Mar 18, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Report: "No evidence" of postal worker's voter fraud claims cited by Trump

Election workers count ballots at the Philadelphia Convention Center on November 06, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Election workers count ballots on Nov. 6, 2020, in Philadelphia. Photo: Chris McGrath/Getty Images

There is "no evidence" to support a Pennsylvania U.S. Postal Service worker's claims highlighted by leading Republicans of mail-in ballot fraud, the inspector general has found.

Why it matters: Letter carrier Richard Hopkins' baseless claims that ineligible mail-in ballots were being illegally backdated formed part of unsuccessful efforts by former President Trump and his allies to delegitimize President Biden's election win in Pennsylvania.

  • The Trump campaign alerted Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to Hopkins' unfounded allegations in November. Graham then wrote a letter demanding a federal investigation into the state's election results, the Washington Post notes.

Driving the news: Hopkins worked with the right-wing Project Veritas to publicly release a sworn affidavit outlining his allegations last November.

  • Hopkins, who was hailed as a "brave patriot" by Trump for his action, recanted his allegations soon after.
  • He "revised his initial claims" during an interview with federal agents, "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," according to the inspector general's report.
  • "Hopkins has been suspended without pay since Nov. 10," WashPost reports.

Worth noting: The Trump administration's Department of Justice found no evidence of widespread fraud in the U.S.

  • Representatives for the inspector general, USPS, Trump and Graham did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.
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