Donald Trump has called the USPS voter fraud whistleblower a ‘brave patriot’, after the worker claimed he ‘got played’ by postal inspectors who said he ‘completely recanted’ his allegations during questioning.
USPS worker Richard Hopkins from Erie, Pennsylvania, had claimed without proof that postal workers discussed back-dating mail-in ballots and forwarding them to election officials in the crucial swing state.
The whistleblower’s allegations were cited in a Trump campaign lawsuit and brandished by Trump loyalist Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina as a key piece of evidence in the president’s legal battle over his election defeat.
However House Oversight Democrats said Tuesday that Hopkins recanted his allegations after being questioned by the Post Office Inspector General’s Office investigators.
Within hours of the story breaking, the mailman hit back and claimed that he was ‘played’ by investigators and insisted he had ‘not recanted’ his statements.
Donald Trump has called the USPS whistleblower a ‘brave patriot’ after Democrats said he ‘completely recanted’ his voter fraud allegations during questioning by postal inspectors
Trump waded in Tuesday night sharing footage of Hopkins’ denial that he had withdrawn his voter fraud claims, as the president pushed his unsubstantiated claims of election fraud.
‘A brave patriot. More & more people are stepping forward to expose this Rigged Election!’ Trump tweeted.
The Oversight Democrats tweeted Tuesday afternoon that Hopkins had signed an affidavit with allegations of ballot tampering and fraud and told his story to Project Veritas, a conservative group specializing in undercover stings of media organizations and left-leaning groups to show alleged bias.
The Democrats said USPS investigators had confirmed they had interviewed the mailman about the allegations, and he recanted the claims ‘and did not explain why he signed a false affidavit’.
‘USPS IG investigators informed Committee staff today that they interviewed Hopkins on Friday, but that Hopkins RECANTED HIS ALLEGATIONS yesterday and did not explain why he signed a false affidavit,’ they said.
Last Wednesday, Project Veritas released a video from the postal worker – later identified as Hopkins, with his permission – who alleged without proof that USPS employees had discussed back-dating mail-in ballots and forwarding them to election officials.
Hopkins claimed the ballots in question had arrived after Election Day, which was the Pennsylvania deadline for post-marking the envelopes.
However, Hopkins was questioned by postal service investigators and has changed his story, Oversight Democrats revealed Tuesday.
USPS worker Richard Hopkins (pictured) from Erie, Pennsylvania, had claimed without proof that postal workers discussed back-dating mail-in ballots and forwarding them to election officials in crucial swing state Pennsylvania
However, Hopkins has recanted his allegations after being questioned by the Post Office Inspector General’s Office investigators, the House Oversight Democrats said Tuesday (above)
After being exposed for reportedly backtracking over his claims, Project Veritas then released a series of new video interviews with the mailman where he claims he was ‘played’ and ‘coerced’ by investigators.
In one of the videos, the conservative group claimed – without evidence – that Hopkins was ‘lied to during interrogation by Feds’.
The video includes short, edited clips from Hopkins’ interview with USPS Agent Russell Strasser where the agent told Hopkins he was trying to make his ‘mind a little clearer’.
There is no context provided for the edited clips shared and they show no evidence of Hopkins being ‘played’ by, ‘coerced’ or ‘lied to’ by investigators.
Hopkins also insists he has not withdrawn his allegations. When the conservative group’s James O’Keefe asked if he stood by claims he witnessed voter fraud, Hopkins said ‘yes’.
Hopkins did not make clear why he then reportedly recanted his claims when speaking to official investigators.
In another video, Hopkins also says: ‘I did not recant my statements. That did not happen.’
The charges were featured by conservative group Project Veritas but no evidence has been provided
James O’Keefe blasted out the initial claims by Hopkins, which the mailman has recanted before IG investigators according to Democrats
This comes as Republicans are scouring the nation to try and find instances that back of Trump’s claims with a top Texas GOP official offering a reward of up to $1 million to anyone who can prove Trump’s claim of widespread fraud.
The sweepstakes-style offer comes as the president is refusing to concede the presidential election to President-elect Joe Biden, claiming it was rigged and that he himself ‘will win.’
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick sent out a press release offering $25,000 to $1 million for information on voter fraud.
‘Whistleblowers and tipsters should turn over their evidence to local law enforcement. Anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest and final conviction of voter fraud will be paid a minimum of $25,000,’ Patrick said.
‘I support President Trump’s efforts to identify voter fraud in the presidential election and his commitment to making sure that every legal vote is counted and every illegal vote is disqualified,’ he continued. ‘President Trump’s pursuit of voter fraud is not only essential to determine the outcome of this election, it is essential to maintain our democracy and restore faith in future elections.’
Trump hailed the reward offer on Twitter, writing: ‘Thanks Dan. Big win for us in Texas!’
Asked on a press call about the prominent witness recanting, Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh attack the media for failing to cover the claims that have now been retracted.
‘We don’t remember anyone writing about his affidavit in the first place. Which we think is notable,’ he complained.
‘The fact that he is newsworthy now we think is questionable.’
‘He filed a very detailed affidavit. He named names he described explicitly what it is that he experienced. And we don’t know what kind of pressure he has been under since he publicly made those statements,’ he said.
‘That is one paragraph in which we cite that in 243 paragraphs of the complaint,’ the Trump team said, in reference to its Pennsylvania court filing.
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (pictured) sent out a press release offering $25,000 to $1 million to anyone who can provide for information on voter fraud
Meanwhile, eight Georgia elected Republicans have written the Republican secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, about allegations of voter irregularities – even though they were elected in races using the same ballots.
‘As Members and Members-Elect of the Georgia Congressional Delegation, we are deeply concerned by continued, serious allegations of voting irregularities in our state,’ they wrote.
