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, per the Washington Post.
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 Pa. win.
- 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, WashPost 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, posted to the blog 21st Century Postal Worker.
- "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.