On Thursday, United States Postal Service whistleblower Richard Hopkins, a carrier in Erie, Pennsylvania, came forward saying his supervisors were allegedly ordering carriers to backdate ballots that were received after Election Day. Once Hopkins' bosses pieced together that he was the whistleblower, he was allegedly relieved of his duty. He then made his name and his face public.
He signed an affidavit shortly after, detailing what he heard from his superiors. That affidavit was provided to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and the Justice Department to launch an investigation.
Hopkins met with an agent from the USPS Inspector General's office and recanted his story, according to tweets from Oversight Committee Democrats. He allegedly signed an affidavit saying that.
BREAKING NEWS: Erie, Pa. #USPS whistleblower completely RECANTED his allegations of a supervisor tampering with mail-in ballots after being questioned by investigators, according to IG.— Oversight Committee (@OversightDems) November 10, 2020
Here are the facts: Richard Hopkins is a USPS employee in Erie, Pa.— Oversight Committee (@OversightDems) November 10, 2020
He signed a sworn affidavit with allegations of ballot tampering/fraud and went public through Project Veritas. #USPS IG began investigating last week.
#USPS IG 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.— Oversight Committee (@OversightDems) November 10, 2020
But after meeting with USPS Office of the Inspector General Agent Russell Strasser, Hopkins met with Project Veritas' James O'Keefe. He provided O'Keefe with a recording of the interview Hopkins allegedly had with the IG. The recordings are evident that federal agents were trying to coerce Hopkins into recanting his story.
"And so let me, let me make good on that promise right away, okay? This storm is getting crazy, right? It's out of a lot of people's control and so the reason they called me in is to try and harness that storm, try to reel it back in before it gets really crazy," Strasser said during the interview. "Because we have senators involved. We have the Department of Justice involved. We have Trump's lawyer's team's gotten ahold of me."
Later on in the recording Strasser said he was "trying to twist" Hopkins.
"I am not – I am, actually. I am trying to twist you a little bit because in that, believe it or not, your mind will kick in. We like to control our mind and when we do that we can convince ourselves of a memory. But when you're under a bit of stress – which is what I'm doing to you purposely – your mind can be a little bit clearer and we're going to do a different exercise too, to make your mind a little bit clearer," he explained. "But this is all on purpose."
RECORDING: Federal agents “coerce” USPS whistleblower Hopkins to water down story— Project Veritas (@Project_Veritas) November 11, 2020
Agent Strasser: “I am trying to twist you a little bit”
“I am scaring you here”...” we have Senators involved...DOJ involved...reason they called me is to try to harness.” pic.twitter.com/MaL1WRJrih
Hopkins took to YouTube to call out The Washington Post for their story, saying he did not recant his story.
"At the very moment I'm looking at an article written by The Washington Post. It says that I 'fabricated the allegations of ballot tampering.' I'm here to say that I did not recant my statements," Hopkins said. "That did not happen. It is not what happened."
He called on WaPo to recant their story, saying it's false.