The Pennsylvania whistleblower, who claimed that USPS supervisors tampered with ballots sent after election day, has withdrawn his accusations, the U.S. Oversight Committee said Tuesday.
In a tweet, the committee said the whistleblower had withdrawn his accusations after questions from investigators working on the case.
The whistleblower had previously expressed a desire to remain anonymous, but on Friday he revealed his identity as Richard Hopkins, a USPS employee in Erie, Pennsylvania, through Project Veritas. Hopkins said he would testify under oath and signed an affidavit alleging ballot rigging and election fraud.
Following the news of Hopkins’ retraction, Tim Murtaugh, Trump campaign communications director, said the USPS employee had made a “detailed affidavit”.
“He named names, he explicitly described what he experienced, and we don’t know what pressure he was under since he made these statements publicly,” Murtaugh continued in a statement to Bloomberg’s Josh Wingrove.
James O’Keefe, the founder of Project Veritas, also responded to the committee’s tweet, claiming that he had a video proving that Hopkins was “forced” to recant.
“We have footage of the federal agents forcing this man through a four-hour interrogation without representation, which stands by his original affidavit,” O’Keefe tweeted. “Stay tuned for footage that doubles in backdated ballots.”
A few hours after O’Keefe’s tweet, a 46-second video of Hopkins saying he did not recant was posted on Project Veritas’ YouTube channel.
Although the total number of votes is not yet official and President Donald Trump has not yet yielded, the Associated Press, along with major broadcasters, proclaimed the election of Democratic candidate Joe Biden on Saturday after he was expected to win Pennsylvania. With the state’s 20 voters, Biden exceeded the 270 votes needed to secure the White House.
In the hours after Biden was announced as the likely winner, South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham issued a statement saying that he had received an affidavit from Hopkins claiming that the postal inspectors had a plan to manipulate the ballots sent out after the election.
Graham said he would request the Department of Justice and the U.S. Postal Service to investigate these allegations upon receipt of the charges.
However, the oversight committee said on Tuesday that “the IG investors of the USPS informed the committee staff today that they interviewed Hopkins on Friday, but Hopkins recanted his allegations yesterday and did not explain why he signed a false affidavit.
Trump has repeatedly claimed that the Democrats “stole” the election and that there was widespread electoral fraud, although they have not presented any hard evidence.
The USPS and the Trump campaign did not respond in time for publication to Washington Newsday’s request for comment.
Update, 8:26pm, 11/10/20: This story has been updated to include Hopkins’ denial that he told his story to the U.S. Oversight Committee.