A House Democrat on Friday proposed the creation of a Presidential Crimes Commission, a panel that would investigate allegations against President Trump and his administration after he leaves office.
“I don’t say this lightly: when we escape this Trump hell, America needs a Presidential Crimes Commission. It should be made up of independent prosecutors who look at those who enabled a corrupt president. Example 1: Sabotaging the mail to win an election. #SaveThePostOffice,” U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., tweeted.
Swalwell’s tweet follows a recent statement by President Trump that he would actively prevent Democrats from being able to fund the U.S. Postal Service in order to prevent mail-in voting.
The Postal Service further announced Friday that voters in 46 states were at risk of being unable to receive their mail-in ballots in time for the Nov. 3 presidential election – largely because of funding issues.
The Postal Service sent letters to 46 states and the District of Columbia, warning that state deadlines for requesting, receiving and returning mail-in ballots may not realistic for the Postal Service to meet.
Tens of millions of Americans are expected submit their votes by mail-in ballot, not only because it is customary for many, but increasingly because of concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. Individuals most at risk, for example, such as the elderly or those with pre-existing medical conditions, may prefer a mail-in ballot rather than travel to an in-person polling station.
The letters to the states explicitly warn that even if voters meet the state deadlines, their votes may not be counted because of potential mishaps or logistical issues at the Postal Service.
Democratic lawmakers have requested that $3.5 billion be granted to the Postal Service specifically to assist with the handling of mail-in ballots.
“They [Democrats] want $25 billion for the post office. Now, they need that money in order to have the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots,” Trump said Thursday.
“But if they don’t get those two items, that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting because they’re not equipped to have it,” he added.
The president said Friday he would consider agreeing to fund the Postal Service if Democrats made concessions regarding the next coronavirus stimulus package.
U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., speaks to reporters outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, July 10, 2018. (Getty Images)
Democrats have proposed a $3 trillion relief bill but GOP lawmakers have called that request a nonstarter and proposed a $1 trillion package instead. Democratic lawmakers suggested meeting in the middle, the White House rejected the proposal.
“We’ll take down $1 trillion if you add $1 trillion in,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters last week. “They said absolutely not.”
Pelosi has pointed out that U.S. citizens rely on the Postal Service for far more than just mail-in voting. For example, she said many people receive their medical prescriptions and even their paychecks through the mail.
President Trump has insisted that a deal is key for Democrats to get what they want.
“If we don’t make a deal, that means they don’t get the money. That means they can’t have universal mail-in voting. They just can’t have it,” Trump said in a Fox News interview Thursday.
Trump has railed against mail-in voting for months, claimed the ballots have been “sent to dogs” and “dead people,” though without providing evidence.
But despite his criticism, Trump and members of his family have used mail-in voting themselves in the past, and a Palm Beach County, Fla., election website shows the president and first lady Melania Trump have requested mail-in ballots for Florida’s primary election next Tuesday, USA Today reported.
“Mail-In Voting, unless changed by the courts, will lead to the most CORRUPT ELECTION in our Nation’s History! #RIGGEDELECTION,” the president tweeted in July, one of many Trump tweets making such claims.
But in Washington state, where voting is done entirely by mail, the Republican Secretary of State, Kim Wyman, urged against politicizing the Postal Service.
“Politicizing these administrative processes is dangerous and undermines public confidence in our elections,” Wyman said in a statement. “This volume of work is by no means unusual, and is an operation I am confident the U.S. Postal Service is sufficiently prepared to fulfill.”
Fox News’ Morgan Phillips contributed to this report.