep stock in a contractor with your agency,” Painter said. “That is a deal breaker because you could go into public office and commit a felony. It would have been a deal breaker in the Bush administration. We would not have nominated, appointed or approved—in any way—a senior Executive Branch official having that conflict of interest.”

USPS Crisis: Trump Attacks, Democrats Push Back And Celebrities Get Involved

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Painter said the same rule holds true with government agencies.

“You don’t go to the Department of Defense and own stock with defense contractors,” he told the congressional panel.

DeJoy was chosen by the board of governors only after an outside executive search firm vetted and helped narrow down hundreds of potential candidates to just a dozen. But DeJoy was not one of those candidates. Instead, he was approved by the board after he was recommended by Board of Governors Chairman Robert Duncan, a President Donald Trump appointee, and was not vetted by the outside firm.

“If you’re asking me whether I would have chosen [DeJoy], the answer would be no,” Fineman said, responding to a question from Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.). “It’s apparent that there was a conflict of interest to begin with, that he still had an interest in one of the largest contractors with the United States Postal Service.”

The hearing was meant to examine DeJoy’s conflicts of interest as Democrats investigate problems at the Postal Service that arose after DeJoy assumed his role this summer. In recent months under his leadership, the agency has been inundated with mail delivery delays.

Democrats allege that DeJoy has purposely made changes that hinder its operations ahead of an election that will feature a record influx of

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Coronavirus latest: ICYMI: Top takeaways from this week’s “Face the Nation”: Surgeon General on mask messaging

This week on “Face the Nation” as the West Coast struggles to beat back devastating fires in a COVID-complicated world, the candidates enter the final phase of the 2020 campaign. But the White House is forced to play defense as new revelations raise questions on what President Trump knew, and when.

Here’s the big takeaways from Sunday’s episode of “Face the Nation”

1. Kirby on keeping his airline afloat


United CEO: 16,000 layoffs coming without mor…

06:12

  • On the cusp of an election and in the midst of a national health crisis, it would not seem good politics to allow mass layoffs of Americans across broad swaths of U.S. industry. Yet Congressional talks to craft any new emergency aid package for jobless benefits or lifelines to troubled industries are stalled. 
  • That means that within the next two weeks or so U.S. air carriers are warning that the plan to cut tens of thousands of jobs by October once the terms of the CARES Act expire. That emergency financial support package cobbled together by Congress set aside $50 billion for the U.S. travel industry and required airlines to keep employees on the payroll. 
  • United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby told us that he plans to cut 16,000 jobs but is working with unions to try to reduce that number. The bottom line is that large parts of the economy cannot recovery until there is vaccine, and in the meantime companies are just hoping to stay afloat. 
  • Kirby warned: “without more government support for the whole economy, there’s going to be more layoffs to come across the economy.” 
  • “And in a business like ours, demand is not going to come back until people feel safe being around other people. And that’s going to take a vaccine. And that’s just the reality. Some businesses can recover earlier, but in aviation and all the industries that we support, it’s going to take longer.”

2. So when will that vaccine be ready? 


Pfizer CEO says company will know if vaccine …

06:31

  • Pfizer is investing one and a half billion dollars to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. If its scientists fail then the cost will hit the pharmaceutical giant’s bottom line. Unlike six other vaccine developers, Pfizer declined to accept U.S. taxpayer funding to offset those costs. The company’s CEO Albert Bourla argued that he did so to “liberate” scientists from bureaucracy and thus to be more nimble.
  • What Bourla said: “When you get money from someone that always comes with strings. They want to see how we are going to progress, what type of moves you are going to do. They want reports. I didn’t want to have any of that. I wanted them- basically I gave them an open checkbook so that they can worry only about scientific challenges, not anything else. And also, I wanted to keep Pfizer out of politics, by the way.”
  • How will Americans get the vaccine? “The how I think is going to be very difficult for the government to
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News Wrap: House Democrats launch probe of USPS postmaster general

Judy Woodruff:

Later, in Florida, the president signed an executive order to expand an offshore drilling ban to Florida’s Atlantic Coast and the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina.

