Surveillance video surfaces from inside Coffee County elections office

Fake elector, tech experts and election skeptics copied election data

One of Georgia’s fake electors for then-President Donald Trump can be seen on a video released Tuesday spending hours with a group of computer analysts after she welcomed them into the Coffee County elections office to copy nonpublic election data on Jan. 7, 2021.

The video appears to contradict sworn statements by Cathy Latham, a member of the Georgia Republican Party’s executive committee at the time, according to a court filing in an election security lawsuit. Latham said in a deposition last month that she didn’t remember much of what happened or who was there that day, and she repeatedly invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Video from inside the elections office is further evidence that Trump supporters and computer analysts penetrated an election server, voter check-in computers, ballot scanners and other voting equipment in Coffee County, a rural area 200 miles south of Atlanta where Trump received 70% of the vote.

The GBI and the secretary of state’s office are investigating, and a Fulton County special grand jury looking into Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election is seeking information about the Coffee County incident.

The video was made public Tuesday after it was disclosed by Coffee County’s government Friday in response to the lawsuit. It supplements previously released security video that showed the outside of the elections office.

Latham was one of 16 Republicans who attempted to award Georgia’s electoral votes to Trump on Dec. 14, 2020, and then less than a month later escorted the tech experts into the Coffee elections office. They worked for the Atlanta firm SullivanStrickler, which billed Trump attorney Sidney Powell $26,000 for the job, according to subpoenaed documents.

“These new facts — which Latham pretends do not exist — refute her unsubstantiated insistence that she did not ‘participate in whatever SullivanStrickler and others were allegedly doing,’ ” according to a court filing late Monday by plaintiffs seeking documents from Latham. “She literally directed them on what to collect in the office.”

An attorney for Latham, Bob Cheeley, said in a statement Tuesday that she has not acted improperly or illegally. Because Latham, the county’s Republican Party chairwoman at the time, wasn’t an elections employee, she couldn’t have authorized computer imaging or ballot scanning, he said.

“She has never denied that she went to the Coffee County elections office on Jan. 7, 2021; instead, she affirmatively testified that she was there,” Cheeley said. “While Mrs. Latham does not pretend to remember the details of all that occurred on that specific date more than a year and a half ago, she does remember going to the elections office after teaching school on Jan. 7, 2021, to check in on some voter review panels from the runoff election, and she truthfully testified to those facts.”

ExploreInside the campaign to undermine Georgia’s election

The video shows Latham making introductions, looking at computers and taking selfies on her cellphone with one of the tech experts in an office room. Video images don’t include the election server room, located further within the elections office, that was supposed to be kept secure.

An attorney for SullivanStrickler has said Latham was a “primary point of contact” in coordinating the computer analysts’ visit to Coffee County.

The copying of software and files from equipment made by Dominion Voting Systems came the day after the Capitol riot in Washington as Congress was preparing to accept presidential electoral votes. The 2020 election results have been upheld by recounts, court cases and investigations. Democrat Joe Biden defeated Trump, a Republican, in Georgia by about 12,000 votes.

Credit: Coffee County

Credit: Coffee County

The video also shows Jeffrey Lenberg, a computer analyst, in the Coffee elections office later in the month. Lenberg, a skeptic of the 2020 election results, is under investigation in connection with intrusions of voting equipment in Michigan.

While Lenberg was working in the Coffee elections office on Jan. 26, 2021, an elections investigator for the Georgia secretary of state’s office arrived but didn’t appear to recognize Lenberg or suspect wrongdoing.

The investigator was working on a case involving absentee ballots that was unrelated to an investigation of unauthorized access, said Mike Hassinger, spokesman for the secretary of state’s office. The state investigation into the incident wasn’t opened until this past March.

The investigator “didn’t know who Jeff Lenberg even was, let alone well enough to recognize him, or what he may have been up to,” Hassinger said. “The secretary of state’s office does not look over the shoulders of every elections office in the state on a daily basis. We respond to allegations when they are raised, but at every stage, information about unauthorized access to Coffee County’s election equipment has been kept hidden.”

Plaintiffs in the election security lawsuit, which include the Coalition for Good Governance and several voters, are opposing an attempt to quash subpoenas for Latham’s personal electronic devices, including any cellphones, computers and storage devices.

A judge in the election security lawsuit recently granted the plaintiffs’ request to subpoena documents from Lenberg and former Coffee Elections Board Chairman Ed Voyles, who was in the Coffee elections office on the day data was copied.

Additional records are being sought from other individuals involved, including former Coffee Elections Director Misty Hampton, who made a YouTube video claiming she could change votes; Scott Hall, a bail bondsman who met the tech experts in Coffee; and Doug Logan, CEO of Cyber Ninjas, who also visited Coffee County in January 2021 and later conducted a ballot review in Maricopa County, Arizona.