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Former elections chief: Dejoy scheme to elect Republicans 'clearly illegal'

Louis DeJoy became Trump’s postmaster general after working to fundraise for Republican candidates.

By Oliver Willis - September 14, 2020
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy

Former Federal Elections Commission Chair Ann Ravel said on Monday that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy was involved in an “illegal straw donor scheme” and was the “poster child” for breaking federal campaign finance law.

Ravel made her comments in her opening statement during a hearing held by the House Oversight Committee on DeJoy’s leadership and conflicts of interest.

DeJoy has been under fire for changes he has made to the U.S. Postal Service ahead of the election that have led to major slowdowns in the processing of mail for delivery.

A recent Washington Post investigation found that during his time leading the firm New Breed Logistics, several employees said they were urged by DeJoy or his lieutenants to make donations to Republicans running for federal office. DeJoy later reimbursed the employees for those contributions through bonuses from the corporation, according to the Post.

DeJoy rose to prominence within the Republican Party in part thanks to the donations he steered the party’s way. He was put in place as postmaster general in May of 2020.

From a Sep. 14 hearing of the House Oversight Committee:

ANN RAVEL: The almost $1 million that was contributed by Mr. DeJoy’s employees to political candidates at his urging, which was paid back in the form of bonuses, is an illegal straw donor scheme.


Contributions through conduits and funds that are diverted from the corporate treasury and laundered to contribute directly to a candidate are prohibited. Even Citizen’s United held that it’s corrupting for a corporation to contribute directly to candidates.


And funneling the money through employees is clearly illegal.


Discussing similar facts in 2017, the United States Department of Justice concluded in their federal prosecution of election offenses manual that “a contribution in the name of another is often used to disguise other campaign finance violations by those who are at their contribution limit and that a common conduit scheme involves a corporate official who instructs corporation employees to make contributions to a candidate and then reimburses them for corporate funds.”


“Generally,” they said, “through fictitious bonuses or pay raises.”


So, Mr. DeJoy’s actions are a poster child for these violations.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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