The U.S. Treasury Department “demand[ed] operating control” of the U.S. Postal Service as a condition for approving a $10 billion loan to the agency, new documents reveal, heightening concerns about the extent to which the Trump administration is influencing the nonpartisan USPS.
Documents obtained by watchdog group American Oversight and reported by the Washington Post—some of which the USPS later ordered American Oversight to remove after the Post story was published, saying they were “mistakenly released”—show that the USPS enlisted law firm Mayer Brown to evaluate the Treasury Department’s conditions for the $10 billion loan.
The attorney was asked to analyze Treasury’s “unprecedented” demand for the USPS to “surrender its authority” to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin or the Federal Financing Bank, which the attorney concluded in a memo “would be illegal.”
The Treasury Department ultimately lent the money to the USPS in exchange for information about the agency’s private-sector contacts, but sources cited by the Post said Treasury continued to insist that “any loan…should result in it assuming operational control” of the USPS “for weeks.”