“This invite is not optional”: Dems threaten arrest of DeJoy if he refuses to testify to Congress

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Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA) is angry over the shenanigans at the U.S. Postal Service since the Postmaster General position has been handed over to wealthy Trump-donor Louis DeJoy.

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With the extensive delivery delays, the decommissioning of mail sorting machines, and the sudden carting away of postal boxes across the country, DeJoy seems to be doing everything he can to undermine the ability of the Postal Service to handle the unprecedented number of mail-in ballots — expected to be overwhelmingly in favor of Joe Biden as our next president — that will be sent through their systems in this plague-stricken era.

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As the suspicious changes in normal postal operations begin to reach public awareness, House Democrats have called for DeJoy to testify in front of Congress about exactly what changes are taking place and why they are being implemented so close to the presidential election.

“The President has explicitly stated his intention to manipulate the Postal Service to deny eligible voters access to the ballot in pursuit of his own re-election,” a statement from House Democrats read. “Alarmingly, the Postmaster General – a Trump mega-donor – has acted as an accomplice in the President’s campaign to cheat in the election, as he launches sweeping new operational changes that degrade delivery standards and delay the mail.”

Representative Conolly went even further than his colleagues in warning the Postmaster that he should not try to simply refuse to appear for the Congressional hearings to which he is being summoned as so many Trump administration officials have done in the past.

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Congressman Connolly’s threat seems fairly mild until one realizes what he means by exercising the congressional power of “inherent contempt, ” a little-used tactic that would allow the House Sargeant-at-Arms to arrest the offending official ignoring their subpoenas and deliver them to the floor of Congress to face whatever punishment the legislators deem appropriate.

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Last used in the Senate in 1934 — ironically in another postmaster investigation — inherent contempt can result in the person cited being subject to fines and imprisonment of up to a full year at congressional discretion.

That the rarely used provision is being contemplated at this juncture speaks to the seriousness with which Democrats are taking the latest Trump administration scandal at the USPS, since they didn’t even employ it during their impeachment hearings last autumn.

Representative Connolly wasn’t the only Democratic legislator threatening DeJoy with an inherent contempt citation.

Tennessee Democrat Congressman Jim Cooper made a similar suggestion on Twitter.

With Speaker Pelosi contemplating calling the House back from its August recess early to deal with this crisis — one that they thought that they had resolved by passing a bill providing $25 billion to the USPS as part of their Republican Senate-stalled pandemic relief package — it will soon become apparent whether DeJoy will willingly testify before Congress and whether the Speaker will employ the cudgel of inherent contempt if he refuses to do so.

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Stay tuned for what will surely prove to be one of the most interesting weeks in politics since, well, at least last week.

The prospect of seeing yet another Trump crony arrested should have us all on our seats!

Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.

Original reporting by David Edwards at RawStory.

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Vinnie Longobardo

Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile, & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.

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