Investigators said a Pennsylvania postal worker whose allegations about voting irregularities were cited by Republicans had recanted his story, but he denied the report in a subsequent interview.
Richard Hopkins, 32, claimed that a postmaster in Erie, Pennsylvania instructed workers to backdate ballots mailed after Election Day, according to the Washington Post.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham cited the allegation when he called for a federal investigation by the Justice Department into potential fraud.
Attorney General Bill Barr later authorized prosecutors to open probes into credible allegations before results are certified, breaking with longstanding DOJ policy.
Hopkins recanted, USPS says
Hopkins told USPS investigators that the allegation was not true and signed an affidavit recanting his claim, according to the Post.
House Oversight Committee Democrats said on Twitter that the “whistleblower completely RECANTED.”
“We don’t know what kind of pressure he has been under since he publicly made those statements,” Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh told the Post after the report.
Erie Postmaster Rob Weisenbach said the allegation was “100%” false and made by “an employee that was recently disciplined multiple times.”
“The Erie Post Office did not back date any ballots,” Weisenbach wrote.
Hopkins’ allegation was first aired by Project Veritas, a far-right group that stages “stings” to reveal wrongdoing that is later debunked.
Hopkins denies he recanted:
Hopkins in a YouTube video after the report denied he recanted his statement.
“I’m here to say I did not recant my statements. That did not happen,” he said.
“My name is Richard Hopkins, I’m a postal employee who came out and whistleblew on the Erie, Pennsylvania postal service, postal office. I am right at this very moment looking at an article written by the Washington Post—it says that I fabricated the allegations of ballot tampering,” he said. “You will find out tomorrow, and I would like that the Washington Post recant their wonderful little article that they decided to throw out there, out at random.”