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President Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a "Keep America Great" rally at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. February 19, 2020. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

Congressman wants N.J. Attorney General to launch state grand jury probe of Trump post office moves

Pascrell calls post office ‘electoral heart and engine of New Jersey’s and America’s electoral machinery’

By David Wildstein, August 14 2020 7:09 pm

A New Jersey congressman is seeking a state grand jury probe after a statement by President Donald Trump that he is holding back funding to the U.S. Postal Service to inhibit the delivery of vote-by-mail ballots.

Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson) has made a criminal referral to Attorney General Gurbir Grewal to determine if Trump and U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy played a criminal role in disrupting  state elections in New Jersey.

“Trump’s open admission confirms recent reporting of widespread delays to Americans’ mail and package delivery and the deliberate sabotage of USPS functions and operations at the behest of administration orders,” Pascrell said in a letter to Grewal.  “This includes the removal of hundreds of mail sorting machines from postal facilities across the country — with some being thrown into dumpsters — and orders from Postmaster DeJoy to deliberately slow mail service.

According to Pascrell, the state attorney general has jurisdiction over interference in vote-by-mail and state elections.

Gov. Phil Murphy today ordered the general election to be conducted primarily through vote-by-mail balloting.

“Only 81 days remain before the general election this fall, and voting will commence much sooner in a matter of weeks,” the 12-term congressman said.  “Amid this ongoing pandemic, the USPS will be the electoral heart and engine of New Jersey’s and America’s electoral machinery.”

Pascrell also voiced an objection to DeJoy’s order that election officials must pay first class postage rates for VBM ballots.

He asked Grewal to “please act decisively.”

“American democracy is today in question,” Pascrell said. “What we do today can make a difference in our future.

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