He may be the linchpin in his scheme to hobble the Postal Service in advance of the November election, but President Trump today made clear he will throw his Postmaster General Louis DeJoy under the bus if necessary.
DeJoy is now the subject of an investigation into potential campaign finance law violations he committed during his pre-Postal Service tenure as CEO of a North Carolina logistics company. And while speaking to the press, President Trump made clear he is not about to intervene on DeJoy's behalf.
When asked by a reporter if he would support the probe into DeJoy's campaign finance activity, the President shrugged and said, "Sure."
Trump says he's fine with an investigation into DeJoy over allegations postmaster general pressured former employees at his old company to donate to GOP candidates. pic.twitter.com/PIZSdlVOOS
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) September 7, 2020
He continued by saying:
"Let the investigations go. But he's a very respected man."
Trump even answered in the affirmative when asked if DeJoy should be fired from the Postal Service if he is found guilty of wrongdoing.
"Yes, if something can be proven, that he did something wrong, always."
DeJoy's leadership at the Postal Service, during which he has overseen changes to everything from postal service staffing to equipment, has resulted in weeks-long mail delays that many believe will hobble the election in Trump's favor.
The questions came in the wake of recent reports by former employees of DeJoy that he frequently pressured employees to donate to GOP candidates while he was CEO of a company in North Carolina called New Breed Logistics.
This past Sunday, The Washington Postpublished accounts from five former employees of DeJoy in which it is alleged that DeJoy and other members of senior leadership asked employees to write huge donation checks for fundraisers DeJoy held for Republican candidates.
DeJoy would then reimburse his employees later in the form of large bonuses. The scheme is illegal, and a House Oversight Committee investigation has been launched.
But while Trump may seem coolly unconcerned about the blow-back and consequences DeJoy may face, House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Rep. Carolyn Maloney made clear in a written statement that the allegations are grave.
"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."
And she called for his removal as Postmaster General.
"We will be investigating this issue, but I believe the [Postal Service] Board of Governors must take emergency action to immediately suspend Mr. DeJoy, who they never should have selected in the first place."
On Twitter, many were almost gleeful at what they saw as an important nail in DeJoy's figurative coffin.
thoughts and prayers, Lou https://t.co/W3AsSV1g7s via @TPM
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) September 8, 2020
Bye bye, #LouisDeJoy. When @realDonaldTrump publicly throws you under the bus, you're a #deadmanwalking #goodriddance you corrupt bastardhttps://t.co/UarlBzq89j
— Ted Sullivan (@karterhol) September 7, 2020
DeJoy under the treads pic.twitter.com/PNS8Tol8ON
— industrious type (@billcornell828) September 8, 2020
But others were completely unsurprised by Trump's nonchalance, and felt like they knew exactly what to expect next.
We're days, possibly hours from "I hardly knew him. Just someone who got coffee & stuff."
— Gelfling 545 (@mrsnstarr) September 7, 2020
Of course he is. He's got a mad libs pad of pardons in his top desk drawer.
— Snarky Duck (@thesnarkenator) September 7, 2020
Sure, Trump will just pardon him. What's the big deal?
— Great Cosmic Puppy (@GreatCosmicBook) September 8, 2020
DeJoy? I don't know him, never met him.
— Richard (@bourgerierp) September 7, 2020
Translation: "Barr and I have got this one." https://t.co/dsKT2a0Xav
— John Sheehan (@John16280) September 8, 2020
And some worried that even if DeJoy is removed due to the allegations, it's too late as far as the election is concerned.
The damage is already done
— cooderbrown (@herb_betts) September 7, 2020
#LouisDeJoy has done Trump's bidding in breaking the @USPS so now Trump is free to cut him loose https://t.co/GF3tBai5CD via @TPM
— Fatty Bolger (@HappyKewlGuy) September 8, 2020
For his part, DeJoy maintains, via a statement issued by his spokesman Monty Hagler, that he "believes that he has always followed campaign fundraising laws and regulations."