GBI report highlights new players in Coffee County election breach

New Details Emerge in Coffee County Election Breach

New details obtained by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) suggest that some individuals involved in the Coffee County election breach were aware of their wrongdoing and attempted to conceal their actions. The GBI conducted a separate investigation from the racketeering probe in Fulton County, which resulted in the indictment of 19 individuals, including former President Donald J. Trump. The question now is whether anyone else will face charges in relation to the Coffee County incident.

In August 2022, the GBI was tasked with investigating the Coffee County Dominion voting machine breach after the Coalition for Good Governance brought the issue to light. The non-profit organization had previously sued the state in 2017 over concerns about computerized voting and advocated for the use of hand-marked paper ballots. The Georgia Elections Board eventually requested the GBI’s assistance in examining the Coffee County incident. Due to several individuals refusing to participate in GBI interviews, investigators heavily relied on the Coalition’s findings, including depositions of key players.

Former elections director Misty Hampton, also known as Misty Hayes, refused to cooperate with GBI agents without an immunity deal. As a result, investigators quoted from her deposition in the civil case. Security footage from January 2021 showed Hayes granting access to Dominion voting machine skeptics, including Atlanta bondsman Scott Hall, to copy the Coffee County voting software. The GBI report revealed that Hayes communicated in code with Eric Chaney, a former Coffee County Elections Board member, referring to the breaches as “measuring my desk.” Chaney and Hall both declined to meet with the GBI for questioning.

Alex Cruce, who flew with Hall to Coffee County, informed the GBI that he believed “illegal or shady things were occurring” during the software copying process. Cruce also stated that he believed other Coffee County government officials, including Chaney, Cathy Latham, Ed Voyles, and Jim Ridlehoover, were aware of and complicit in the access granted to the data. Latham, the former GOP county chair, is already under indictment in the Fulton County racketeering case. Voyles and Ridelhoover, former elections chair and assistant elections director respectively, also refused to cooperate with the GBI.

Text messages between Hayes and Chaney on January 15, 2021, further revealed their attempts to communicate discreetly during the time of the election system breaches. Hayes requested if Chaney had “snap chat” as an alternative to the temporarily unavailable Signal messaging app. The GBI report highlighted this exchange as evidence of ongoing secretive communication. Hayes allowed another round of copying in late January, which included the owner of Cyber Ninjas, a group known for claiming evidence of election fraud in other states.

A text message sent by Hayes to Chaney on January 27, 2021, stating “I took care of the people measuring my desk,” indicated that she had facilitated the copying of the proprietary Dominion software. This software was later shared online. The GBI also discovered 3010 additional emails on Hayes’ computer that were not turned over to the Coalition for Good Governance despite a court subpoena. Although only seven of these emails were deemed of “particular interest,” the non-profit organization filed a new lawsuit against Coffee County demanding access to all the emails.

This is not the first time that the Coalition for Good Governance and Coffee County have clashed over public records. Initially, Coffee County claimed there was no security video footage available for the relevant time period. However, the key video evidence was eventually produced after the GBI commenced its investigation, leading to criminal racketeering indictments in Fulton County. It is possible that further charges may be forthcoming in Coffee County as well.

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr’s office stated that they are coordinating with the GBI and evaluating their options regarding potential indictments related to the Coffee County election breach. No specific timeline for a decision has been provided at this time.

Original Story at – 2023-10-25 00:08:54

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