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Pennsylvania Mail Carrier Reportedly Recants Allegations On Ballot Tampering; UPDATE: Mail Carrier Rejects Report

UPDATE: Postal worker later says on video he did not recant his ballot tampering allegations

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CHICAGO - AUGUST 25: United States Postal Service trucks sit outside the Roberto Clemente Post Office August 25, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois. The Postal Service announced it would offer $15,000 for buyouts of up to 30,000 employees eligible for retirement, early retirement, or those in select positions.
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Postal worker Richard Hopkins has allegedly recanted his allegations concerning ballot tampering in Pennsylvania, The Washington Post reported Tuesday night.

Hopkins, an Erie, Pennsylvania, mail carrier, claimed in a signed affidavit under the penalty of perjury that he was instructed to collect late ballots, with the apparent intent from Postmaster Rob Weisenbach to backdate the votes. 

“Erie, Pa. #USPS whistleblower completely RECANTED his allegations of a supervisor tampering with mail-in ballots after being questioned by investigators, according to IG,” posted the Twitter account for the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, headed by Democratic Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney.

“Here are the facts: Richard Hopkins is a USPS employee in Erie, Pa. He signed a sworn affidavit with allegations of ballot tampering/fraud and went public through Project Veritas. #USPS IG began investigating last week,” a follow-up tweet read. 

#USPS IG investigators informed Committee staff today that they interviewed Hopkins on Friday, but that Hopkins RECANTED HIS ALLEGATIONS yesterday and did not explain why he signed a false affidavit,” the committee added. 

Democratic Rep. Maloney captioned the thread: “False allegations like this are meant to sow distrust. We can’t let this misinformation erode trust in our democracy. This trusted process let millions of Americans vote safely in the midst of #COVID19. Any assertions to the contrary are an attack on voters and our elections.”

James O’Keefe of Project Veritas quickly responded to the committee’s tweets, claiming he has video to prove Hopkins was “coerced” into recanting.

“We have recordings of the federal agents, who COERCED this man through a 4 hour interrogation without representation, who stands by his original affidavit re: backdating ballots,” O’Keefe posted. “Standby for recordings doubling down on backdating ballots. This is soviet style truth suppression.”

Responding to accusations that his Project Veritas video concerning the claims was “false,” O’Keefe retorted: “Video not false. USPS official stands by his original affidavit. We have tapes of fed agents WHO PUT PRESSURE ON HIM to sign something he didn’t understand. THEY WOULDN’T LET HIM LEAVE He’s doubling down. You’re trying to get us deplatformed. You’re losing.”

In another tweet, O’Keefe said he has video evidence to support his claims and will “show them to the world.”

Earlier this week, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) urged the Department of Justice and the postmaster general to look into the apparently now-recanted allegations from Hopkins.

“Although, as I understand Pennsylvania law, ballots must be  postmarked by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day, November 3, 2020 in Pennsylvania, Postmaster Rob Weisenbach directed my co-workers and I to pick up ballots after Election Day and provide them to him,” Hopkins said in the affidavit, adding, “I heard Weisenbach tell a supervisor at my office that Weisenbach was back-dating the postmarks on the ballots to make it appear as though the ballots had been collected on November 3, 2020 despite them in fact being collected on November 4 and  possibly later.”

UPDATE 8:15 p.m.: 

Later on Tuesday night, O’Keefe dropped video of Hopkins claiming he did not recant his allegations and would like a retraction from The Washington Post.

“My name is Richard Hopkins, I am the postal employee who came out and whistle-blew on the Erie, PA, postal office,” he says in the video.

“I am, right at this very moment, looking at an article written by Washington Post. It says that I fabricated the allegations of ballot tampering,” Hopkins continued. “I am here to say I did not recant my statements. That did not happen. That’s not what happened. And you will find out, tomorrow.”

“And I would like that The Washington Post recant their wonderful little article that they decided to throw out there,” the postal worker added.

O’Keefe initially tweeted out the video, but later appeared to delete it. It is, however, still posted to the Project Veritas YouTube page.

In another post, O’Keefe published a video of Hopkins allegedly being pressed by Agent Russell Strasser and later telling O’Keefe he still stands by his claims:

In a follow-up tweet, he added: “Richard Hopkins, a Combat Veteran and a marine with a daughter never asked to go public or for any of this. In the full interview released tomorrow, he said this harder than what he endured in Afghanistan. The post office has placed him on non-pay status.”

 

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