With Fulton County, Georgia DA Fani Willis expected to bring her case to a grand jury this week as several witnesses to Trump's efforts to interfere with the 2020 Georgia election have been informed they will need to testify stating Tuesday, we're starting to see what kind of evidence Willis may present, including messages from Trump's inner circle that they were directly involved in the January 2021 voting system breach in a Georgia county elections office.
Atlanta-area prosecutors investigating efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia are in possession of text messages and emails directly connecting members of Donald Trump’s legal team to the early January 2021 voting system breach in Coffee County, sources tell CNN.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is expected to seek charges against more than a dozen individuals when her team presents its case before a grand jury next week. Several individuals involved in the voting systems breach in Coffee County are among those who may face charges in the sprawling criminal probe.
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.
Trump allies 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.
While Trump’s January 2021 call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and effort to put forward fake slates of electors have long been considered key pillars of Willis’ criminal probe, the voting system breach in Coffee County quietly emerged as an area of focus for investigators roughly one year ago. Since then, new evidence has slowly been uncovered about the role of Trump’s attorneys, the operatives they hired and how the breach, as well as others like it in other key states, factored into broader plans for overturning the election.
Together, 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.
Last year, a former Trump official testified under oath to the House January 6 select committee that plans to access voting systems in Georgia were discussed in meetings at the White House, including during an Oval Office meeting on December 18, 2020, that included Trump.
Six days before pro-Trump operatives gained unauthorized access to voting systems, the local elections official who allegedly helped facilitate the breach sent a “written invitation” to attorneys working for Trump, according to text messages obtained by CNN.
Investigators have scrutinized the actions of various individuals who were involved, including Misty Hampton, a former Coffee County elections official who authored the letter of invitation referenced in text messages and other documents that have been turned over to prosecutors, multiple sources told CNN.
They have also examined the involvement of Trump’s then attorney Rudy Giuliani – who was informed last year he was a target in the Fulton County investigation – and fellow Trump lawyer Sidney Powell as part of their probe, according to people familiar with the matter.
A spokesperson for Willis’ office declined to comment.
The letter of invitation was shared with attorneys and an investigator working with Giuliani at the time, the text messages obtained by CNN show.
Remember, the entire Coffee County voting system mess was the justification Trump's team wanted for seizing voting machines across the country. The fact that it was all criminal activity on the part of Trump's followers was beside the point.
We lucked out because Trump's people lacked the fortitude to accept the consequences in January 2021.
We won't get a second chance to stop them if he is allowed back into office again.