DOJ investigating political fundraising by controversial Postmaster General Louis DeJoy


Washington (CNN)The Justice Department is investigating Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s political fundraising, a person briefed on the probe tells CNN.

DeJoy’s spokesman Mark Corallo on Thursday denied any wrongdoing by the postmaster general, but confirmed an investigation into campaign contributions made by DeJoy’s private sector employees.

“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 in a statement.

    “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,” he said.

      The Postal Service declined to comment. Sutton Roach, a spokeswoman for the FBI said they were “neither confirming nor denying the existence of investigations.”

        The Washington Post first reported the investigation.

        The news follows reporting from the newspaper last September in which former employees of a company previously run by DeJoy said they were pressured to donate to GOP candidates and then reimbursed through bonuses.

          DeJoy, a longtime ally of President Donald Trump, was appointed to lead the postal service during the Trump administration and has unveiled controversial postal service reforms during his tenure.

          David Young, a longtime human resources director of New Breed Logistics, told The Post that when DeJoy was a fundraiser for the Republican Party, “he asked employees for money. We gave him the money, and then he reciprocated by giving us big bonuses.”

          “When we got our bonuses, let’s just say they were bigger, they exceeded expectations — and that covered the tax and everything else,” he said.

          Young, who donated more than $19,000 while at the company, according to the Post, added, “No one was ever forced to or lost a job because they didn’t, but if people contributed, their raises and their bonuses were bumped up to accommodate that.”

          While encouraging donations is not illegal on its own, a reimbursement of campaign contributions would constitute a violation of state and federal election laws. A spokesman for DeJoy told the Post last year that DeJoy was not aware that employees felt pressure to make donations.

          During a congressional hearing in August, the postmaster general told Democratic Rep. Jim Cooper of Tennessee that he never repaid executives for making donations to the Trump campaign.

          “That’s an outrageous claim, sir, and I resent it,” DeJoy said.

          That question to DeJoy, who was also a Trump donor, was specifically about activities related to President Donald Trump’s campaign but not about the wrongdoing alleged by Young years earlier.

          The Washington Post’s report fueled fresh scrutiny of DeJoy from congressional Democrats, who had previously hammered him over his motivations since taking on his role leading the US Postal Service in June 2020. The House Oversight Committee later said it would launch an investigation into the allegations as well.

          “For nearly a year, I have been clear that Postmaster General DeJoy would not be in his job if he worked for any other company. If these allegations are true and Postmaster General DeJoy violated campaign finance laws, he must resign immediately or the Board of Governors must remove him,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who chairs the Oversight Committee, said in a statement to CNN on Thursday.

            “The Board should also immediately disclose what information it had about these allegations and whether it has reviewed them,” the New York Democrat added.

            This story and headline have been updated with additional reporting.