There’s pushback from the Pentagon against new criticism from President Trump. He said Monday that military leaders want wars in order to keep arms makers happy. Today, General James McConville, who is the Army chief of staff, said that commanders recommend fighting only when — quote — “It is required in national security and in the last resort.”

He did not mention Mr. Trump directly.

Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives are launching a probe of postmaster general, Louis DeJoy. The Washington Post reports that his former company pressured employees for political contributions, and then illegally reimbursed them with bonuses.

DeJoy has denied wrongdoing, but top Democrats say that he should be suspended or fired.

The Senate returned to work today, and majority Republicans released their COVID economic relief bill. It offers nearly $600 billion for schools, businesses and the unemployed, and offsets about half that cost. But it has little chance of passing, despite Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s appeal to Democrats.

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A top House Democrat calls for the suspension of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy over campaign finance allegations.

Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, Democrat of New York and the chairwoman of the House Oversight Committee, on Monday called on the Postal Service’s board of governors to suspend Louis DeJoy, the postmaster general, while she investigates allegations that he asked former employees to make campaign contributions to Republicans and gave them bonuses to defray the cost.

“If these allegations are true, Mr. DeJoy could face criminal exposure — not only for his actions in North Carolina, but also for lying to our committee under oath,” Ms. Maloney said in a statement. “We will be investigating this issue, but I believe the board of governors must take emergency action to immediately suspend Mr. DeJoy, who they never should have selected in the first place.”

Ms. Maloney’s committee on Wednesday issued a subpoena for documents she said Mr. DeJoy had withheld from Congress related to mail delays and communications with the Trump campaign. Since then, Mr. DeJoy, a Republican megadonor and onetime executive of a shipping company based in North Carolina, New Breed Logistics, has been accused of cultivating an environment at his former company that left employees feeling pressured to make donations to Republican candidates, and rewarded them with bonuses for doing so.

The practice was described to The New York Times by three former employees at New Breed Logistics who said that workers would receive bonuses if they donated to candidates he supported, and that it was expected that managers would participate. A fourth employee confirmed that managers at the company were routinely solicited to make donations. The four former employees spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of professional retaliation.

The former employees did not say how explicit Mr. DeJoy was about linking the campaign contributions he was encouraging to the extra compensation, but three of them said it was widely believed that the bonuses were meant to reimburse the political donations, an allegation first reported by The Washington Post.

Federal campaign finance law bars straw-donor schemes, in which an individual reimburses someone else to donate to a political campaign in order to skirt contribution limits. But it is legal to encourage employees to make donations, as Mr. DeJoy routinely did.

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, has called for the North Carolina attorney general to investigate the allegations. At a hearing last month, Mr. DeJoy angrily denied a suggestion by Representative Jim Cooper, Democrat of Tennessee, that he had reimbursed his employees’ political donations.

“That’s an outrageous claim, sir, and I resent it,” Mr. DeJoy responded. “What are you accusing me of?” A spokesman for Mr. DeJoy has insisted that he followed federal and local laws.

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House Panel Probes Postmaster General DeJoy Over Donations

WASHINGTON—The House Oversight Committee is launching an investigation into Postmaster General Louis DeJoy following published allegations that he reimbursed employees of the logistics company he ran after they made campaign contributions to Republican politicians, a practice barred by federal election law.

In announcing the probe, committee chairwoman Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D., N.Y.) called for the Postal Service’s board of governors to immediately suspend Mr. DeJoy over the allegations. She also alleged Mr. DeJoy may have lied under oath during recent congressional hearings in responding to questions about reimbursements.

A personal spokesman for Mr. DeJoy, Monty Hagler, said in a statement that the postmaster general was never notified by employees of his former company, New Breed Logistics, that they might have felt pressured to make donations, and that Mr. DeJoy believes all campaign fundraising laws and regulations should be followed. The statement didn’t address the issue of reimbursements.

Mr. Hagler didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday about the House Oversight Committee’s investigation.

Mr. DeJoy, a Trump donor and GOP fundraiser, was named to lead the U.S. Postal Service this spring by the Postal Service Board of Governors, whose members were appointed by the president. He served as the chief executive of New Breed Logistics, a North Carolina logistics and supply-chain services provider, for about three decades before it was sold in 2014 to

XPO Logistics.

