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DOJ investigating Postmaster General DeJoy over ex-employees' political donations

The investigation involves campaign contributions of employees and activities at his former logistics company in North Carolina.

WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice is investigating Postmaster General Louis DeJoy in connection with campaign contributions of former employees who worked for him when he was in the private sector, NBC News confirmed Thursday.

DeJoy’s spokesman, Mark Corallo, said in a statement to NBC that DeJoy, who has been a major Republican fundraiser and donor, has always been “scrupulous” in following campaign finance laws “and never knowingly violated them.”

“Mr. DeJoy fully cooperated with and answered the questions posed by Congress regarding these matters,” Corallo said. “The same is true of the Postal Service inspector general’s inquiry, which after a thorough investigation gave Mr. DeJoy a clean bill of health on his disclosure and divestment issues.

The U.S. Postal Service declined to comment on the matter, which involves DeJoy’s time as CEO of North Carolina-based New Breed Logistics. The Department of Justice and FBI also declined to comment.

The investigation was first reported Thursday by The Washington Post. Citing people familiar with the matter and DeJoy's spokesman, the newspaper said FBI agents recently interviewed current and former employees of DeJoy and the business about political contributions and company activities.

Last September, the Post reported that DeJoy’s former employees at New Breed Logistics alleged that they felt pressured by him or his aides to make contributions to attend political fundraisers or make donations to Republican candidates for elected office, and then were paid back with bonuses. So-called straw-donor schemes that evade campaign finance contribution limits are illegal under federal law.

Then-President Donald Trump signaled at the time that he would support an investigation of DeJoy and suggested he could be fired from the Postal Service if he violated campaign finance laws.

“Yeah, if something could be proven that he did something wrong, always. Always,” Trump said.

DeJoy took over as postmaster general in June of last year. He has not been charged with a crime and has previously denied that he violated campaign finance laws.

Pete Williams contributed.