NEW JERSEY — Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. wants President Donald Trump and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy investigated, and, frankly, he doesn’t care who does it.
On Wednesday, Pascrell sent a letter to Postal Service Inspector General Tammy L. Whitcomb seeking an investigation into recent institutional changes. Then on Friday, Pascrell sent a letter to New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal urging an investigation into what he calls interference in New Jersey elections.
“I call upon you to open a wide-ranging investigation of Trump’s actions to interfere in our elections and to empanel a grand jury for the purpose of considering criminal indictments for Donald Trump, U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, members of the United States Postal Service (USPS) Board of Governors, and any other officials in the Trump government that are participating in or have participated in the subversion of New Jersey state elections,” he wrote.
Other area politicians have joined in to support the USPS and criticize Trump’s efforts to undermine elections.
Congressman Josh Gottheimer will visit the Paramus Post Office at 1 p.m. on Tuesday prior to returning to Washington D.C. as a vote is scheduled “to safeguard the U.S. Postal Service and ensure the timely delivery of mail, medication, and voting materials,” according to his office.
“The USPS is vital to everything we do as Americans and is critical in delivering everything from medications to social security checks to mail-in ballots for people here in #NJ5. We must do everything in our power to protect it,” Gottheimer said on Facebook.
In an op-ed published in the Daily Record, Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill also shared her thoughts on the importance of the USPS, and why the efforts to hinder it are important to fight against.
“If the Postal Service is purposefully undermined, I have grave concerns that millions of ballots will fail to reach their rightful destination in time for the November election. The health risks of casting a ballot in person during the pandemic will lead to a massive increase in voting by mail, the volume of which could dwarf that of all previous elections. We need to ensure Americans will have their vote counted and that they can have confidence in the outcome of the election,” she wrote.
According to a representative from the USPS, box removal is done on an annual basis after a review of “collection box density.” This review seeks out “redundant” or “seldom used” collection boxes.
After vocal concern from officials and local residents, however, the removal of mailboxes has been put on hold.
“This process is one of the many ways the Postal Service makes adjustments to our infrastructure to match our resources to declining mail volumes. Given the recent customer concerns the Postal Service will postpone removing boxes for a period of 90 days while we evaluate our customers’ concerns,” said spokesman Ray V. Daiutolo Sr.
All this comes after a recent interview with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo, in which Trump said he would block $25 billion in funds for the Postal Service, and would also block another $3.6 billion in additional election funding, according to the Washington Post.
“They need that money in order to have the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots,” Trump said in the phone interview. “Now, in the meantime, they aren’t getting there. By the way, those are just two items. But if they don’t get those two items, that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting, because they’re not equipped.”
The interview generated headlines and sparked protests across the state, including one scheduled for Friday in Wayne Township.