FEC dismisses complaints filed against Louis DeJoy alleging straw donor scheme

By Tierney Sneed, CNN

The Federal Election Commission voted to dismiss two complaints filed by watchdog groups against US Postmaster General Louis DeJoy that alleged a straw donor scheme at his former company.

The complaints were filed last year after reports in The Washington Post and The New York Times detailed the claims of former employees of DeJoy’s company, who said they were pressured to donate to Republican candidates and then were reimbursed for those donations. The watchdog groups alleged that such conduct violated campaign finance law limiting corporate contributions and prohibiting contributions that are made in the name of another person.

The commission’s acting general counsel recommended that the agency dismiss the two complaints, according to files from the FEC reviews that were posted to its website. FEC acting General Counsel Lisa J. Stevenson wrote in April reports that the allegations lacked corroboration, and she pointed to the specificity of the rebuttals in the affidavits filed by several employees of DeJoy’s company, XPO Logistics. The general counsel reports also raised concerns that most of the alleged conduct may have happened outside the statute of limitations.

The FEC voted 4-1 to dismiss the two complaints in late October and the parties were notified last month that the cases were being closed. The agency makes case documents public 30 days after those notifications are sent.

In the wake of the September 2020 reports from the Times and Post, the FBI also launched an investigation into DeJoy. That status of that investigation is not publicly known.

In its review of the campaign finance complaints, the FEC voted 3-2 against a directive that the agency’s lawyers reach out to the Justice Department, according to the files from the cases that are now public.

Jordan Libowitz, a spokesperson for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, one of the watchdog groups that filed the complaint, said the organization was “disappointed to see our complaint dismissed.” The other group that filed a complaint, Campaign Legal Center, did not immediately provide comment on the dismissal.

A lawyer for DeJoy did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.

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