Georgia prosecutors have obtained a cache of text messages and communications that they say directly implicate members of former President Donald Trump’s legal team, including Rudy Giuliani, in a voting systems breach on January 7, 2021.
The messages are expected to feature prominently in the grand jury presentation by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, slated for this week. The case centers on election fraud allegations against the 77-year-old GOP presidential frontrunner, who is already facing three criminal indictments this year.
One alleged text message from a group chat of colleagues at Sullivan Strickler, the law firm hired by Trump’s team to scrutinize voting systems, reads, “Just landed back in DC with the Mayor huge things starting to come together! Most immediately, we were just granted access — by written invitation! — to Coffee County’s systems. Yay!” This message was sent on January 1, 2021, referring to Giuliani as “the Mayor.”
According to Georgia Prosecutors, Trump’s team was fervently seeking access to voting systems in Coffee County, a predominantly Republican area, as early as mid-December. The invitation to access these systems was purportedly authored by Misty Hampton, a former Coffee County elections official. Hampton initially drew the attention of Trump’s associates when she wrongly claimed that Dominion voting machines could easily flip votes from one candidate to another.
In their desperation to delay the certification of Joe Biden’s victory, a Trump campaign official emailed Hampton, requesting detailed information about the county’s voting situation, which Trump had won by a wide margin.
Hampton’s actions played a significant role in delaying the certification of Biden’s win in Georgia. Her video highlighting issues with the county’s voting machines was also employed by Giuliani and Trump’s legal team to substantiate claims of voter fraud.
Coffee County emerged in a draft of executive orders presented to Trump during an Oval Office meeting on December 18, 2020, as part of a strategy to seize voting machines. Giuliani also alluded to plans for “voluntary access” to Georgia voting machines, a point that he and others testified before the House Jan. 6 committee.
Following the pivotal Oval Office meeting, Hampton shared the invitation to access Coffee County’s election office with Trump’s team. Katherine Freiss, another attorney working with Giuliani and other Trump allies, distributed the invitation further on January 1, 2021, just days before the breach.
Reports suggest that on the same day, Freiss forwarded the invitation to Bernie Kerik, a former NYPD Police Commissioner associated with Giuliani’s voter fraud claims.
Hampton and Cathy Latham, another elections official, allegedly assisted Trump’s team in accessing the Coffee County voting system. Latham has faced scrutiny for allowing unauthorized individuals to access the voting systems through surveillance footage.
The alleged text messages and communications are expected to play a pivotal role in District Attorney Fani Willis’ investigation into election interference. While the initial focus was on Trump’s call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in January 2021 and a scheme involving fake electors, the Coffee County breach has now emerged as a significant aspect of the investigation.
If the evidence holds, this case could result in additional charges, potentially including racketeering, against the former president in what would be his fourth criminal case this year.
Trump, who was charged last month with conspiracy and obstruction in connection with his alleged role in the US Capitol riots, responded on his social media platform Truth Social, stating, “AS PRESIDENT, CHALLENGING ELECTION FRAUD – MY DUTY & RIGHT!” Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat confirmed that if indicted, Trump would need to follow standard procedures, including a mug shot.
As this investigation unfolds, we are closely monitoring developments and seeking comments from Willis’ office, which was unavailable for immediate response. Stay tuned for further updates on this evolving situation.