The Washington Post on Sunday reported that five employees of Mr. DeJoy’s former business said they had been urged by Mr. DeJoy or his aides to make campaign donations or attend fundraisers he was hosting. Some former employees said Mr. DeJoy subsequently arranged bonus payments to such employees, essentially reimbursing them for all or part of their donations. The Wall Street Journal hasn’t confirmed the allegations in the Post report.

Joe Hauck, a former longtime senior employee at New Breed Logistics, said in an interview with the Journal that he used to invite employees to political fundraisers being hosted by Mr. DeJoy. He rejected allegations that employees were pressured or that bonuses were tied to donations.

“I wouldn’t even say I would regularly ask for donations,” he said. “The way I would put it is, I would regularly advise people that there was an upcoming event.” He added: “Some people weren’t interested. That was fine.”

The issue of donations came up in recent congressional hearings. Rep. Jim Cooper (D., Tenn.) asked Mr. DeJoy if he had reimbursed employees for donations to President Trump’s 2016 campaign. Mr. DeJoy called the notion an “outrageous claim” and said he didn’t reimburse executives for any donations to the Trump effort. The Post article describes reimbursements related to other GOP campaigns between 2003 and 2014, but no donations in the 2016 campaign.

Federal election laws ban the practice of reimbursing employees for donations to evade limits on campaign contributions, known as a straw-donor scheme.

Ahead of the Post report, Democratic lawmakers had targeted Mr. DeJoy over a range of concerns related to postal delays, including

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House Oversight Committee to investigate postmaster general after claims he pressured employees to make campaign donations

The House Oversight Committee has opened up a new front in its investigation of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy for allegedly pressuring his employees to make campaign donations to GOP candidates.

The Washington Post reported this weekend that while DeJoy was CEO of New Breed Logistics, he or his aides pressured employees to write checks and attend GOP fundraisers at his mansion, five people who worked for New Breed told the paper. DeJoy, a megadonor for the Republican Party, would reimburse the employees through bonuses, an arrangement that is unlawful, the Post reported Sunday.

HOUSE PASSES $25B IN ‘EMERGENCY’ POSTAL SERVICE FUNDING, WHITE HOUSE THREATENS VETO

“If these allegations are true, Mr. DeJoy could face criminal exposure—not only for his actions in North Carolina, but also for lying to our Committee under oath,” House Oversight Committee chairwoman Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., said in a statement Tuesday to Fox News. “We will be investigating this issue, but I believe the Board of Governors must take emergency action to immediately suspend Mr. DeJoy, who they never should have selected in the first place.”

Maloney is referencing testimony DeJoy gave the Oversight Committee on Aug. 24 when he was called to answer questions on mail delays and cost-cutting measures before the presidential election, which will rely increasingly on mail-in ballots due to the coronavirus pandemic.

HOUSE DEMOCRATS SUBPOENA USPS’S DEJOY FOR HIS CALENDAR, DOCUMENTS ON MAIL DELAYS

Under questioning from Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., DeJoy denied pressuring his employees to donate to President Trump.

“Did you pay back several of your top executives for contributing to Trump’s campaign by bonusing or rewarding them?” Cooper asked.

“That’s an outrageous claim, sir, and I resent it,” DeJoy said, noting he wasn’t working at his company during the Trump campaign. “The answer is no.”

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testifies before a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on slowdowns at the Postal Service ahead of the November elections on Capitol Hill in Washington, Aug. 24, 2020. (Tom Williams/Pool via REUTERS

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testifies before a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on slowdowns at the Postal Service ahead of the November elections on Capitol Hill in Washington, Aug. 24, 2020. (Tom Williams/Pool via REUTERS

Monty Hagler, a spokesman for DeJoy in his private capacity, provided Fox News with a statement Tuesday that DeJoy consistently encouraged employees and family members to be active in their communities and provided them with various volunteer opportunities to get involved in activities.

“Mr. DeJoy was never notified by the New Breed employees referenced by the Washington Post of any pressure they might have felt to make a political contribution, and he regrets if any employee felt uncomfortable for any reason,” Hagler said.

