Latest James O'Keefe 'election fraud' claim crumbles — but not before Barr used it cast doubt on election

Latest James O'Keefe 'election fraud' claim crumbles — but not before Barr used it cast doubt on election
Photo via the White House.

Fraudster and felon James O'Keefe took advantage of the chaos at the U.S. Postal Service to do his usual thing: commit fraud in order to prove that voter fraud is real. In this case, he conned a postal worker into claiming postal workers in Erie, Pennsylvania were instructed to backdate ballots mailed after Election Day. The postal worker, Richard Hopkins, has recanted, telling postal workers that he made it all up. But not after Trump's little BFF Sen. Lindsey Graham used the allegations to ask the Justice Department for a federal investigation. Which Trump-owned Attorney General William Barr then opened.

When shit got real and it came to lying to investigators from the U.S. Postal Service's Office of Inspector General, Hopkins got cold feet. Officials told both The Washington Post and the House Oversight Committee that he recanted in a signed affidavit, saying that he had lied. And then in a video tweeted out by O'Keefe, Hopkins recanted his recanting. Which probably had more to do with trying to preserve the $136,000 he'd raised on a GoFundMe page by Tuesday evening. If so, it was in vain. GoFundMe's Bobby Whitmore told the Post the money raised on the site was "not disbursed and Hopkins never had access to the funds." O'Keefe is undaunted, as usual, and says that he's got recordings of the investigators coercing Hopkins and pressuring him to sign a document he didn't understand. Which seems pretty farfetched—the guy had to understand what "I lied before" means.

That Graham and Barr are using O'Keefe to call the results into question in Pennsylvania is so Trumpy it's disgusting. And completely predictable. When it comes down to whether there was any actual fraud in Pennsylvania, though, and when lawyers are facing a judge, in court, the fraud claims melt. When it comes to real legal jeopardy of lying about voter fraud—interfering in an election, which is a crime—these people fold.

There's another bit of fraud by the Trump campaign, though, that could be happening. Remember how the Trump campaign in Wisconsin was recruiting volunteers to call Pennsylvania Republicans to get them to send in ballots after the election? Illegally? Well, thousands of ballots were received in post offices Monday, which "included hundreds meant for closely fought contests in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Arizona." More than 400 were received in Pennsylvania. None of them will count. Pennsylvania is the only state among the aforementioned ones that had an extended deadline for receiving ballots, but the deadline was this past Friday.

Whether that actually was part of the Trump campaign's fraudulent call for voter fraud or just people who don't understand how elections work is unknown. But knowing how Republicans love to commit voter fraud, you've got to wonder.

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