Over the weekend, Palmer Report documented several ways in which Donald Trump and his people had begun caving on their Post Office gambit. Trump flat out admitted during a press briefing that he was planning to trade the Post Office back to the House in exchange for concessions. Trump’s allies like McCarthy and Rubio publicly sided with the Post Office.
But the most important development was that Donald Trump’s Postmaster General Louis DeJoy agreed over the weekend to testify before the House in mid-September. This meant he was going to have to start playing defense in the name of protecting himself, making it harder for him to play offense. The House then seized on DeJoy’s display of weakness, by demanding that he testify next week instead. Now Politico says DeJoy has indeed agreed to testify next Monday.
As always, no one in politics ever has a magic wand. But now that DeJoy has agreed to testify on the timetable demanded by the House, it means the House has won this battle. DeJoy is clearly more interested in covering his own backside, than he is in trying to help Trump by dragging out a court battle over his testimony. Of course DeJoy is facing investigation by the Post Office Inspector General and the New Jersey Attorney General, the latter of whom can put him in prison, so DeJoy has a lot of backside-covering to worry about right now.
One consistent pattern in politics is that once someone starts incrementally caving, they usually have to keep caving. Louis DeJoy agreed to testify a month from now, which led to him ultimately having to cave and testify next week. This weakens Donald Trump’s negotiating position with the House, meaning he’ll likely try to cut a Post Office deal soon, before his negotiating leverage slips away further. It’s been clear for three days that the Post Office battle was trending in our favor, and now we’re seeing that more clearly.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report