Pascrell, Malinowski, Sires Blast Postal Inspection Blockade
On eve of election, members excoriate denial of facility access, continued politicization by DeJoy regime
Kearny, NJ, October 19, 2020
Visiting a major East Coast postal facility, U.S. Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), Tom Malinowski (D-NJ-07), and Albio Sires (D-NJ-08) today furiously assailed the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) refusal to allow the members to enter and inspect the Dominic V. Daniels Processing and Distribution Center to assess USPS’s ability to carry out New Jersey’s ongoing all-vote-by-mail election.
“The refusal of USPS officials to allow us to inspect the Daniels facility is a disgrace and it is completely illegal,” said Rep. Pascrell, one of Congress’s leading champions of the Post Office. “I visited this same facility weeks before the 2018 midterms and now they’re making up phony excuses to keep us out now. It has all the markings of Louis DeJoy, who should be hauled before a criminal grand jury for what he’s done. This isn’t Area 51 – our congressional delegation must have access to see if USPS can handle the millions of ballots being cast this election. And New Jerseyans have a right to know if their votes are secure. This isn’t politics: it’s about protecting our democracy from Trump and DeJoy’s arson.”
“The independent Office of the Special Counsel made it very clear that Members of Congress should not be impeded from visiting federal facilities to conduct congressionally mandated oversight,” said Rep. Malinowski. “For months we have been blocked from doing our job to ensure that the USPS is ready for this election. Today’s continued refusal is unacceptable, and Postmaster General DeJoy must be held accountable for his repeated attempts to disrupt mail-in-voting.”
“The decision by USPS to refuse access to the Dominick V. Daniels Processing and Distribution Center in Kearny is deeply troubling,” said Rep. Sires. “USPS taking active steps to deny entry to this facility is a perfect example of why my colleagues and I wanted to run an inspection. Ahead of the November election, when a record number of ballots are set to be sent by mail, it is crucial we ensure the integrity and ability of the postal service to faithfully and securely transfer these ballots. Our congressional delegation should be granted access to the facility so we can be certain that the ballots of New Jerseyan’s are being processed correctly.”
On September 30, Pascrell led members of the New Jersey Congressional Delegation in a letter to Postmaster General DeJoy demanding an emergency visit to the Daniels Center in Kearny and requesting information on USPS’s ability to carry out New Jersey’s all vote-by-mail general election.
North Jersey has been plagued by reports of mail found discarded and undelivered. On October 4, mail bound for West Orange was discovered in a dumpster in North Arlington. On April 25, mail, including ballots for municipal elections, was discovered dumped in several apartment building lobbies across Belleville. On May 5, stacks of ballots were similarly left strewn across the floor of apartment lobbies in Paterson.
Since this crisis began, Rep. Pascrell has been aggressively demanding accountability. On May 21, Pascrell wrote to USPS Inspector General Tammy Whitcomb demanding an investigation of turmoil at the USPS, purportedly stemming from a pattern of interference engineered by the Trump administration in its efforts to destabilize the post office. On August 12, Pascrell again called on IG Whitcomb to probe postal turmoil. After soliciting responses from constituents, Rep. Pascrell released a slate of stories from North Jersey residents in the Ninth District describing the impact of Trump and Republicans’ vicious vandalism against USPS.
And on October 7, Reps. Pascrell, Sires, and Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ-11) called for the USPS Inspector General to open a new probe into the habitually abandoned mail in North Jersey, as well as of USPS brass’s illegal blocking of congressional access to postal facilities.
On August 14, Pascrell became the first member of Congress to call for DeJoy and Donald Trump to be investigated by a state criminal grand jury for their arsoning the Post Office, making a criminal referral to New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal alleging Trump and DeJoy are subverting state elections.