‘The Georgia Republican Party and the Donald J. Trump for President Campaign have received reports of deceased or ineligible voters casting ballots, eligible voters being denied the opportunity to vote, and Republican poll watchers and observers being denied access to activities and meetings critical to ensuring a fair, accurate, and transparent vote tabulation.’
Trump (pictured Saturday) is seeking to stop counts, recounts, and claiming civil rights violations and claims the election was rigged and that he ‘will win’
STATE-BY-STATE: WHERE TRUMP IS SUING AND HOW IT’S GOING
BIDEN MAJORITY TRUMP NEEDS TO OVERTURN: 45,646
On Monday the Trump campaign filed their big shot at overturning all mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania, claiming that Democratic and Republican counties did not administer them in the same way; instances of fraud; and that poll watchers could not see them being counted.
The case faces an uphill struggle. The Supreme Court has already allowed mail-in ballots to be issued in Pennsylvania, and the claim of poll watchers not seeing them being counted had failed before when a Trump lawyer last Friday agreed that a ‘non-zero number’ of Republicans had observed the count in Philadelphia.
The new suit provided no actual evidence of fraud. It did include a claim by an Erie mailman that he had heard his supervisors talking about illegally backdating ballots; he was said to have recanted that claim when questioned by U.S. Postal Inspectors.
Trump’s campaign last Wednesday filed a motion to intervene in a case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court challenging a decision from the state’s highest court that allowed election officials to count mail-in ballots postmarked by Tuesday’s Election Day that were delivered through Friday.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito on Friday night ordered county election boards in the state to separate mail-in ballots received after 8 p.m. EST on Election Day.
Pennsylvania election officials have said those ballots were already being separated.
The justices previously ruled there was not enough time to decide the merits of the case before Election Day but indicated they might revisit it afterwards.
Alito, joined by fellow conservative Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch, said in a written opinion that there was a ‘strong likelihood’ the Pennsylvania court’s decision violated the U.S. Constitution.
Pennsylvania’s Secretary of the Commonwealth Kathy Boockvar has said late-arriving ballots are a tiny proportion of the overall vote in the state.
Rudy Giuliani unveiled a ‘witness’ to his claims – a Republican poll watcher – on Saturday but the man, Daryl Brooks, has not been included in any legal papers. He was previously convicted of exposing himself to underage girls.
BIDEN MAJORITY TRUMP NEEDS TO OVERTURN: 16,985
Trump’s campaign said on Saturday it had sued in Arizona, alleging that the state’s most populous county incorrectly rejected votes cast on Election Day by some voters.
The lawsuit, filed in state Superior Court in Maricopa County, said poll workers told some voters to press a button after a machine had detected an ‘overvote.’
The campaign said that decision disregarded voters’ choices in those races, and the lawsuit suggested those votes could prove ‘determinative’ in the outcome of the presidential race.
It is a modification of an earlier suit which was submitted and then withdrawn claiming that Trump voters were given sharpies to mark their ballots and claiming this made them more prone to error. The ‘sharpie-gate’ claims have n basis in fact, Arizona’s secretary of state says.
BIDEN MAJORITY TRUMP NEEDS TO OVERTURN: 36,186
A voter, a member of the media and two candidate campaigns sued Nevada’s secretary of state and other officials to prevent the use of a signature-verification system in populous Clark County and to provide public access to vote counting.
A federal judge rejected the request on Friday, saying there was no evidence the county was doing anything unlawful.
No new suits have been lodged so far.
Trump campaign officials have also claimed evidence that non-residents have voted but have not sued.
BIDEN MAJORITY TRUMP NEEDS TO OVERTURN: 10.620
The Trump campaign on Wednesday filed a lawsuit in state court in Chatham County that alleged late-arriving ballots were improperly mingled with valid ballots, and asked a judge to order late-arriving ballots be separated and not be counted.
The case was dismissed on Thursday. No new suits have been filed. The state is going to a recount.
The two Republican senators, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, called for the GOP Secretary of State to quit claiming there were election irregularities Monday. They offered no evidence and he scoffed: ‘That’s not going to happen.’
BIDEN MAJORITY TRUMP NEEDS TO OVERTURN: 146,123
On Monday Trump filed a federal case claiming
One witness – possibly misgendered by the Trump lawyers – claimed that they had been told by another person that mysterious ballots arrived late on vehicles with out of state plates and all were for Biden; that they had seen voters coached to vote for Biden; and that they were told to process ballots without any checks.
It also included poll watchers and ‘challengers’ who said they could not get close enough to see what was happening.
A federal judge has yet to issue any response on when and how it will be looked into.
Trump’s campaign last Wednesday filed a lawsuit in Michigan to halt the vote count in the state. The lawsuit alleged that campaign poll watchers were denied ‘meaningful access’ to counting of ballots, plus access to surveillance video footage of ballot drop boxes.
On Thursday, Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens dismissed the case, saying there was no legal basis or evidence to halt the vote and grant requests.
U.S. POSTAL SERVICE
The U.S. Postal Service said about 1,700 ballots had been identified in Pennsylvania at processing facilities during two sweeps on Thursday and were being delivered to election officials, according to a court filing early Friday.
The Postal Service said 1,076 ballots, had been found at its Philadelphia Processing and Distribution Center. About 300 were found at the Pittsburgh processing center, 266 at a Lehigh Valley facility and others at other Pennsylvania processing centers.
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington is overseeing a lawsuit by Vote Forward, the NAACP, and Latino community advocates.
Sullivan on Thursday ordered twice-daily sweeps at Postal Service facilities serving states with extended ballot receipt deadlines.
The judge plans to hold a status conference on Monday.