House Democrats on Sunday threatened to issue an arrest order against Postmaster General Louis DeJoy if he refuses to testify at an upcoming hearing before a congressional committee investigating the alarming slow down of mail delivery ahead of the November election.
Democrats called for DeJoy’s testimony after President Donald Trump suggested that he is undermining the U.S. Postal Service in order to win the election.
Virginia Congressman Gerry Connolly (D) suggested that the House committee could move to jail DeJoy if he refuses to testify.
“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,” House Democrats said in a statement. “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.”
In a tweet, Connolly insisted that DeJoy’s appearance “is not optional.” He said that Democrats should be prepared to use “inherent contempt” to force the Postmaster General’s compliance.
“A note to DeJoy: this invite is not optional. Congress must assert itself if he won’t appear. That means subpoenas and if we have to then we must use inherent contempt,” the Virginia Democrat wrote.
Although “inherent contempt” has not been used by Congress in nearly a hundred years, it allows for “a substantial fine and imprisonment,” according to the Congressional Research Service.
Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN) is also on record supporting an “arrest” of the Postmaster General if he refuses to testify.
A note to DeJoy: this invite is not optional. Congress must assert itself if he wont appear. That means subpoenas and if we have to then we must use inherent contempt. https://t.co/bxVJe5VoIb
— Rep. Gerry Connolly (@GerryConnolly) August 16, 2020
We need to subpoena the Postmaster General, and if he fails to appear, we should send the Sgt at Arms to arrest him.
— Jim Cooper (@repjimcooper) August 15, 2020