Schumer demands Postal Board disclose how Trump, Mnuchin intervened in DeJoy's appointment
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer wants some answers to questions he's been asking since June about the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors' selection of Louis DeJoy to be postmaster general. Schumer contends that the board is blocking lawmakers from questioning the firm that helped select DeJoy, Schumer says.
Back in June, Schumer wrote to the USPS to find out more about the process that resulted in DeJoy's appointment and the role of executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates. A month later, the board responded, refusing to provide the information because it was "confidential," and a lawyer for the search firm said that it would not waive its nondisclosure agreement. Schumer called on the USPS board to release the firm from the NDA and to provide more information about the involvement of Donald Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in the selection, because his office had separately learned about several previously undisclosed contacts between Mnuchin and the board, contacts which had not been disclosed by the board.
Schumer followed up with a letter on Wednesday, reiterating his demand for the immediate release of all materials related to the selection of DeJoy and that additional information regarding Trump and Mnuchin's roles in the search and selection process. "In my June 14th letter to you," Schumer wrote, "I requested the Board immediately disclose all materials related to its search process for a new Postmaster so that Americans who rely on the Postal Service could know whether Mr. DeJoy was selected for improper reasons of politics or patronage."
He continued, "I also called on the Board to be fully transparent regarding its controversial choice, including providing information related to the roles of national executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates and White House and Treasury Department officials in this selection." He refers to reports about "Trump’s personal obsession with and grievances against the Postal Service and his desire to replace the former Postmaster," as well as Mnuchin's "meetings with individual Governors as well as phone calls with groups of Governors, which has not been previously disclosed by the Board," to emphasize the need for transparency.
"This administration has repeatedly pointed to the role of Russell Reynolds to defend the selection of a Republican mega-donor with no prior postal experience as Postmaster General while at the same time blocking the ability of Congress to obtain briefings from the firm and concealing the role of Secretary Mnuchin and the White House in its search process," he wrote. "Given the importance of the Postal Service to millions of Americans, I urge you as Chairman of the Postal Board of Governors to be fully transparent regarding the selection of Mr. DeJoy as Postmaster General."
There's another avenue for exploration in those upcoming hearings Congress will be having Friday and Monday. It seems unlikely that the board of governors, made up entirely of Trump people, will comply. So follow-up, including having Congress bring in Mnuchin to testify, is going to be essential.