Up until fairly recently, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy maintained a low political profile. I've been blogging since 2003, and when I checked my archive this week for previous references to the Republican campaign donor, I found just one item that referenced him briefly in passing.
In April 2017, the Republican National Committee issued a press release introducing the members of its finance team, which was responsible for helping raise money for Donald Trump and his party. The RNC later took this press release down, but the Wayback Machine held onto it, and it's worth revisiting three-and-a-half years later:
Today Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and RNC Finance Chairman Steve Wynn announced additional members of the RNC's Finance leadership team: "I am delighted to announce the addition of these longtime friends of the Party and supporters of this administration to our Finance leadership team," said Chairwoman McDaniel. "Elliott Broidy, Michael Cohen, and Louis DeJoy will serve as National Deputy Finance Chairmen...."
Little did we know at the time what would soon become of the four men listed in this press statement. Steve Wynn, for example, was forced to resign from his RNC post following sexual misconduct allegations. (The RNC was pressed to return his money. It refused.)
Elliott Broidy, as regular viewers of The Rachel Maddow Show know, found himself at the center of multiple controversies.
Michael Cohen, of course, was recently released from prison, and will apparently soon release a highly provocative book.
And then there's the fourth name on the list: Louis DeJoy, the nation's current postmaster general, who appears to be helping Trump sabotage his own country's postal system, and who appears to be facing some awkward ethics questions.
I guess it's not too surprising the Republican National Committee took down that 2017 press release. The four former finance chairs of Trump's party proved to be quite the motley crew.
Just as importantly, those partisan affiliations are not a part of the postmaster general's past. The Washington Post reported overnight that DeJoy is "in frequent contact with top Republican Party officials" and met with the president in the Oval Office as recently last week -- ahead of DeJoy's meeting with congressional Democrats, who are eager to save the U.S. Postal System from Trump's efforts to undermine it.
The revelations only add to an unsettling dynamic: why would the postmaster general feel the need to remain in frequent contact with top Republican Party officials? For what reason does DeJoy need to coordinate with Donald Trump ahead of a discussion with Democratic leaders?
Meanwhile, Team Trump's campaign against the nation's mail service -- a campaign the president has admitted is part of a scheme to interfere with Americans' ability to vote -- appears to be intensifying by the day. USPS officials in Pennsylvania, for example, have warned that it's unlikely the system will be able to "request, complete and return mail-in ballots" in this key battleground state in time for them to be counted.
Also yesterday, CNN reported that USPS officials aren't just turning off high-volume mail-processing machines in post-office facilities across the country, in June, they started removing the machines altogether.
Steve Wynn, Elliott Broidy, Michael Cohen, and Louis DeJoy. It would've been hard to guess in April 2017 which of these four Republicans would end up doing the most harm to the largest number of people.
Update: Trump told reporters the other day that he hasn't spoken to the postmaster general, a claim that's contradicted by the Washington Post's reporting. Asked for an explanation, the White House told the newspaper the president spoke to DeJoy simply to congratulate him on his confirmation to the post.
DeJoy was confirmed in May. Why have a "congratulatory" Oval Office meeting three months later?