Virginia Democratic Representative Gerry Connolly blasted Ohio Republican Representative and staunch Trump ally Jim Jordan, telling him during a hearing on the postal service that he “will not be lectured” about partisanship by people who voted to overturn the election.
The hearing before the House Oversight Committee included questioning of the president of the American Postal Workers Union Mark Dimondstein and the Postmaster-General, Trump appointee Louis DeJoy.
Mr Jordan defended Mr DeJoy who he argued had been unfairly criticised by Democrats during the lead-up to the 2020 election, saying: “They accused you of things, they said you were restricting overtime – False. They told you you were taking the collection boxes, doing something that had never been done before, even though it had been done by every Postmaster-General.
“12,000 had been moved by the Obama administration Postmaster-General, but oh somehow you were the worst. Again, all under the guise of creating this crazy chaos that they wanted around the election relative to mail-in balloting, and you were the guy they used to start it all in the summer… They had you as the worst guy on the planet back then and everything seems to be so much better now.”
Addressing Mr Dimondstein, Mr Connolly said: “All the gaslighting that we just heard does not change facts.
“Mr Dimondstein, am I making this up, as Mr Jordan apparently would have you believe, that the President of the United States last summer, Donald J. Trump publicly said voting by mail would lead to massive fraud. Did he say that, or is that am I imagining that, Mr Dimondstein?”
The union boss replied: “I don’t think you’re imagining it. What I recall him saying at one point is he was going to make sure that the Postal Service got no financial Covid emergency relief…”
Interrupting, Mr Connolly added: “The point is, it was Donald Trump, the Republican nominee who was planting the idea, aided and abetted by disruptive changes proposed by a new Postmaster-General, and a compliant Board of Governors, that actually eroded public confidence in the ability to vote by mail.
“That wasn’t a Democratic narrative, that was a Republican narrative by the President of the United States and his enablers… I didn’t vote to overturn an election and I will not be lectured by people who did about partisanship.”
During a hearing in front of the same panel, the House Oversight Committee, in August 2020, Mr DeJoy denied that he was behind the move to cut overtime pay.
In a statement to the panel, Mr DeJoy said in August: “I did not direct the cutback on hours at any of our postal offices, and finally I did not direct the elimination or any cutback in overtime,” adding, “I did, however, suspend these practices to remove any misperceptions about our commitment to delivering the nation’s election mail”.
A CNN fact check said this statement was “highly misleading”. An internal memo at the postal service dated July 10, 2020, didn’t state explicitly that overtime pay was ending but it did set out conditions with that end result, according to union officials.
According to the Pew Research Center, 58 per cent of Biden voters said they voted by mail in the 2020 election. The same was true for 32 per cent of Trump voters, despite his constant false claims that mail voting was rife with fraud.