Benjamin Franklin, our first postmaster general, would weep.

Many Americans deplore what Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has done to politicize and demobilize the U.S. Postal Service, a constitutionally mandated service. Some are also questioning whether DeJoy has committed ethical and financial transgressions in his weeks in office.

DeJoy has said he will delay some of his controversial changes until after the Nov. 3 election to avoid even the appearance of election tampering. But he has declared repeatedly that he won’t replace the high-volume sorters he has taken out of service and that are critical to mail-in voting.

DeJoy, a wealthy Republican donor who contributed $1.2 million to the Trump Victory Fund, $1.3 million to the Republican Party and who was in charge of fundraising for the Republican National Convention, used the slowdowns he created to initially assert that his agency would be unable to process mail-in ballots in time for counting.

Were that to happen, tens of millions of voters who have long depended on this voting option would be disenfranchised. In a time of widespread contagion, this was an atrocious disregard of the Postal Service’s mission. Moreover, in purposely crippling the revered agency, DeJoy may have violated the 1948 federal statute against tampering with or slowing the delivery of mail.

Likewise, DeJoy has flouted another government standard, the one forbidding financial conflicts of interest. He has kept more than $30 million in holdings in a company called XPO Logistics, one of the Postal Service’s major contractors, according to CNN. DeJoy earlier sold a company he owned, New Breed Logistics, to XPO for $615 million. New Breed was long the subject of complaints about a sexist and racist culture under DeJoy’s leadership.

In the same report, CNN also described a dubious deal with Amazon, in which DeJoy recently sold up to $250,000 in stock but purchased up to $100,000 in much lower-priced stock options. Amazon — like DeJoy — could profit if Postal Service functions were to be curtailed.

Ordinarily, the board of governors of the U.S. Postal Service would investigate DeJoy’s alleged wrongdoings. However, the chairman, Robert Duncan, is a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, led the Senate Leadership Fund — a major Republican super PAC — and, according to published reports, is an expert in voter suppression. Duncan and all the other members are recent Trump appointees. Moreover, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin leaned on them heavily to appoint DeJoy, violating a 50-year tradition that has kept the Postal Service, an independent agency, free of political interference.

Unlike the vast swath of Americans who oppose the unwinding of the Postal Service and the 70 percent who support mail-in voting, an option that up to 80 million voters will choose this year, Congress is divided.

But in a rare bipartisan vote, the House of Representatives, in an urgent special session, adopted New York Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney’s Delivering for America Act. It requires the return of the high-volume sorters and blocks most of DeJoy’s other changes. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, however, has announced he won’t bring the legislation to the floor of the Senate, making it moot in its present form.

Maloney is also chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, where DeJoy, at a contentious hearing, faced blistering criticism from such Democratic firebrands as Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., a former ironworker, and Rep. Katie Porter, D-Calif., a single mom and Harvard Law protégé of Sen. Elizabeth Warren with a reputation for withering takedowns of administration officials. Republicans leapt to DeJoy’s defense numerous times. Maloney has announced that her committee would subpoena DeJoy and Duncan for documents they had refused to turn over about Postal Service operations and the board of governors’ communications with President Donald Trump.

No one knows what DeJoy will do next. In the meantime, please pass Mr. Franklin a tissue.

Martin W.G. King served as senior writer at the National Crime Prevention Council.

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