Steve August 16, 2020
dem-lawmaker-threatens-postmaster-general-with-‘arrest’-if-he-refuses-to-testify:-‘we-must-use-inherent-contempt’

Tennessee Congressman Jim Cooper (D) urged Speaker Nancy Pelosi to bring House members back from recess next week to investigate whether the Trump administration is deliberately trying to cripple the U.S. Post Office months ahead of the presidential election.

Cooper said new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a major Trump donor, should be subpoenaed to testify and, if he refuses to cooperate, the House should have him arrested to force his testimony.

“If need be, we could even have the Sergeant at Arms arrest the Postmaster General,” Cooper told NewsChannel 5.

“This is completely outrageous conduct to dismantle the Post Office right in such a crucial time in American history.”

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

It’s not just ballots that are being slowed. It’s life-saving medication and checks for our veterans and our elderly. Tampering with the mail is a federal crime, and DeJoy — on Trump’s orders — is tampering.

— Jim Cooper (@repjimcooper) August 15, 2020

Virginia Congressman Gerry Connolly (D) on Sunday also 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 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

Although “inherent contempt” has not been used by Congress in nearly a hundred years, it allows for “a substantial fine and imprisonment for up to one year,” according to the Congressional Research Service.

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