Georgia prosecutors investigating Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia have obtained text messages and emails that directly link members of the ex-president’s legal team to the early January 2021 breach of the voting system in Coffee County, CNN reported Sunday, citing sources with knowledge of the case.
Fani Willis, the District Attorney of Fulton County, is expected to pursue charges against over a dozen individuals in the upcoming week when her team presents their case to a grand jury. Some of those involved in the breach of the voting systems in Coffee County may be among those facing charges as part of the extensive criminal investigation.
From the beginning, investigators in the Georgia criminal probe have suspected that the breach wasn’t a spontaneous effort orchestrated by sympathetic Trump supporters in the predominantly Republican Coffee County, which Trump had won by a substantial margin. Instead, evidence has suggested that it was a coordinated effort by Trump’s team to gain access to sensitive voting software, according to individuals familiar with the matter.
After the 2020 election, Trump’s allies attempted to access voting systems as part of their broader endeavor to find evidence to support his unfounded claims of widespread fraud.
While the focus of Willis’ criminal investigation has mainly been on Trump’s call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and the creation of fake elector slates in January 2021, the breach of the voting system in Coffee County emerged as an area of interest for investigators about a year ago. Since then, new evidence has gradually surfaced regarding the involvement of Trump’s lawyers, the operatives they employed, and how the breaches, including those in other key states, played into the larger strategy to overturn the election.
The collected text messages and other legal documents reveal how Trump’s legal team and a group of hired operatives attempted to access Coffee County’s voting systems in the days leading up to January 6, 2021. This was while Trump’s allies continued their desperate search for any proof of widespread fraud to delay the certification of Joe Biden’s electoral victory.
“The messages and documents appear to link Giuliani to the Coffee County breach, while shedding light on another channel of communication between pro-Trump attorneys and the battleground state operatives who worked together to provide unauthorized individuals access to sensitive voting equipment.
Last year, a former Trump official testified under oath to the House January 6 committee that discussions about accessing Georgia’s voting systems were held in White House meetings, including an Oval Office meeting on December 18, 2020, which included Trump himself,” the report states.
Six days before unauthorized pro-Trump individuals breached the voting systems, the local elections official who allegedly facilitated the breach sent a “written invitation” to Trump’s attorneys, as per text messages obtained by prosecutors.
Various individuals involved have been under scrutiny by investigators, including Misty Hampton, a former elections official from Coffee County who penned the invitation mentioned in text messages and other documents that have been shared with prosecutors, according to multiple sources.
Furthermore, investigators have examined the roles of Trump’s then-attorney Rudy Giuliani and fellow Trump lawyer Sidney Powell in connection to the probe.