Georgia voting systems breach a 'top-down push by Trump’s team': report

Georgia voting systems breach a 'top-down push by Trump’s team': report
COLUMBUS, GEORGIA - JUNE 10: Former U.S. President Donald Trump arrives to deliver remarks to the Georgia state GOP convention at the Columbus Convention and Trade Center on June 10, 2023 in Columbus, Georgia. On Friday, former President Trump was indicted by a federal grand jury on 37 felony counts in Special Counsel Jack Smith’s classified documents probe. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images).

Fulton County, Georgia District Attorney Fani Willis and her team of prosecutors have proof that allies of twice-impeached thrice-indicted former President Donald Trump "attempted to access voting systems after the 2020 election as part of the broader push to produce evidence that could back up the former president's baseless claims of widespread fraud," sources familiar with the investigation told CNN's Zachary Cohen and Sara Murray over the weekend.

Willis' office has collected "text messages and emails directly connecting members of Donald Trump's legal team to the early January 2021 voting system breach in Coffee County," Cohen and Murray wrote on Sunday. "Investigators in the Georgia criminal probe have long suspected the breach was not an organic effort sprung from sympathetic Trump supporters in rural and heavily Republican Coffee County – a county Trump won by nearly 70% of the vote. They have gathered evidence indicating it was a top-down push by Trump's team to access sensitive voting software, according to people familiar with the situation."

CNN notes that "the text messages and other court documents show how Trump lawyers and a group of hired operatives sought to access Coffee County's voting systems in the days before January 6, 2021, as the former president’s allies continued a desperate hunt for any evidence of widespread fraud they could use to delay certification of Joe Biden's electoral victory."

READ MORE: Trump’s latest rant about Georgia election tampering immediately shot down by legal expert

Two members of Trump's legal team at the time, Sidney Powell and erstwhile New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, along with Giuliani associate Katherine Friess, "shared a 'written invitation' to examine voting systems in Coffee County with a group of Trump allies," CNN continues. "That group included members of Sullivan Strickler, a firm hired by Trump's attorneys to examine voting systems in the small, heavily Republican Georgia county, according to text messages obtained by CNN."

Freiss also "sent a 'Letter of invitation to Coffee County, Georgia' to former NYPD Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik, who was working with Giuliani to find evidence that would back up their baseless claims of potential widespread voter fraud," CNN learned from a civil court case's documents.

Although Giuliani's defense counsel denies that he had any involvement, Cohen and Murray explain that communications between employees of a firm hired by Powell to examine ballot tabulators "consistently referred to" Giuliani "as 'the Mayor,' in other texts sent by the same individual and others at the time."

For instance, on January 1st, 2021, one exchange read, "Just landed back in DC with the Mayor huge things starting to come together!" That was followed by, "Most immediately, we were just granted access – by written invitation! – to Coffee County's systems. Yay!"

READ MORE: 'Guess what she just did': Legal expert says Fani Willis charged a Trump 'warm up' case

Cohen's and Murray's report is available at this link.

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