On Tuesday, we reported that Richard Hopkins, an Erie, Pennsylvania postal worker, fabricated allegations that his supervisor instructed employees to backdate ballots, accusations picked up by the Trump administration, Senator Lindsey Graham, and Attorney General Bill Barr, who gave unprecedented orders to DOJ prosecutors to investigate voter fraud.
Hopkins’s original allegations of fraud were first published by Project Veritas, the conspiratorial conservative group run by James O’Keefe. On Tuesday, after news broke that Hopkins had recanted its story to federal investigators, Project Veritas said it had proof that he had not done so, in the form of a two-hour recording of Hopkins’ interrogation which would show that the mailman was coerced by federal investigators into recanting.
Hopkins also touted the recording of the interrogation as proof that he had not recanted.
The tape of the interrogation (which you can listen to below) shows just the opposite.
The Washington Post reports that Hopkins clearly recanted his allegations: “When an agent from the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General asked Hopkins if he stood by his sworn statement that a supervisor ‘was backdating ballots’ mailed after Election Day, Hopkins answered: ‘At this point? No.'”
He was also not pressured. The WaPo adds that the agents “repeatedly reminded Hopkins that his cooperation was voluntary” and urged him to have a lawyer present. Hopkins told them he had no personal lawyer but that Project Veritas had one on retention “in case there’s anything that happens.”
Hopkins also told investigators that Project Veritas wrote the original affidavit alleging fraud and said he regretted signing it.
The WaPo adds: “It is not clear if Project Veritas, an organization that uses deceptive tactics to expose what it says is liberal bias and corruption in the mainstream media and government, altered or edited the recording before releasing it Wednesday afternoon. The group, which had described the interview as a three-hour interrogation, said in the statement that a portion of the interview was not recorded. In a video (below) published Wednesday, Hopkins, 32, said in an interview with Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe that he felt like he ‘got played’ by the federal agents. “