US authorities are questioning a US Postal Service worker who made allegations of voter fraud in Pennsylvania about the validity of these assertions, which Republican lawmakers cited as the basis for the investigation.
Richard Hopkins, a courier from Erie, Pennsylvania, accused his boss of instructing employees to pick him up and bring in ballot papers received after Election Day, and Hopkins said he heard his boss discuss postponed postmarks to make the ballot papers look as if they were collected by November 3, instead of 4 November or later, since according to state laws for ballots to be eligible, they must be postmarked by Election Day.
On Monday, Hopkins was said to have signed an affidavit withdrawing the allegations, which appears to have been confirmed in a tweet to Democrats in the House Oversight Committee. The Washington Post, which cited three officials familiar with the investigation, said that Hopkins had confessed to US Postal Service investigators that the allegations of Large-scale voting irregularities were fabricated.
However, the far-right activist group that had aired Hopkins’ initial claims – posted a video on its Twitter page on Tuesday, which appeared to show Hopkins saying he had not retracted his remarks, along with a promise to release more details. It was released Wednesday along with recordings purporting to show an investigator trying to persuade Hopkins to change his account.
For his part, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham asked the Justice Department and the FBI to start investigations, and he also argued that the massive increase in voting by mail has made the postal service’s role in the elections much greater than usual.
The confusion comes as President Trump questions the validity of the mail vote in a number of major swing states, including Pennsylvania, and the Trump campaign and Republican groups have already filed a series of lawsuits in the state.
In the end, a Pennsylvania postal employee retracted his previous allegations of tampering with postal ballot papers during the US presidential election, admitting that he had fabricated the allegations, which senior Republican officials relied on as possible evidence of widespread irregularities in the polling process.