Looks like Louis DeJoy may be the latest Trump administration official to earn himself the label "indicted" next to his name if reports of potential federal and state crimes are true. On Sunday the Washington Post reported some very disturbing details about how DeJoy raised funds for the Republican Party while running businesses in North Carolina using a practice that "left many employees feeling pressured to make political contributions to GOP candidates" which reportedly led to DeJoy reimbursing them "through bonuses" at work - a practice which is patently illegal. DeJoy was actually asked about this directly during his testimony just a few weeks ago to Congress and he said he had never reimbursed employees - so, if true, he lied to Congress as well - which is ANOTHER crime.
Five different people who worked at New Breed Logistics, DeJoy's former company, say they were "urged" to "write checks and attend fundraisers" to raise money for Republicans running for Congress or the White House. Two other employees who were familiar with the payroll system told the Post that DeJoy would personally "instruct that bonus payments to staffers be boosted to help defray the cost of their contributions" which is completely illegal.
David Young, DeJoy's former director of HR, told the Post “Louis was a national fundraiser for the Republican Party. He asked employees for money. We gave him the money, and then he reciprocated by giving us big bonuses. When we got our bonuses, let’s just say they were bigger, they exceeded expectations — and that covered the tax and everything else.”
Another executive, who wanted to remain anonymous, backed up Young's statement, describing how DeJoy would increase compensation for employees who made contributions to Republicans, personally "instructing managers to award bonuses to specific individuals." The anonymous employee said: “he would ask employees to make contributions at the same time that he would say, ‘I’ll get it back to you down the road'."
Illegal. Completely illegal.
A spokesman for DeJoy said DeJoy was "not aware that any employees had felt pressured to make donations. LOL. That is not going to fly in court, especially if people are willing to go on the record to explain the scheme to a grand jury. The spokesman refused to comment on the reimbursement scheme, only saying that "DeJoy believes that all campaign fundraising laws and regulations should be complied with in all respects.” Except, apparently, when it comes to him.
During his testimony in front of Congress on August 24th DeJoy was asked DIRECTLY if he had reimbursed employees for political donations. He denied it. Here is exchange:
Aug. 24, 2020
COOPER: Did you pay back several of your top executives for contributing to Trump's campaign by bonus-ing or rewarding them?
DEJOY: That's an outrageous claim, sir, and I resent it. … The answer is no. … I'm fully aware of legal campaign contributions. pic.twitter.com/3OjJK9U0on
— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) September 6, 2020
Oh. So....that would be a lie. To Congress. Which is a crime.
The Washington Post investigated the donations made by employees of New Breed and detected unique patterms where donations were made to Republican candidates "with the same amount often given by multiple people on the same day. Between 2000 and 2014, 124 individuals who worked for the company together gave more than $1 million to federal and state GOP candidates. Many had not previously made political donations, and have not made any since leaving the company, public records show. During the same period, nine employees gave a combined $700 to Democrats."
That would be something interesting for authorities to investigate.
A reminder: it is totally legal to *encourage* employees to donate. But reimbursing them for those contributions is against both state and federal election laws under something called a "straw-donor scheme" which is a way people try to get around contribution limits if they have maxed out their individual donations. In essence, it hides the real source of the money. Shady. And illegal, if that wasn't clear.
The federal violations have a five-year statute of limitations, so we are most likely past that. And Trump would definitely have pardoned him. But there is NO statute of limitations in North Carolina for state campaign finance violations and Trump has no pardon power for state violations. Oh, and lying to Congress. That is just 2 weeks old.
It will be fascinating to see if this is investigated further and what, if any, ramifications DeJoy suffers due to lying to Congress. Is this yet another instance of Everything Trump Touches Dies? None of this would have come to light had DeJoy just stayed away from the Trump administration. But the desire for power draws these criminals to the firepit, only for their crimes to be put on full display.