Sanders Warns of Trump Effort to ‘Destroy the Post Office to Sabotage This Election’

Common Dreams – by Andrea Germanos – August 15, 2020

The warning from the Vermont senator follows a USPS announcement that it’s halting its collection of mailboxes in multiple states—which voting rights advocates rebuked as evidence of “massive voter suppression.”

We will not let Trump destroy the Post Office to sabotage this election. This is a democracy, not a dictatorship.”

So declared Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Twitter Saturday as he released a video documenting the president’s own statements and recent changes imposed by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to make the case that President Donald Trump is “trying to destroy the Postal Service.”

Sanders’s new video came after the U.S. Postal Service announced it was halting the removal of mailboxes in several states—actions that prompted outrage and further fueled voting rights advocates’ accusations that Trump is sabotaging the service in the lead-up to the November elections.

NBC Montana reported Friday morning that the Postal Service had 68 mail collection boxes slated for removal across the state, which a USPS spokesperson dismissed as reflecting “normal operational procedure” based on mail volume.

Mailbox removals were reported in multiple other states as well.

A USPS spokesperson told CNN Friday night that the collection of boxes would be on hold in Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Iowa, Alaska, Nebraska, and parts of Wisconsin and Missouri. CNN noted that it’s unclear “if the removal freeze would go into effect across the nation.” From the outlet:

Officials say that in the last week the USPS has removed letter collection boxes in at least four states: New York, Oregon, Montana, and Indiana. The USPS has also begun notifying postal workers in at least three states—West Virginia, Florida and Missouri—that they will start to reduce their retail operating hours, according to union officials.

The collections drew swift rebuke from progressives on social media and even a jab from sartorial news site The Onion with a headline “Trump Online Store Begins Selling Decommissioned USPS Mailboxes So Fans Can Own Piece of History.” The farcical ad says that the boxes “may contain up to 10,000 mail-in ballots.”

Democrat Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, where dozens of mailboxes were removed this week, voiced concern.

In a Friday tweet, Wyden wrote that the president—who essentially admitted this week he’s blocking funding of USPS to thwart an expansion of mail-in ballots, and whose “handpicked” and campaign donor postmaster general has imposed sweeping policy changes at USPS being blamed for delivery delays—has a clear motive.

“Donald Trump isn’t *trying* to sabotage our elections. He’s doing it right under our noses. This is voter suppression and Senate Republicans are letting him get away with it,” Wyden tweeted.

News also emerged Friday that the inspector general at the Postal Service is beginning a review of the DeJoy-imposed changes.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who joined other top Democrats in requesting the IG probe, responded to the development tweeting, “I’ll keep using every in the toolbox to stop Trump and DeJoy from sabotaging the USPS.”

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Posted by Teri Perticone


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