Rep Jeffries, Rep Clarke Call For Criminal Investigations And Resignation of PG DeJoy

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries speaks as Rep Yvette Clarke looks on. Ben Brachfeld/Bklyner.

CADMAN PLAZA – Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said Tuesday that the US Postal Service’s controversial planned service changes, including reductions in overtime, guidance to mail carriers to leave some mail behind, and removal of mailboxes and sorting machines, would be suspended until after the general election “to avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail.”

But U.S. Reps Yvette Clarke and Hakeem Jeffries, both Democrats representing Brooklyn in the House of Representatives, say that the Trump administration’s word cannot be trusted, and that not only should all further augmentations be suspended, but already-implemented changes should be reversed.

Speaking to reporters in front of the Cadman Plaza post office Tuesday as part of a “Day of Action” held by House Democrats nationwide, Clarke and Jeffries said that rather than trusting an unreliable administration’s promises, Congress should instead codify into law that the Post Office must maintain operations through Election Day at the same level as at the beginning of this year. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called the body back into session to pass the Deliver for America Act, introduced by another Brooklyn Congresswoman, Carolyn Maloney, which would freeze USPS operations at levels seen on January 1 of this year and provide $25 billion in funding to the agency.

Cadman Plaza post office in Brooklyn. Ben Brachfeld/Bklyner

“We have seen where trusting the empty promises of this administration gets us,” Clarke said. “With something as critical as our democracy at stake, the people’s House must take the necessary steps to legislatively hold them to their word and provide the necessary funding to undertake an election primarily conducted via mail-in ballots.”

Clarke then called on DeJoy to resign his post. Jeffries called for the FBI to commence a criminal investigation into DeJoy for intentionally tampering with the delivery of mail.

“It’s outrageous that Donald Trump and his henchman, right before our very eyes, thought they could get away with destroying the Postal Service from within,” Jeffries said, noting that DeJoy will testify before the House next Monday on the topic.

President Donald Trump has essentially admitted that he opposes the funding proposal for the Post Office because it would make voting by mail, a process which he has repeatedly castigated in recent weeks, more difficult.

Herbert Sweat addresses reporters. Ben Brachfeld/Bklyner

Herbert Sweat, a Bed-Stuy based Vietnam veteran and former chair of Black Veterans for Social Justice, an organization that provides housing and social services for New York’s veterans, said at the press conference that beyond the threat to democracy posed by the affront to the USPS, he and countless others are not getting their medication in a timely manner. His medication includes pills he takes for cancer and for post-traumatic stress disorder. “I can’t afford to have it delayed,” he said.

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Ben Brachfeld

Ben Brachfeld

Ben Brachfeld is a freelance reporter based in Brooklyn. His work has also appeared in Gotham Gazette, City & State, and Gothamist. Reach out to him via email at benbrachfeld@bklyner.com, or on Twitter @benbrachfeld.

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