USPS employee who claimed mail-in ballot tampering recants allegations, officials say

Pennsylvania Headlines

The United States Postal Service logo is seen on a mailbox outside a post office in Los Angeles, California, August 17, 2020. – The United States Postal Service is popularly known for delivering mail despite snow, rain or heat, but it faces a new foe in President Donald Trump. Ahead of the November 3 elections in which millions of voters are expected to cast ballots by mail due to the coronavirus, Trump has leveled an unprecedented attack at the USPS, opposing efforts to give the cash-strapped agency more money as part of a big new virus-related stimulus package, even as changes there have caused delays in mail delivery. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

ERIE, Pa. (WBTW) — A United States Postal Service worker who made claims of mail-in ballot tampering in Pennsylvania — which Senator Lindsey Graham called for investigation into — recanted his allegations Monday, according to the House Oversight Committee.

The USPS employee, identified as Richard Hopkins, signed a sworn affidavit alleging ballot tampering and fraud. In the affidavit, the postal worker alleged that postal supervisory officials hatched a plan to backdate ballots mailed after the election.

The Oversight Committee said Hopkins, who was interviewed by investigators Friday and Monday, recanted the allegations without saying why he signed a false affidavit. There is no word if Hopkins will face perjury charges.

Shortly after the Oversight Committee’s tweet, Project Veritas, a conservative website that researchers say has used “misleading or inaccurate information” to create a disinformation campaign around the U.S. presidential election, released a video that shows Hopkins denying that he had recanted.

On Tuesday evening, Twitter marked Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe’s tweet announcing the update as “disputed.”

Hopkins made the initial claim against Erie, Pennsylvania USPS officials last Wednesday in a Project Veritas video.

Over the weekend, Erie’s postmaster, Robert Weisenbach, Erie’s postmaster, blasted Hopkins’ claims as “100% false.”

Local news outlet GoErie.com reports that Weisenbach wrote on Facebook: “There has been awful things posted about the USPS and here is my statement. The allegations made against me and the Erie Post Office are 100% false made by an employee that was recently disciplined multiple times.”

Lindsey Graham received a copy of Hopkin’s affidavit and called for an investigation into the matter.

Graham’s statement read, in part:

“I will be calling on the Department of Justice to investigate these claims. I’ll also be in contact with the Postmaster General, requesting he to look into these allegations, ones that may follow, and help secure the testimony of Mr. Hopkins. Mr. Hopkins is entitled to all whistleblower protections, and I will ensure they extend to other postal workers who may come forward with claims of irregulates, misconduct, fraud, etc.”

Lindsey Graham’s office had not responded to requests for comment as of Tuesday evening.

A GoFundMe created for Hopkins that garnered more than $100,000 in donations was taken down Tuesday.

Requests for comment were not returned by the USPS Officer of the Inspector General Tuesday evening. Attempts to contact Richard Hopkins were unsuccessful.

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