Pennsylvania postal worker recants claims of voting ‘irregularities’ — says that Project Veritas penned his affidavit
Although Joe Biden has a decisive lead in the Pennsylvania vote count — winning enough votes in the Electoral College to surpass the necessary 270 — President Donald Trump and his supporters, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (Trump's personal attorney), have refused to acknowledge that Biden won the Keystone State. Trump allies are claiming, without any evidence, that widespread voter fraud robbed him of a victory in Pennsylvania, citing previous statements by Pennsylvania postal worker Richard Hopkins as proof. But the Washington Post is reporting that Hopkins has "recanted" earlier claims and said that the far-right group Project Veritas penned the affidavit in which those claims were made.
"In an interview this week with federal agents," Washington Post journalists Shawn Boburg, Jacob Bogage and Dalton Bennett are reporting, "a Pennsylvania postal worker walked back his allegation that a supervisor had tampered with mailed ballots, saying he had made 'assumptions' based on overheard snippets of conversation, according to an audio recording of the interview posted online Wednesday, (November 11) by activists who have championed his cause. The two-hour recording shows that Richard Hopkins recanted claims he had made in a sworn affidavit that top Republicans cited over the weekend as potential evidence of widespread election irregularities and fraud."
The recording has been posted on YouTube by Project Veritas, a far-right group founded by wingnut James O'Keefe in 2010 during then-President Barack Obama's first term. Project Veritas claims Hopkins was manipulated and bullied by federal investigators, but according to the Post, Hopkins' statements during the interview found him taking back what he had previously said.
Boburg, Bogage and Bennett report, "Hopkins told federal investigators on Monday, (November 9) his allegations were based on fragments of conversation among co-workers in a noisy mail facility in Erie, PA, according to the recording. When an agent from the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General asked Hopkins if he stood by his sworn statement that a supervisor 'was backdating ballots' mailed after Election Day, Hopkins answered, 'At this point? No.'"
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of Trump's most prominent allies in the GOP, has joined the president in making baseless claims of widespread voter fraud. And Hopkins' earlier statements, the Post reporters note, "prompted" Graham "to call for the Justice Department to investigate."
According to Boburg, Bogage and Bennett, "Hopkins surreptitiously recorded the interview on Monday, then revealed to the agents that he had done so at the end of the session, according to the recording. Project Veritas, an organization that initially aired Hopkins' claims last week, released the recording on Wednesday, claiming that it showed he was coerced and pressured into signing a 'watered down statement drafted by them using their words.'"
Project Veritas, the reporters note, "has sought to bolster unproven allegations of widespread voter fraud, offering a $25,000 reward for evidence of election improprieties in Pennsylvania in recent days and promoting fundraising efforts for Hopkins."
Votes in the 2020 presidential election are still being counted in some key battleground states, and when all is said and done, Biden might end up with more than 300 electoral votes.
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