The Erie, Pennsylvania, USPS worker who reportedly signed an affidavit recanting his claims of ballot tampering at a local post office in the state is now denying that he recanted the allegations.
Richard Hopkins, 32, a United States Postal Worker in battleground Pennsylvania, had previously claimed that a postmaster in Erie had instructed employees to backdate ballots mailed after Election Day.
Then, on Monday, Hopkins told investigators from the U.S. Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General that allegations were fabricated, and signed an affidavit recanting the claims, according to unnamed officials briefed on the issue and statements on Twitter from Democrats on the House Oversight Committee.
Republicans like Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, had cited the claims made by Hopkins to Project Veritas to support the idea that the presidential election was tainted by widespread voter fraud. Project Veritas is far-right group that uses undercover operatives and deceptive editing to produce videos targeting progressive groups or causes.
But in a video posted to his YouTube channel Tuesday night, Hopkins said he had not recant the claims of fraud.
“I am the postal worker who came out and whistleblew the Erie, PA postal service,” Hopkins said in the video. “I am right now looking at an article written by the Washington Post that says that I fabricated the allegations of ballot tampering. I’m here to say that I did not recant my statements. That did not happen. That is not what happened,” he said.
Hopkins, who would have faced federal charges if he were found to have lied to the USPS investigators, said he wanted the Washington Post to recant their “wonderful little article.”
The brouhaha comes as members of the Republican Party promote unsubstantiated claims of fraud initially peddled by President Donald Trump as President-elect Joe Biden gained ground as votes were counted in the days following the election.
Republican Secretary of State Mark Pompeo faced criticism after he said on Tuesday that there would be a “smooth transition to a second Trump administration,” days after major news networks called the election for Biden, and as international leaders congratulated the President-elect on his victory.
Republican GSA Administrator Emily Murphy, who plays a key role in the transition of presidential power, has delayed the process, calling for the need for a “clear” winner. She was appointed by President Trump.
In a tweet including the video of Hopkins saying he did not recant, Trump called him “a brave patriot.”
“More & more people are stepping forward to expose the Rigged Election!” he wrote.
Erie’s Postmaster Rob Weisenbach has denied allegations, of voter fraud, calling them “100% false.”
“The Erie Post Office did not back date any ballots,” he wrote in a statement posted to Facebook.