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statement under a settlement with Erie Postmaster Robert Weisenbach, Richard Hopkins, the postal worker, apologized and rescinded his claim of misconduct related to the 2020 presidential election.
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.”
The statements set off a firestorm among local, state, and federal officials.
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.
“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.”