In New Letter To USPS Board Of Governors, Leader Schumer Raises Concerns About Political Influence In The Search Process And Selection Of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy
Leader Schumer Says Role Of President Trump, Treasury Sec. Mnuchin, And Executive Search Firm Russell Reynolds In DeJoy’s Selection Must Be Exposed
Leader Schumer To USPS Board Of Governors: Immediately Disclose All Information Regarding Selection Of Louis DeJoy To Be Postmaster General
Washington, D.C. —Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today sent a letter to U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors Chairman Robert Duncan, calling for the immediate release of all materials related to the selection of Louis DeJoy to be Postmaster General and for additional information regarding the role of President Trump and Secretary Mnuchin in the search and selection process. Leader Schumer’s letter follows his June 14th request for the same. In response to the June 14th request, the Board asserted that much of the requested information was confidential and declined to disclose. Leader Schumer later learned that Russell Reynolds, the executive search firm involved in DeJoy’s selection, signed a non-disclosure agreement.
Republicans remain engaged in a coordinated assault on mail-in ballots. President Trump and Postmaster General DeJoy’s efforts to dismantle the U.S. Postal Service have only escalated, putting at risk the delivery of lifesaving medicines, supplies, elections ballots, and more. Recently, Leader Schumer learned of several, previously undisclosed communications between Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and the Board of Governors regarding the search process, raising questions about Russell Reynolds’ role in selecting DeJoy. And over the weekend, President Trump admitted that in order to keep himself in office, he’s willing to interrupt delivery of mail-in ballots in November.
Leader Schumer requests that the Board immediately release Russell Reynolds from any non-disclosure agreement so that Congress and the American people might obtain a fulsome explanation regarding Mr. DeJoy’s selection. Leader Schumer also calls on the Board to provide additional information to Congress and the public regarding the role of President Trump and Secretary Mnuchin in the search process and the selection of Mr. DeJoy over other candidates irrespective of whether disclosure is required under the Sunshine Act.
Leader Schumer’s letter can be found here and below:
August 19, 2020
The Honorable Robert M. Duncan
U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors
475 L’Enfant Plaza West, SW
Washington, DC 20260
Dear Chairman Duncan:
I write regarding my ongoing oversight of the Board of Governors’ selection of Louis DeJoy as the next Postmaster General of the U.S. Postal Service.
In my June 14th letter to you, 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. 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.
Since assuming his position, Mr. DeJoy has made a series of damaging operational changes that have led to reports of dramatic delays in the delivery of mail, including paychecks, prescription drugs, and mail-in ballots. These delays – taking place during a devastating global pandemic and a national election – have only heightened the need for answers on why Mr. DeJoy was selected.
In your July 2nd response to me, the Board asserted that much of the information I requested was confidential and declined to provide it. As a result, my staff sought the cooperation of Russell Reynolds with Congress and a briefing from Kimberly Archer, co-leader of its global nonprofit practice, who worked on the search process. My office was informed by counsel for Russell Reynolds that the Board was not willing to waive its non-disclosure agreement so that Congress could satisfy its oversight obligations to better understand the selection of Mr. Dejoy.
In addition, the Board’s response was silent on the role White House and Treasury Department officials played in the search process. Recent reports have raised President Trump’s personal obsession with and grievances against the Postal Service and his desire to replace the former Postmaster. As part of my inquiry, my office learned of the role Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had with Postal Board of Governors, including through meetings with individual Governors as well as phone calls with groups of Governors, which has not been previously disclosed by the Board.
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.
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. I request that you immediately release Russell Reynolds from any non-disclosure agreement so that Congress and the communities served by the Postal Service can obtain the full story behind Mr. DeJoy’s selection. I also call on you to direct the Board to provide a complete and fulsome explanation of the role of President Trump and Secretary Mnuchin in the search process for a new Postmaster and the selection of Mr. DeJoy.
Thank you for your immediate attention to a matter that impacts every American who relies on the Postal Service.