Erie postmaster, Project Veritas face off in court over election claims
Postmaster’s defamation suit focuses on unsubstantiated claims about tampering of mail-in ballots in Erie in the November 2020 presidential election. Judge reviewing objections in first stage of case.
In the days after the November 2020 presidential election, Erie was plunged into the nationwide frenzy over unfounded claims that the mishandling of mail-in ballots helped President-elect Joe Biden steal the White House from President Donald Trump.
The engine for the attention on Erie was a report by Project Veritas, the conservative activist group that describes itself as a nonprofit “journalism enterprise” whose goal is to expose corruption and other misconduct.
Project Veritas published an online story on Nov. 5 claiming that — based on information from a source — the Erie postmaster was part of an anti-Trump plot to tamper with mail-in ballots to throw the election to Biden.
The claims turned out to be unproven. But before the allegation was debunked, the initial Project Veritas story and follow-up stories went viral, with Trump retweeting one of the reports about the Erie-related claims on Nov. 10.