The Department of Justice is investigating Postmaster General Louis DeJoy in relation to campaign contributions from his former private employees, a spokesperson for DeJoy told POLITICO.
DeJoy denies that he ever “knowingly violated” campaign contribution laws, spokesperson Mark Corallo said in a statement.
“He has always been scrupulous in his adherence to the campaign contribution laws,” Corallo said.
The Washington Post was first to report the news of the investigation Thursday. DeJoy had come under scrutiny over a September 2020 Post report saying that the Republican megadonor pushed employees at his former business to give contributions to Republican candidates, which he would reimburse through bonuses.
Democrats in Congress have grilled DeJoy over the allegations, which he has denied. A DeJoy spokesperson had previously told the Post that DeJoy didn’t know the employees felt pressure to donate.
“Mr. DeJoy fully cooperated with and answered the questions posed by Congress regarding these matters,” Corallo said. “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.”
The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Asked whether President Joe Biden thinks DeJoy should step down or be replaced, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Thursday that “he’ll leave the investigation and the process forward to the Department of Justice.”
In the wake of the Post’s investigation, then-President Donald Trump said he would be open to investigating him and possibly removing him if he violated campaign finance law. DeJoy became postmaster general under Trump.
North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein also said last September the allegations against DeJoy stemming from his North Carolina supply chain company, New Breed Logistics, were worthy of investigation.
DeJoy has come under a barrage of criticism since being appointed last year, particularly for taking steps to reduce costs the USPS Office of the Inspector General found “negatively impacted the quality and timeliness of mail delivery” across the U.S.
The changes came as the country prepared for record levels of mail-in voting amid the pandemic and as Trump railed against mail-in voting, stoking fears of fraud without evidence. In October, the Postal Service settled a lawsuit and agreed to undo the changes that had apparently slowed the mail, a settlement that required it to prioritize election-related mail.
Amid the criticism, DeJoy said he planned to be around for “a long time” in February, testifying in front of the House Oversight and Reform Committee.
“Get used to me,” he said.
In February, Biden nominated three people for spots on the board that can get rid of DeJoy — and if confirmed, Democratic appointees would control the panel.