“During his leadership of New Breed Logistics, Mr. DeJoy sought and received legal advice from the former General Counsel of the Federal Election Commission on election laws, including the law of political contributions, to ensure that he, New Breed Logistics and any person affiliated with New Breed fully complied with any and all laws,” Hagler said. “Mr. DeJoy believes that all campaign fundraising laws and regulations should be complied with in all respects.”

LOUIS DEJOY: WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT THE POSTMASTER GENERAL

Trump on

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House Oversight to investigate postmaster general about campaign donations

The House Oversight Committee will investigate allegations that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy improperly reimbursed employees for political contributions to GOP candidates, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., said in a statement late Monday.



a man wearing a suit and tie: Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is sworn in to testify during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on slowdowns at the Postal Service ahead of the November elections on Capitol Hill in Washington,D.C. on Aug. 24, 2020.


© Tom Brenner/AFP via Getty Images
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is sworn in to testify during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on slowdowns at the Postal Service ahead of the November elections on Capitol Hill in Washington,D.C. on Aug. 24, 2020.

DeJoy, a prolific Republican megadonor before his appointment to lead the United States Postal Service, allegedly pressured former employees to donate to Republican White House and congressional campaigns, and would reimburse them through bonus payments, former employees of New Breed Logistics, his former business, told The Washington Post.



a man wearing a suit and tie: Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is sworn in to testify during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on slowdowns at the Postal Service ahead of the November elections on Capitol Hill in Washington,D.C. on Aug. 24, 2020.


© Tom Brenner/AFP via Getty Images
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is sworn in to testify during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on slowdowns at the Postal Service ahead of the November elections on Capitol Hill in Washington,D.C. on Aug. 24, 2020.

ABC News has not independently confirmed the reports.

DeJoy, through a spokeswoman, told The Post he believed he was following the law, and did not pressure employees to make donations.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

Reimbursing employees for political contributions is a violation of North Carolina and federal law. Josh Stein, the attorney general of North Carolina, said he would investigate the matter, following The Post’s report.

MORE: Trump says he’s open to investigation into Postmaster General DeJoy amid alleged campaign finance law violations

DeJoy, in recent testimony before the House Oversight Committee, denied to Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., that he had reimbursed employees for Republican donations.



a person sitting at a table: Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testifies during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on slowdowns at the Postal Service ahead of the November elections on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC., Aug. 24, 2020.


© Tom Williams/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testifies during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on slowdowns at the Postal Service ahead of the November elections on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC., Aug. 24, 2020.

“Did you pay back several of your top executives for contributing to Trump’s campaign by bonusing or rewarding them?” Cooper asked.

“That’s an outrageous claim, sir, and I resent it,” DeJoy replied. “The answer is no,”

“If these allegations are true, Mr. DeJoy could face criminal exposure—not only for his actions in North Carolina, but also for lying to our Committee under oath,” Maloney said in her statement. “We will be investigating this issue, but I believe the Board of Governors must take emergency action to immediately suspend Mr. DeJoy, who they never should have selected in the first place.”

DeJoy is facing criticism from Democrats and civil rights advocates for implemented a number of changes to the Postal Service that have delayed service ahead of the election, and has been accused of taking action to benefit President Trump’s reelection bid, which he has denied.

President Donald Trump said on Monday he’d be open to an investigation into DeJoy.

“Let the investigations go. But he’s a very respected man,” the president said Monday answering reporter questions

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House Oversight to investigate postmaster general over accusations of pressuring employees for political donations

The House Oversight Committee will begin an investigation into allegations that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy pressured his employees to make political contributions and then reimbursed those individuals, which is illegal.



a group of people looking at each other


© Provided by Washington Examiner


Rep. Carolyn Maloney, the chairwoman of the committee, announced the investigation late Monday evening, according to the Washington Post. She called for DeJoy’s immediate suspension and claimed that he may have lied under oath last month when he testified in front of the committee.

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Maloney claimed that DeJoy, a Republican megadonor who assumed his position as postmaster general in June, faced “criminal exposure” if the allegations are true and “for lying to our committee under oath.”

The announcement of the committee’s investigation came a day after the allegations surfaced. According to a report from the Washington Post, DeJoy, during his time running his former business, New Breed Logistics, and his aides would urge subordinates to donate to political causes, and then provide them with inflated work bonuses as compensation.

