‘I did not recant’: Pennsylvania postal worker denies media claims he recanted allegations
Richard Hopkins is a postal worker in Erie, Pennsylvania who recently came forward with explosive accusations about mail-in voting irregularities in the 2020 election in that state. Democrats and the media claim that he has recanted his allegations and Hopkins is denying that he walked back his words.
A video posted Tuesday evening by Project Veritas shows Hopkins denying that he is recanting his claims. “I’m here to say I did not recant my statements. That did not happen,” said Hopkins, 32. He called on The Washington Post to retract their story on him recanting his allegations.
The statement by Hopkins came just hours after House Oversight Committee Democrats wrote in a series of tweets that investigators with the USPS Inspector General’s Office told staffers that Hopkins backed off his allegations during an interview Monday. According to this committee, Hopkins “did not explain why he signed a false affidavit.”
The Washington Post also reported on Monday that Hopkins had admitted to investigators that he made up his allegations, citing three people briefed on the probe. Hopkins adamantly denies what The Washington Post is asserting.
The postal worker is now being questioned over the veracity of those assertions, which have been cited by Republican lawmakers as the basis for an investigation.
President Trump got involved in the incident as well, calling the postal worker “A brave patriot,” in a tweet. “More & more people are stepping forward to expose this Rigged Election!” Trump wrote.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called on the Justice Department to investigate a detailed sworn affidavit in which Hopkins said his supervisors planned to backdate ballots that were mailed too late to be counted under Pennsylvania law. Hopkins’ charges were included in a federal lawsuit filed Monday by President Trump’s campaign.
The suit alleges that Pennsylvania officials created “an illegal ‘two-tiered’ voting system” that unfairly favors mail-in ballots and “encourages ballot fraud or tampering.”
“It has been reported by Project Veritas, in a release on November 5, 2020, that carriers were told to collect, separate, and deliver all mail-in ballots directly to the supervisor,” the suit states.
Here are the facts: Richard Hopkins is a USPS employee in Erie, Pa.
He signed a sworn affidavit with allegations of ballot tampering/fraud and went public through Project Veritas. #USPS IG began investigating last week.
— Oversight Committee (@OversightDems) November 10, 2020
When news surfaced that Hopkins recanted his accusations, Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh argued that Hopkins “filed a very detailed affidavit. He named names. He described explicitly what it is that he experienced.” Murtaugh also alluded to the possibility that Hopkins’ recantation may not have been entirely voluntary.
“Earlier today, we saw our own attorney, in some cases, doxxed on Twitter and public invitations to harass attorneys who have been involved in pursuing the president’s lawful avenues through the courts and also connected to what we will eventually pursue in recounts,” he said.
“So we don’t know what kind of pressure this private citizen has been under.”
Project Veritas also claims to have obtained recordings of federal agents interrogating Hopkins concerning backdating ballots. The agents were reportedly trying to scare him over his allegations. Hopkins has also received a letter putting him on suspension without pay.
UPDATE: @Project_Veritas has obtained recordings of fed agents interrogating PA USPS whistleblower re: backdating ballots.
The recordings are explosive evidence of retaliation, “scaring” him.
Whistleblower has received a letter putting him on suspension without pay.
More soon. pic.twitter.com/8I5L8jqUsu
— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) November 10, 2020
“Let me make good on that promise right away. Okay. This storm is getting crazy, right?” stated agent Russell Strasser of the USPS Office of Inspector General. “It’s out of a lot of people’s control. And so the reason they called me in is to try to harness that storm, try to reel it back in before it gets really crazy.”
Hopkins acknowledged that he understood what was being said. “Because we have Senators involved,” Strasser went on. “We have the Department of Justice involved.” Then Strasser noted that Trump’s lawyers have reached out.
“I am trying to twist you a little bit because of that, believe it or not, your mind will kick in,” Strasser stressed. “We like to control our mind. And when we do that, we can convince ourselves of a memory. But when you’re under a little bit of stress, which is what I’m doing to you purposely, your mind can be a little bit clearer and we’re going to do a different exercise too, to make your mind a little bit clearer. So, but this is all on purpose.”
Strasser emphasized that “I am not scaring you” to Hopkins, but “I am scaring you.” Hopkins noted after the encounter that “[i]t seems like they were trying to to make me distrust ya’ll,” he told Project Veritas. The USPS worker shot back: “No, these guys [Project Veritas] have had my back since the get-go.”
Donald Trump Jr. spoke out on the alleged intimidation: “Given what the Feds tried to do to my family this shouldn’t surprise anyone but should disgust everyone!!! This is what we have been up against since day one.”
Given what the Feds tried to do to my family this shouldn’t surprise anyone but should disgust everyone!!!
This is what we have been up against since day one. https://t.co/4E7hqh3HG7
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) November 11, 2020
On Facebook, Erie’s Postmaster Rob Weisenbach heatedly denied Hopkins’ allegations, calling them “100% false,” and described him as “an employee that was recently disciplined multiple times.”
“The Erie Post Office did not backdate any ballots,” Weisenbach bluntly wrote.
RECORDING: Federal agents “coerce” USPS whistleblower Hopkins to water down story. Hopkins doubles down…
Agent Strasser: “I am trying to twist you a little bit”
“I am scaring you here”…” we have Senators involved…DOJ involved…reason they called me is to try to harness.” pic.twitter.com/tK2JPu6Wqm
— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) November 11, 2020
— Project Veritas (@Project_Veritas) November 11, 2020