Postal worker recants false claim about ballot tampering

Postal worker recants false claim about ballot tampering
Image via Shutterstock.

A Pennsylvania postal worker who became Republicans' star witness after saying he was aware of widespread ballot tampering by the U.S. Post Office has recanted his claims. GOP donors paid have him $136,000 via a GoFundMe campaign.

"Richard Hopkins' claim that a postmaster in Erie, Pa., instructed postal workers to backdate ballots mailed after Election Day was cited by Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) in a letter to the Department of Justice calling for a federal investigation," The Washington Post reports. "Attorney General William P. Barr subsequently authorized federal prosecutors to open probes into credible allegations of voting irregularities and fraud, a reversal of long-standing Justice Department policy."

Hopkins has now signed an affidavit recanting his false claims, which the House Oversight Committee noted in a Twitter thread.

But last week James O'Keefe's Project Veritas, a far right wing propaganda machine that specializes in creating false narratives for Republicans to use against the left, promoted Hopkins' allegations. Later Hopkins allowed his name to be used.

"He was instantly celebrated by Trump supporters," The Post notes.

On Saturday O'Keefe called Hopkins "an American hero." By Tuesday a GoFundMe page bearing Hopkins' name "had raised more than $129,000 by Tuesday morning, with donors praising him as a patriot and whistleblower."

A video on that page shows a man identified as Hopkins, delivering the mail. The video at one point has a finger blocking the camera lens.

That page as of Tuesday evening lists $136,246 in donations.

"My name is Richard Hopkins and I currently work for the United States Postal Service in Erie, Pennsylvania and I am willing to testify under oath that 2020 Presidential Election ballots are being backdated to November 3rd by my supervisors," the page reads.

"I made the difficult decision to risk everything in my life to come forward with this information of extreme wrongdoing by the Post Office. I am uncertain of what the future holds for me but I felt the public had a right to know what is really going on. Your donations are going to help me in the case I am wrongfully terminated from my job or I am forced into resigning due to ostrizization [sic] by my coworkers. It will help me get a new start in a place I feel safe and help me with child support until I am able to get settled and get a job.The Post Office has already been threatening my employment. I am scared for myself, my family, and those closest to me. Thank you James O'Keefe and Project Veritas for letting me tell my story when others wouldn't. Please support me as I go forward with this battle."

One woman donated $50, saying: "I donated because I know how evil the left is and im certain they will do everything in their power to ruin this man for doing whats right!"

Another woman donated $100. She writes, "I am an American patriot who wholly supports this mans actions, I pray for his future and pray true Americans step in to help him through this. You're a warrior and a hero!"

And a man who donated $25 says, "We can not let fraud run rampant in this country! We must do what is right to protect the people that stick their necks out for all of us!!!"

A woman who gave $300 says, "I donated because Richard is behaving in a noble, courageous and righteous way. The Erie, Pennsylvania USPS is defrauding the 2020 election by backdating ballots which were mailed after the deadline of November 3, 2020. Those late ballots should be disqualified, but the fraudulent post mark of Nov. 3, 2020 on them will cause those late ballots to be counted. Counting late ballots is a criminal act. Richard is reporting the criminality he is witnessing."

And a $500 donor wrote simply, "It's the right thing to do."

More than 4000 people have donated, according to the GoFundMe page.

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