Watch CBS News

Erie Postal Worker Admits Making Up Pennsylvania Ballot Tampering Claims, Officials Say

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Officials say an Erie, Pennsylvania postal worker admits to making up claims of ballot tampering.

The Washington Post reports that Richard Hopkins' claim that a postmaster in Erie instructed postal workers to backdate ballots mailed after election day was fabricated.

The claim was cited by Sen. Lindsey Graham in a letter to the Justice Department calling for a federal investigation.

But on Monday, Hopkins, 32, told investigators from the U.S. Postal Service's Office of Inspector General that the allegations weren't true, and recanted his signed affidavit reports the Washington Post.

In a tweet, Democrats on the House Oversight Committee said that "the whistleblower completely RECANTED."

"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 went on to say.

The reversal comes as the legal battle over the presidential election in Pennsylvania is ramping up.

The latest results show Biden leading in the state by nearly 48,000 votes, but the president's team continues to say the election is not over.

The Trump campaign is pressing on, trying in court to delay the certification and conduct a review of hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots, saying they have been processed and tabulated in secrecy here and elsewhere.

Erie postmaster, Rob Weisenbach, called the allegations "100% false" in a Facebook post and said they were made "by an employee that was recently disciplined multiple times."

Project Veritas founder James O'Keefe on Saturday hailed Hopkins as "an American hero" on Twitter reports the Post.

A GoFundMe page was created under Hopkins's name and had raised more than $136,000 before being removed.

O'Keefe shared also shared a video on Twitter Tuesday night of Hopkins claiming he didn't recant.

Twitter had flagged that video, saying "this claim about election fraud is disputed."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.