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Indictment in Georgia Points to Extensive Efforts to Unlawfully Access Voting Machines

by Lucas Garcia
5 comments
indictment

As the nation was still grappling with the shock of the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol, an event aimed at stopping the peaceful transfer of power, a local Republican Party representative in a southern Georgia county welcomed computer specialists to the election office, granting them access to voting equipment.

The group’s mission was to duplicate software and information from the election systems to bolster allegations made by former President Donald Trump and his supporters that the 2020 election was manipulated in favor of his opponent, Democratic candidate Joe Biden. This information comes from a broad indictment that was unveiled late on Monday.

Several individuals implicated are part of the 19 accused, including Trump himself, in what Georgian legal authorities are calling a plot to illegally alter the election outcome in favor of Trump. The indictment related to Coffee County brings to light how the pressure exerted by Trump and his followers reached not just the state level but also local governance. By utilizing Georgia’s racketeering law, the indictment likens the events in Coffee County to criminal efforts traditionally associated with organized crime syndicates, suggesting they were part of a more extensive operation by Trump’s associates to unlawfully infiltrate voting systems across various states.

Lawrence Norden, an expert on election security at NYU’s Brennan Center for Justice, explained that the Coffee County incidents and others like it demonstrate that the attempts to undermine elections went beyond Jan. 6. He noted that the ongoing efforts to sabotage the electoral process have persisted.

In Coffee County, located around 200 miles southeast of Atlanta, one of the first known attempts to access voting systems by Trump’s allies occurred as they sought to substantiate their baseless claims of election manipulation. Other breaches followed in Michigan and Colorado counties, involving some of the same individuals.

The Georgia indictment is unique in asserting that these breaches were part of a broader conspiracy to overturn the election results. Four people are charged with six counts related to the breach in Coffee County, including Sidney Powell, Misty Hampton, Cathy Latham, and Scott Graham Hall. Responses from them were not available at the time of reporting.

Despite Trump’s continued promotion of his theories about the election, numerous recounts and audits, including three in Georgia, have verified Biden’s victory. Trump’s allegations were also dismissed by various judges, including those he appointed, and extensive reviews found no evidence of fraud that could have impacted the results.

The indictment further reveals Sidney Powell’s involvement in hiring a forensic data firm to examine Dominion Voting Systems equipment in Michigan and elsewhere, an action that prosecutors allege led to the Coffee County breach. Dominion previously reached a $787 million settlement with Fox News over false claims, including those made by Powell.

The indictment also touches on other events and individuals linked to the 2020 election, including efforts in Michigan and a security breach in Colorado. It also mentions a December 2020 meeting in the Oval Office where Trump’s allies proposed military intervention to seize voting machines.

Experts are concerned that the unauthorized release of election information could provide opportunities for vulnerabilities to be exploited in future elections and be used to disseminate misinformation about voting systems. Colorado’s Secretary of State, Jena Griswold, emphasized the importance of accountability to prevent any future illegal attempts to access voting systems, stating, “We cannot allow election officials to destroy elections from within.”

Contributors to this report include Kate Brumback in Atlanta, Joey Cappelletti in Lansing, Michigan, and Eric Tucker and Farnoush Amiri in Washington, D.C., writing for Big Big News.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about indictment

What was the purpose of the unlawful access to voting equipment in Georgia?

The group’s mission was to duplicate software and information from the election systems to bolster allegations made by former President Donald Trump and his supporters that the 2020 election was manipulated in favor of his opponent, Democratic candidate Joe Biden.

Who are some of the individuals charged in connection with the breach in Coffee County, Georgia?

Four people charged with counts related to the breach in Coffee County are lawyer Sidney Powell, former Coffee County elections director Misty Hampton, former Coffee County GOP Chair Cathy Latham, and Atlanta-area bail bondsman Scott Graham Hall.

What is the significance of the indictment related to the Georgia election breach?

The indictment is significant as it highlights extensive efforts to unlawfully access voting systems, alleging a conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election results. It connects Trump’s allies to illegal actions in various states and asserts that these breaches were part of a broader plot.

How have the claims of election fraud been received by courts and officials?

Despite Trump’s continued promotion of his theories about the election, numerous recounts, audits, and extensive reviews have verified Biden’s victory. Trump’s allegations were also dismissed by various judges, including those he appointed, and found no evidence of fraud that could have impacted the results.

What are the concerns about unauthorized access to voting systems?

Experts are concerned that unauthorized access and release of election information could provide opportunities for vulnerabilities to be exploited in future elections and be used to disseminate misinformation about voting systems.

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5 comments

TomInGeorgia August 16, 2023 - 11:57 am

I live near Coffee County and this news is just shocking. never thought something like this would happen in my area!

Reply
Patriot101 August 16, 2023 - 5:23 pm

All these claims about the election being rigged and yet no court has found anything substancial. waste of time and money.

Reply
SarahLuv August 17, 2023 - 5:48 am

Is it just me or does this whole thing sound like a movie plot? Its like unreal what these people tried to do…

Reply
JennyS82 August 17, 2023 - 7:32 am

Can’t believe what’s happening to our elections. trump and his allies are just relentless. Where’s this going to end??

Reply
Mike4Freedom August 17, 2023 - 10:12 am

This is just the tip of the iceberg. theres alot more going on behind the scenes, I bet. They need to dig deeper.

Reply

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