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2020 Georgia vote plot included hacking

by on16 August 2023

Who would have thunk it

The plot to reverse the results of the 2020 Georgia vote included an effort to use breached voter data, according to the indictment of Donald Trump handed down by a Fulton County, Georgia, grand jury.

According to evidence presented to the grand jury, the person behind the plot was Trump attorney Sidney Powell, who ironically gained wide notoriety for her efforts to bring conspiracy theories about Dominion Voting Systems to public attention.

She was named "special counsel" on the heels of December 18, 2020, meeting with Trump, advisor Rudy Giuliani and others with "broad authority to investigate allegations of voter fraud in Georgia and elsewhere."

In a May 2022 deposition before the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol, Powell indicated that Trump, Giuliani, and others discussed issuing an executive order and presidential findings to permit the federal seizure of voting machines.

By the time of this meeting, Powell had already asked Atlanta-based forensic data services provider SullivanStrickler to analyse voting equipment. Powell allegedly started a scheme to hack election equipment in Georgia's rural and heavily Republican Coffee County.

According to reporting from CNN, the Coffee County machines were mentioned in orders drafted to allow for the seizure of voting equipment.

When the plot to steal data from election equipment in Coffee County first came to light, Georgia authorities asked the FBI in collecting evidence and exploring possible links between that breach and similar breaches in Michigan and Nevada.

On January 7, 2021, a day after the vote certification at the U.S. Capitol was stopped when rioters stormed the building, Powell and several named associates are alleged to have unlawfully tampered with voting equipment. One of these, the delightfully named Misty Hampton, is a former elections supervisor in Coffee County whose video alleging that Dominion voting machines could be easily tampered with attracted wide public attention in 2020.

Hampton allegedly facilitated access to Coffee County election equipment but claimed she did not observe tampering. However, Hampton's facilitation of access to non-public areas of county elections offices is characterised in the indictment as an "overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy" to overturn the election.

Four unindicted co-conspirators are also alleged to have had a hand in downloading stolen voter data files from a server maintained by SullivanStrickler. Activity on the breached voter data is alleged to have gone on well after the inauguration of President Joe Biden. In late April 2021, an unindicted co-conspirator allegedly emailed SullivanStrickler’s chief operations officer ordering him to send the Coffee County data to an attorney linked to Powell.

Additionally, Powell allegedly misrepresented her role in the Coffee County plot in her sworn deposition to the House Select Committee probing the events of January 6, 2021.

In the Fulton County indictment, Trump and his closest advisors, including Giuliani and former chief of staff Mark Meadows, are not charged with hacking or computer violations.

Last modified on 16 August 2023
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