Monty Hagler, a spokesman for DeJoy, said DeJoy believes he hasn’t violated any laws, but he didn’t address the claims that employees were reimbursed for their contributions. Hagler noted that DeJoy was unaware of “any pressure they might have felt to make a political contribution, and he regrets if any employee felt uncomfortable for any reason.”

The act of urging employees to donate is not a crime, but reimbursing them would be in North Carolina and it would also violate federal election laws. There’s no statute of limitation for felony offenses in North Carolina, but the relevant federal statutes have a five-year statute of limitations.

During the 14-year period from 2000-2014, more than a hundred New Breed Logistics employees donated more than $1 million to federal and local GOP candidates, while fewer than a dozen gave a combined $700 to Democratic candidates.

DeJoy’s testimony last month focused on how the U.S. Postal Service is preparing to handle the November election, which will likely be more reliant on the postal service for absentee and mail-in voting than they have been in previous elections as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Shortly after DeJoy’s testimony, Maloney issued a subpoena for information about the removal of mail sorting machines, mailboxes and other “policies and practices” that may be slowing mail delivery.

Since he took over as the postmaster general, DeJoy has implemented an array of changes such as the decision to prohibit overtime and curtailing late trips for mail carriers that ensure on-time delivery.

Democrats have accused President Trump and DeJoy of working to undermine the postal service and of hampering their ability to handle the election, while the president’s administration has argued that mail-in voting is susceptible to fraud and shouldn’t be done.

Trump told reporters on Monday that DeJoy is a “very honest guy,” but indicated that he supports removing his postmaster general if it “can be proven that he did something wrong.”

Tags: News, House Oversight, USPS, Post Office, Congress

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House Democrats Open Campaign Finance Investigation into Postmaster General Louis DeJoy

House Democrats said Monday they would open an investigation into Postmaster General Louis DeJoy over accusations that he broke campaign finance laws in pushing his employees to make campaign contributions to Republicans that he would later reimburse.



a person sitting at a table: Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testifies before a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., August 24, 2020.


© Tom Williams/Reuters
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testifies before a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., August 24, 2020.

House Committee on Oversight and Reform chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D., N.Y.) said in a statement that the committee would open an investigation and called on the Board of Governors of the U.S. Postal Service to immediately suspend DeJoy, whom “they never should have hired in the first place,” she said. 

Maloney’s announcement followed a Washington Post report that DeJoy and his aides would allegedly pressure employees at his former business, New Breed Logistics in North Carolina, to make donations and attend fundraisers at DeJoy’s mansion — events which regularly drew $100,000 or more apiece. Former employees say they made payments between 2003 and 2014 and would then allegedly receive large bonuses to offset the cost of their contributions at the instruction of DeJoy, the Post reported.

DeJoy was not aware any employees had felt pressured to make donations, a spokesperson told the Post.

While not a crime to encourage employees to make donations, reimbursing them for their contributions would be a violation of North Carolina and federal elections laws.

Maloney said DeJoy faces “criminal exposure” not only if the allegations are true, “but also for lying to our committee under oath.”

DeJoy gave testimony under oath to the House Oversight committee last month, during which he denied having repaid executives for contributions to President Trump’s campaign.

While Democrats including the Democratic Attorneys General Association and Representative Adam Schiff (D., Calif.) called for an independent investigation, Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) called on the North Carolina attorney general to open a criminal investigation.

“These are very serious allegations that must be investigated immediately, independent of Donald Trump’s Justice Department,” Schumer said in a statement Sunday.

President Trump, when asked whether he was open to an investigation into DeJoy during a news conference on Monday said, “Sure, sure, let the investigations go.” He also said DeJoy should lose his job “if something can be proven that he did something wrong.”

The postmaster general’s short tenure has been marked by controversy as Democrats have accused DeJoy, a Trump ally, of implementing changes to slow mail delivery to damage mail-in voting in the November election, as the president has repeatedly expressed distrust of mail voting.

“I am not engaged in sabotaging the election,” DeJoy said in his testimony last month. “We will do everything in our power and structure to deliver the ballots on time.”

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