Video shows fake Trump elector aided copying of Georgia election data

Trump backers and conspiracy theorists gathered in Coffee County
Cathy Latham, a Republican who tried to cast Georgia's electoral votes for Donald Trump, opens the door for members of SullivanStrickler, an Atlanta tech firm that copied confidential records, on Jan. 7, 2021. From left: Paul Maggio, Jim Nelson, Latham and Jennifer Jackson.

Credit: Coffee County security video

Credit: Coffee County security video

Cathy Latham, a Republican who tried to cast Georgia's electoral votes for Donald Trump, opens the door for members of SullivanStrickler, an Atlanta tech firm that copied confidential records, on Jan. 7, 2021. From left: Paul Maggio, Jim Nelson, Latham and Jennifer Jackson.

Security camera video made public Tuesday shows that a phony elector who tried to reverse the results of the last presidential election escorted a group of computer experts into the elections office in Coffee County, where they copied confidential software and files in January 2021.

The video also reveals later visits to the county elections office by Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan, who led a controversial Republican ballot review in Arizona after the 2020 presidential election, and Jeff Lenberg, a computer security consultant who analyzed voting equipment in Michigan and New Mexico.

The recording is the latest evidence of an effort by supporters of former President Donald Trump to take sensitive data from voting equipment manufactured by Dominion Voting Systems in several states. Previously disclosed documents indicated that Trump attorney Sidney Powell paid Atlanta tech firm SullivanStrickler for the data extraction.

The video surfaced last week, 20 months after it was created, when it was turned over by attorneys for Coffee County in response to an ongoing election security lawsuit.

“It looks to be a coordinated effort at the highest levels of the Trump campaign,” said David Cross, an attorney for the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. “What we see here is what looks to be an interstate effort to get access to the Dominion voting equipment and in particular the underlying software.”

On the video, Cathy Latham, the chairwoman for the Coffee County Republican Party at the time, greets four technicians for SullivanStrickler outside the county’s elections office on Jan. 7, 2021. She then walks them into the office, where they copied half a terabyte of files from an elections server, memory cards, ballot scanners and other computers.

Latham was one of 16 Republicans who met in the Georgia Capitol on Dec. 14, 2020, to cast the state’s electoral votes for Trump even though Democrat Joe Biden had won the state by nearly 12,000 votes. She is now the target of a Fulton County criminal investigation.

Allegations of widespread fraud in the 2020 election have repeatedly failed to withstand scrutiny. Three ballot counts, multiple court cases and repeated investigations have upheld the election results. That hasn’t stopped Trump and his backers from continuing to claim the election was stolen.

Latham exercised her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination about 300 times during a deposition last month, according to a transcript. She didn’t return calls to her listed phone numbers Monday.

Before the video was released, Latham had denied that Trump supporters were given access to election equipment, telling The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in May: “That’s bull hockey. If that had happened, that would have been all over town.”

Elections servers and computers are supposed to be kept secure to reduce the risk of tampering. Coffee County’s former elections director, Misty Hampton, who resigned in February 2021, can also be seen on the videos with Latham and the tech experts. Hampton couldn’t be reached for comment Monday.

Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan enters the Coffee County elections office on Jan. 19, 2021.

Credit: Coffee County security video

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Credit: Coffee County security video

Visits to Coffee County, located 200 miles south of Atlanta, continued later in January 2021. Logan and Lenberg were there on Jan. 18 and Jan. 19, and Lenberg returned for four more days from Jan. 25 to Jan. 28. Both are under investigation in connection with alleged breaches of voting equipment in Michigan, and their efforts reached other states as well.

The ballot review in Maricopa County, Arizona, by Logan’s company, Cyber Ninjas, concluded that Biden won but cited potential problems in the election — allegations that county election officials disputed. Logan didn’t return a message seeking comment Monday.

Lenberg was part of a team that recently published a “vulnerability assessment” of elections equipment in Otero County, New Mexico, which state election officials said showed no evidence of fraud.

A plane owned by Mike Lindell, the founder of My Pillow who peddled conspiracy theories about the election, also traveled to Coffee County on Feb. 25, 2021, Cross said. Video from late February was unavailable, but a flight tracking service shows the plane flew that day from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida to Washington, D.C., to Douglas, Georgia.

Besides copying election data on Jan. 7, the ultimate purpose of the trips to rural Coffee County remains unclear. The surveillance video shows the front door of the county elections office but doesn’t display images from inside the office.

An attorney for SullivanStrickler has said its computer experts were authorized by Powell — a private lawyer — to do the work for the purpose of preserving records. There’s no indication the company contracted with the county or sought a court order to unseal confidential election records.

The GBI opened a criminal investigation of computer trespass last month, and the secretary of state’s office has said it has been investigating since March.

But almost all information revealed about intrusions in Coffee County came as a result of subpoenas and depositions in the election security lawsuit, which is seeking to hold elections in Georgia with paper ballots filled out by hand rather than printed by computers.

Expert witnesses for the plaintiffs say that data taken from election computers could be used to create hacks or malware that could be used to manipulate election results, though there’s no evidence that has happened in any Georgia election.

Georgia officials say the state’s election system remains safe because it would be difficult to infect more than one voting machine at a time, and security precautions are designed to prevent outsiders from gaining access to voting equipment.

“None of this is a long-term security issue because of our procedures and processes and paper ballots,” interim Deputy Secretary of State Gabriel Sterling said last week. “The office takes all investigations seriously, and we will follow the information methodically and carefully so as to preserve options for potential prosecution.”

Scott Hall, a bail bondsman who flew from Atlanta to Coffee County and helped coordinate copying of election data, carries bags into the Coffee County elections office on Jan. 7, 2021. He's escorted by Cathy Latham, a fake elector for Donald Trump, and an unidentified man.

Credit: Coffee County security video

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Credit: Coffee County security video

Others present at the Coffee County elections office on Jan. 7, 2021, included Eric Chaney, who was a member of the county elections board at the time; Scott Hall, an Atlanta bail bondsman and election skeptic; and Ed Voyles, a former county elections board member.

Intrusions of voting equipment are also under investigation in other states.

In Colorado, former Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters has been indicted based on allegations that she helped an unauthorized person make copies of sensitive election data. Peters lost the Republican primary for Colorado secretary of state in June.

In Michigan, the attorney general’s office is investigating attempts to gain access to Dominion equipment, including participation by Logan and Lenberg.

Staff writer Johnny Edwards contributed to this article.

New developments in Coffee County

A security video from the Coffee County elections office shows exactly who was there in January 2021 when confidential election data was copied: election deniers, a county Republican Party chairwoman, tech experts and election officials.

The video is evidence of the involvement of Cathy Latham, a phony elector who tried to cast Georgia’s presidential votes for Donald Trump, as well as Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan, who led a partisan ballot review in Maricopa County, Arizona.

Who’s who in the Coffee County election breach

Republicans: Sidney Powell, an attorney for Donald Trump, and Cathy Latham, a phony presidential elector and the county’s GOP chairwoman at the time, coordinated with tech experts from the Atlanta firm SullivanStrickler to copy confidential election data.

Election officials: The county’s election director at the time, Misty Hampton, was in the office when SullivanStrickler copied files. Also present were county elections board member Eric Chaney and former elections board member Ed Voyles.

Analysts: Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan and consultant Jeff Lenberg, both of whom examined ballots in other states after the presidential election, visited Coffee County in late January 2021 after SullivanStrickler copied records earlier in the month.

Election skeptics: Scott Hall, an Atlanta bail bondsman, and a plane owned by My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell also traveled to Coffee County.