Atlanta Attorney General Barr, Senator Lindsay Graham and other Republican hardline Trump apologists made quite a bit of a story told by a postal worker in Pennsylvania that he had overheard co-workers discussing ways to backdate ballots received late, so that they would be counted in the recent US presidential election. The egg is now dripping down their cheeks though as they blowhard to dry the stains, since the worker recanted his story once he was face to face with investigators from the US Postal Service investigating his claim. He made up the story of course, but there’s more: James O’Keefe and his scamsters were behind the mess. We should have known!
In a story in the Daily Kos, reporter Joan McCarter, lays out the story clearly:
Fraudster and felon James O’Keefe took advantage of the chaos at the U.S. Postal Service to do his usual thing: commit fraud in order to prove that voter fraud is real. In this case, he conned a postal worker into claiming postal workers in Erie, Pennsylvania were instructed to backdate ballots mailed after Election Day. The postal worker, Richard Hopkins, has recanted, telling postal workers that he made it all up…When … it came to lying to investigators from the U.S. Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General, Hopkins got cold feet. Officials told both The Washington Post and the House Oversight Committee that he recanted in a signed affidavit, saying that he had lied. And then in a video tweeted out by O’Keefe, Hopkins recanted his recanting. Which probably had more to do with trying to preserve the $136,000 he’d raised on a GoFundMe page…. If so, it was in vain. GoFundMe’s Bobby Whitmore told the Post the money raised on the site was “not disbursed and Hopkins never had access to the funds.” O’Keefe is undaunted, as usual, and says that he’s got recordings of the investigators coercing Hopkins and pressuring him to sign a document he didn’t understand. Which seems pretty farfetched—the guy had to understand what “I lied before” means.
Well, yes, it’s a typical O’Keefe tall tale, and as usual there’s money and mayhem behind it all.
Republicans in general and their lawyers in specific are having real trouble with these so-called “voter fraud” cases, because they can’t find any fraud. It’s not just O’Keefe and Hopkins relying on hearsay, it is pretty much the whole lot of them.
Aaron Blake in “The Fix” column in the Washington Post shares one story after another of judges handing Trump lawyers their heads back to them on a plate for fabricating stories of misdeeds. In Philadelphia, one suit was dismissed over a lack of vote observers when a lawyer was forced to admit that there were “nonzero” observers already in the room, which in English means there were observers, right? In another Pennsylvania challenge, a lawyer wanted 592 ballots not counted, but when a judge corned him on whether there was a fraud in the 592, he was forced to admit that there wasn’t. He just didn’t want the votes counted. In a Michigan case where Trump lawyers were alleging backdating to get votes counted there was no evidence and sounding like O’Keefe scam, it was based on someone claiming that they had overheard something, and then a judge making a fool out of the lawyer over the inadmissibility of hearsay before dismissing the case. The New York Times called officials in red and blue states all over the country who reported the election went well and the votes were solid in yet another story on their front page.
Big talking, slow walking, but it will all be over soon. You just can’t make much out of nothing, as most of us already knew, but of course, we’re not James O’Keefe or Donald Trump.