Footage released earlier this week confirms that local Republican Party officials in Coffee County, Georgia conspired with high-level lawyers from the Trump campaign to allow computer technicians access to election offices following Trump’s January 6 coup attempt.
Once inside the election offices, Trump campaign hired computer forensics teams were allowed access to voting machines and copy sensitive election software and data as part of Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
The security footage released this week was captured outside the elections office in rural Coffee County, located about 200 miles southeast of Atlanta. The video shows that on January 7, 2021, one day after Trump’s fascist mob failed to stop the certification of President Joe Biden’s election victory, Cathy Latham, the then chair of the Coffee County Republican Party, arrived at the elections office at 11:30 a.m.
Within minutes of arriving at the office the tape shows that Latham, one of sixteen bogus electors who submitted false paperwork to the National Archives and to Congress claiming Trump won Georgia, allowed two men, Scott Hall and Paul Maggio, to enter the building. Maggio is the current chief operating officer for SullivanStrickler a data migration and computer forensics company based out of Atlanta, Georgia.
Notably, a week before Latham allowed the Trump-campaign hired operatives into the building, Latham testified before the Georgia Senate alongside Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani. In her testimony, she claimed that “QR codes” had been manipulated in order to alter vote totals and state Republican officials, including Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, were not doing enough to address “inadequacies” in the vote.
In audio obtained by CNN, Hall, an Atlanta-area bail bondsman, was recorded saying that he “chartered the jet to go down to Coffee County to have them inspect all of those computers.”
“I went down there, we scanned every freaking ballot,” Hall says in the recording, per CNN.
Emails turned over as part of a civil suit in Georgia related to the Republican efforts to overturn the vote have confirmed that SullivanStrickler was hired by Trump coup lawyer Sidney Powell to copy election software. This was done so that Trump lawyers and Republican operatives could manipulate the data in order to claim that there was mass fraud in the 2020 election. However election officials and security experts have also warned that by copying the data and hard drives, there is a potential security risk that future elections could be interfered with.
The Associate Press (AP) reported that in total, Latham allowed four different people access to the county elections building for over six hours on January 7. The AP noted that at 1:30 p.m. Latham left the building entirely and did not return for roughly two and half hours, allowing the computer forensics team, and others, to do whatever they liked with the voting machines they had access to inside the building.
The footage also shows Eric Chaney, a member of Coffee County’s election board, going in and out of the office during the same period Maggio of SullivanStrickler was inside the building. In their report on the security footage, the AP notes that in a court filing submitted by Maggio, there is a photo of Chaney inside the office as SullivanStrickler technicians are copying software data from the voting machines.
Prior to entering the elections office on January 7, Maggio had sent Trump attorney Powell an email saying he and his team were “on our way to Coffee County Georgia to collect what we can from the Election/Voting machines and systems.” The email included an invoice titled “Voting Machines Analysis” for $26,000, which Maggio said would pay for four people to do one day’s worth of work.
The following day Maggio sent another email to Powell: “Everything went smoothly yesterday with the Coffee County collection. Everyone involved was extremely helpful.” He told Powell that they would be “consolidating all of the data collected and will be uploading it to our secure site for access by your team.”
The video footage is further confirmation that Trump’s efforts to establish a dictatorship were aided by Republicans throughout the country, and that their attempts to overthrow the election and the US Constitution have continued even after the failed attack on Congress.
Fulton County District Attorney, Democrat Fani Willis is currently overseeing an investigation into Trump and his bevy of Republican allies efforts to overturn the election in Georgia. She has interviewed over a hundred witnesses including high-level Republican politicians and lawyers, including Giuliani.
As part of her probe into Republican efforts to break into voting machines, last month Willis submitted paperwork requesting that Powell and Trump’s former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows testify before the special grand jury. In her petition filed on August 26, Willis noted that Powell was heavily involved “in the multi-state, coordinated efforts to influence the results of the November 2020 elections in Georgia and elsewhere.”
In the aforementioned audio recording of Hall obtained by CNN, he claims that the same people who broke into voting machines in Georgia, also did so in Michigan. “The same people that went up to Michigan, OK, and did all that forensic stuff on the computers. And they sent their team down to Coffee County, Georgia, and they scanned all the equipment, imaged all the hard drives, and scanned every single ballot.”
In the 2020 election, Coffee County, home to about 43,000 people, voted for Trump over Biden by a roughly 70-30 margin. Despite this, Coffee County was the only county, out of 159 in the state, to refuse to certify their results following the election.
In an infamous December 18, 2020 executive order draft memorandum that was never sent out, Coffee County, along with Antrim County, Michigan, were the two counties cited in order to justify Trump’s lying claims that the election was fraudulent.
The unsigned executive order called for Powell to be appointed “special counsel” and investigate the non-existent voter fraud, while the Department of Homeland Security and/or the US military, under the direction of retired Army General and fascist Michael Flynn, would seize voting machines, and “re-run” the election at gunpoint, guaranteeing Trump’s victory.
The security footage in Coffee County shows that in addition to computer technicians entering the office on January 7, roughly two weeks after the failed coup on January 18 then county elections director Misty Hampton arrived at the facility at 4:20 p.m. and proceeded to let in two men, Doug Logan, the CEO of Cyber Ninjas, and Jeff Lenberg into the office.
The AP notes that Lenberg and Logan, “remained inside until just after 8 p.m. and then spent more than nine hours there the next day. Lenberg returned for brief visits on at least three more days later that month.”
In addition to breaking into voting machines in Michigan and Georgia, Logan headed the bogus Arizona “forensic audit” following the 2020 election. After spending millions of dollars on the Arizona audit, Logan’s company concluded Biden actually won Arizona by more votes then previously thought.
Lenberg and Logan are two of several Republican operatives and politicians Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is requesting a special prosecutor charge with felonies for their role in breaking into and copying voting machine data illegally in Michigan.
Nessel is also requesting felony charges against current Republican state Rep. Daire Rendon and Trump-endorsed Republican candidate for Attorney General Matthew DePerno.
As of now, there are federal investigations into Republican attempts to either break into voting machines, or submit fraudulent electors in Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Colorado and Wisconsin.
Despite the fact that there has been no evidence presented, nearly two years after the fact, of any substantial voter fraud, Trump and his fascistic allies, which include a majority of the Republican Party, have continued to assert that that the 2020 election was stolen and that Biden is an illegitimate president.
A recent analysis from FiveThirtyEight found that out of a total of 540 Republican nominees running for office in the 2022 midterms, 199 candidates “fully denied the legitimacy of the 2020 election.” Another 62 candidates, “raised questions” about the results and have intimated that it was fraudulent.
Another 118 Republican candidates have refused to state their position on the 2020 election. In other words, roughly 70 percent of Republicans running in the 2022 midterms either outright deny, or refuse to acknowledge the results of the 2020 election.
Only 74 Republicans running in the midterms, have “fully accepted” that Biden is the president, while 87 have “accepted with reservations,” meaning they still think Biden won, but that they have “concerns” about the integrity of the vote.
FiveThirtyEight projects that 118 election deniers and eight election doubters have at least a “95 percent chance of winning” their respective races.