Project Veritas Source Now Says No Evidence of Election Fraud at Pennsylvania Post Office in 2020

Postal worker Richard Hopkins had relayed overhearing a conversation about backdating ballots.
Project Veritas Source Now Says No Evidence of Election Fraud at Pennsylvania Post Office in 2020
Richard Hopkins in a still image from a video released by Project Veritas on Nov. 10, 2020. (Screenshot/Project Veritas)
Zachary Stieber
2/8/2024
Updated:
2/8/2024
0:00

A Pennsylvania postal worker who told Project Veritas that he had overheard officials talking about backdating ballots now says that he was “wrong” about the conclusion he reached.

In a Feb. 5 statement under a settlement with Erie Postmaster Robert Weisenbach, Richard Hopkins, the postal worker, apologized and rescinded his claim of misconduct related to the 2020 presidential election.

Mr. Hopkins told Project Veritas in 2020 that he witnessed officials, including Mr. Weisenbach, “talking about backdating.”

He said at the time that officials “were talking about how the day before, which was the fourth [of November], they had post dated all but one of the, all but one of the ballots that were picked up as the third, but they had one that they made a mistake and postmarked it the fourth.”

Mr. Hopkins also submitted an affidavit to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) stating that he overheard Mr. Weisenbach tell a supervisor at Hopkins’s office that “Weisenbach was back-dating the postmarks on the ballots to make it appear as though the ballots had been collected on November 3, 2020, despite them in fact being collected on November 4 and possibly later.”

The statements set off a firestorm among local, state, and federal officials.

The U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General looked into the allegations and said that the worker who made the allegations “revised his initial claims, eventually stating that he had not heard a conversation about ballots at all—rather, he saw the postmaster and supervisor having a discussion and assumed it was about fraudulent ballot backdating.”

The worker couldn’t recall what the officials said and said he didn’t have any evidence that ballots had been backdated, according to the inspector general report. It said that postal agents reviewed ballots received by the post office and found no evidence any were backdated.

Mr. Weisenbach sued Mr. Hopkins, Project Veritas, and Project Veritas founder James O'Keefe in 2021 for defamation.

The defendants “knew or purposefully avoided the truth” in promoting Mr. Hopkins’s allegations, even after he recanted his allegations during an interview with postal investigators, the lawsuit stated.

The case has now been resolved, according to the people involved.

“I only heard a fragment of the conversation and reached the conclusion that the conversation was related to nefarious behavior,” Mr. Hopkins said in a statement released by Project Veritas. “As a USPS mail carrier at the time, I was on heightened guard considering the many allegations of ‘widespread fraud’ plaguing the 2020 presidential election.”

He added: “As I have now learned, I was wrong. Mr. Weisenbach was not involved in any inappropriate behavior concerning the 2020 presidential election.”

Mr. Hopkins noted the inspector general’s report and apologized to Mr. Weisenbach, his families, employees at the Erior Post Office, and “anyone that has been negatively impacted” by his claims. “I implore everyone reading this statement to leave the Weisenbach family alone and allow them to return to their normal, peaceful lives,” he wrote.

Project Veritas and Mr. O'Keefe, who has since departed the group he founded, said in statements that their reporting was based on Mr. Hopkins’s allegations.

“Mr. Hopkins has since come to learn that he was wrong—neither Mr. Weisenbach nor any other USPS employee in Erie, Pennsylvania, engaged in election fraud or any other wrongdoing related to mail-in ballots,” they said.

“With this update, Project Veritas is aware of no evidence or other allegation that election fraud occurred in the Erie Post Office during the 2020 presidential election,” Project Veritas stated. Mr. O'Keefe also said he wasn’t aware of any other allegations or evidence indicating fraud occurred in the post office during the 2020 election.

United to Protect Democracy, a Washington-based group that was helping represent Mr. Weisenbach, said in a statement that the case “ was resolved in a manner acceptable to all parties.”

Zachary Stieber is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in Maryland. He covers U.S. and world news. Contact Zachary at [email protected]
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