BREAKING: Turns out Project Veritas's star "witness" to election fraud in Pennsylvania is an unstable fabulist. Whodathunkit, right? We're beginning to think that dildo lube boat guy might not be entirely on the up-and-up.

It started right after the election when noted deceptive video editor James O'Keefe produced an affidavit from Erie, Pennsylvania, postal worker Robert Hopkins claiming that he'd overheard his supervisors conspiring to backdate ballots that arrived on November 4 to allow them to be counted. In case you'd forgotten — HAHA — there was a hint of tension in the air in the four days it took for the networks to call the election for Joe Biden. So naturally Trump's favorite running dog, Sen. Lindsey Graham, rushed to amplify the unverified Veritas story. You know, just in case there were 81,000 wrongly postmarked absentee ballots in Erie that might close the margin and deliver Pennsylvania to the GOP.


"The presidential election remains close in multiple states, and as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, all credible allegations of voting irregularities and misconduct will be taken seriously," Graham said, announcing that he'd demanded the Justice Department investigate the claim. "I will not allow credible allegations of voting irregularities or misconduct to be swept under the rug."

But Graham's definition of "credible" is pretty broad. Almost immediately, Hopkins's story fell apart. Upon being visited by postal inspectors on November 10, Hopkins admitted that he'd heard no such conversation and hadn't even drafted the affidavit himself. Here's how the Postal Service Inspector General described the interview in a report released yesterday.

To substantiate [redacted] allegations, OIG Special Agents re-interviewed [redacted]. During this interview, [redacted] revised his 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. [Redacted] acknowledged that he had no evidence of any backdated presidential ballots and could not recall any specific words said by the Postmaster or Supervisor. Near the end of the interview, [redacted] revealed that he had covertly recorded the interview with OIG Special Agents without their consent in violation of Employee and Labor Relations Manual Section 667.21.

Then Robert "Redacted" Hopkins released the audio of this meeting through Project Veritas, despite the fact that it completely disproved his subsequent allegations of being bullied into recanting by mean federal agents. And, we'd note that the redaction was a courtesy Hopkins himself failed to extend to his own supervisors, whom he named in the original Veritas affidavit, drawing them into the maelstrom of harassment that accompanies all such allegations.

Hopkins's supervisor took to his own Facebook page to defend himself, writing on November 7, "Good evening my friends. There has been awful things posted about the USPS and here is my statement. The allegations made against me and the Erie Post Office are 100% false made by an employee that was recently disciplined multiple times. The Erie Post Office did not back date any ballots."

The Washington Post reports that Hopkins has been suspended without pay since November 10 for "actions [which] may have placed employees and yourself as well as the reputation of the U.S. Postal Service in harm's way." But don't worry, because he's already raised more than $236,000 through the Christian fundraising site GiveSendGo. When God closes a door, he opens a window ... to suckers' wallets.

And PS, according to Erie County Clerk of Elections Doug Smith, of the 135 late-arriving ballots in the county, 65 were for Biden, 60 were for Trump, two were write-ins, and 8 went to Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgenson. So backdating them would have made exactly zero difference. But the entire bullshit ploy still managed to destroy the public's faith in the integrity of elections, so WIN-WIN.

[WaPo / IG Report / Erie Times-News]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.

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