Political News

Postmaster General donated nearly $700,000 to Trump's Charlotte convention, new filings show

Posted October 10, 2020 10:15 a.m. EDT
Updated October 10, 2020 11:18 a.m. EDT

— Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who has faced intense scrutiny from Democrats over changes he has made to the US Postal Service, donated more than $685,000 to the host committee that worked to stage the Republican National Convention, new filings show.

DeJoy, a North Carolina businessman and Republican mega-donor, was the lead fundraiser for the convention before he was tapped to lead the USPS. DeJoy's relationship with President Donald Trump, along with the President's repeated false claims that mail-in voting is rife with fraud, has sparked allegations that the administration is using the nation's mail system to sway the election. DeJoy has denied the allegations.

The new filings Friday at the Federal Election Commission from the Charlotte Host Committee show four donations from DeJoy between late December 2018 and late March 2020, totaling $685,230.

DeJoy and the Trump campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Convention host committees are nonprofit organizations that rely on donations from corporations and individuals to support the splashy quadrennial events for each political party and highlight the communities in which the conventions are based. The fundraising and planning starts years before the actual events.

But the coronavirus pandemic upended traditional campaigning and conventions this year. Trump pushed to move his convention from Charlotte after battling with the state's Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper over pandemic-related limits on the size of crowds. But in July, in the face of rising coronavirus infection rates in his second-choice state, Trump canceled portions of the convention that were slated to be held in Jacksonville, Florida.

In the end, Trump accepted his party's nomination from the South Lawn of the White House -- bending norms about the use of federal property for politicking.

In all, the Charlotte committee took in more than $44 million and spent more than $38 million.

DeJoy's donations topped those of some corporate interests. The American Petroleum Institute donated $1.5 million. Software maker Oracle gave $500,000. Private prison companies, CoreCivic and Geo Group, each contributed $250,000.

Other large corporate donors included Charlotte-based companies Bank of America at more than $5.2 million and Duke Energy at $4 million. AT&T donated $1 million to the host committee, the filings show. CNN is owned by AT&T through its WarnerMedia arm.

A House committee last month announced it was starting an investigation into DeJoy, following reports that he had reimbursed employees at his former company for donating to GOP candidates.

At the time, a spokesman for DeJoy said he received legal counsel from a former Federal Election Commission official to ensure he and the company were complying with the law.

DeJoy serves under the board of governors and is not a presidential appointee. However, the board is currently all Trump appointees. There are several vacancies, and many of the current members' terms expire in 2021 and 2022.

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