early and often

Footage Shows Georgia GOP Official On-site During Voting-Equipment Breach

In this image taken from a security video, Cathy Latham, bottom, who was the chair of the Coffee County Republican Party at the time, greets a team of computer experts from data-solutions company Sullivan|Strickler at the county elections office in Douglas, Georgia. Photo: Uncredited/AP/Shutterstock

In a snapshot of how local Republican leaders coordinated with Donald Trump’s campaign to search for nonexistent evidence that Trump had actually won the 2020 election, newly released surveillance footage shows a top Georgia GOP official allowing two operatives hired by the Trump campaign into a county elections office in rural Georgia on January 7, 2021, the same day its voting system was allegedly breached.

The videos, obtained by CNN and the Washington Post, center around Cathy Latham, the former chairwoman of the Coffee County Republican Party, who is already in hot water for her role as one of the 16 Georgia Republicans who engaged in a fake-elector scheme by claiming that they were the state’s rightful electors and casting electoral-college ballots in favor of Trump. As part of that plot, she is a target in two criminal investigations into the attempt to overturn the election conducted by the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice.

In the footage, Latham is seen letting a team — including men from the data-analytics firm Sullivan|Strickler hired by Trump attorney Sidney Powell — into the county’s elections office around 11:30 a.m. on the day that the local voting machines were breached. Surveillance footage shows that the team did not leave the building until two and a half hours after its regular closing time. The auditors grabbed copies of almost every part of the county voting system and billed Powell $26,000 for the day, according to court records. “We scanned every freaking ballot,” one of the men involved later said. To let the auditing team in, Latham coordinated with former county elections supervisor Misty Hampton. “Did you all finish with the scanner?” Latham texted three days after the breach.

The incident was not the only time that Latham let operatives from the Trump campaign into the Coffee County elections office. On January 18, 2021, video shows Latham and Hampton meeting with two men — cybersecurity consultants Doug Logan and Jeffrey Lenberg — and escorting them into the building in the afternoon when the office was closed for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The pair returned for the whole day on January 19, and Lenberg eventually visited the office four more times.

While it’s unknown exactly what they did in rural south Georgia, Logan and Lenberg’s work in other states provides some context for what they were hired to do by the Trump campaign. They are under investigation in Michigan for allegedly breaching voting machines in three separate counties. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has requested a special prosecutor to determine if Logan and Lenberg should be charged for allegedly breaking into election equipment. (As the head of a company called Cyber Ninjas, Logan was tasked by Republicans in Arizona to audit the election. His firm ultimately found that Biden had won by even more than the official tally, and he shuttered the company.) The site in south Georgia was not chosen at random. Coffee County was one of two counties cited in the drafted but unrealized order for the Department of Homeland Security or the military to seize voting machines to search for election fraud.

A Republican Party official coordinating with a local elections supervisor to allow unfettered access to voting machines in a county seen as pivotal to a bogus voter-fraud case seems like a subject of interest to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which has opened a civil inquiry into the matter. Also of interest may be the fact that the video contradicts what Latham said under oath. In a deposition in August, she claimed that she had stopped by the elections building for “just a few minutes” on January 7, and that she was out of there before 5 p.m. As a teacher, she said her schedule would not allow her to be free for a midday visit. According to the video footage, Latham was there for two hours in the afternoon and two hours in the evening, leaving around 6:15 p.m.

Georgia GOP Official On-site During Voting-Equipment Breach