U.S. Postal Service Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testifies during a hearing before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on August 24, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The committee is holding a hearing on "Protecting the Timely Delivery of Mail, Medicine, and Mail-in Ballots."
Why House committee is planning to subpoena postmaster general
01:58 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

The House Oversight Committee is launching an investigation into US Postmaster General Louis DeJoy following reports that he reimbursed employees with for donating to GOP candidates, New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney told CNN in a statement Tuesday.

The Washington Post reported Sunday that former employees of New Breed Logistics, a company previously run by DeJoy, say they were pressured to donate to the candidates and were then reimbursed through bonuses.

Maloney, chairwoman of the committee, said in a statement to CNN Tuesday that if the allegations are true, the postmaster general “could face criminal exposure – not only for his actions in North Carolina, but also for lying to our Committee under oath.”

“We will be investigating this issue, but I believe the Board of Governors must take emergency action to immediately suspend Mr. DeJoy, who they never should have selected in the first place,” the Democrat said.

The Washington Post first reported news of the investigation.

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 donated more than $19,000 while at the company, according to the Post, and said “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.”

Monty Hagler, spokesman for DeJoy, told CNN in a statement Tuesday that DeJoy “believes that all campaign fundraising laws and regulations should be complied with in all respects.”

Hagler added that DeJoy had “sought and received legal advice” from a former general counsel for the Federal Election Commission to ensure the company was complying with the law.

USPS has not responded to CNN’s request for comment.

The postmaster general told Democratic Rep. Jim Cooper of Tennessee when he testified before the House committee last month 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 was specifically about activities related to President Donald Trump’s campaign but not about the wrongdoing alleged by Young years earlier.

Still, the Washington Post report Sunday prompted the attorney general of North Carolina – where the business was based – to call for an investigation into the alleged practice. And on Monday night, Cooper tweeted that DeJoy should resign and his former executives also be subpoenaed to testify before the House.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and other congressional Democrats also called for an investigation following the report.

“These are very serious allegations that must be investigated immediately, independent of Donald Trump’s Justice Department,” the New York Democrat said in a statement, adding that the North Carolina attorney general “is the right person to start this investigation.”

The House Oversight Committee subpoenaed DeJoy earlier this month after he missed an August 26 deadline to respond to the committee.

CNN’s Lauren Fox and Paul LeBlanc contributed to this report.