Georgia prosecutors investigating Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in the state are in possession of text messages and other communications that directly tie members of the former president’s legal team –including Rudy Giuliani — to a Jan. 7, 2021 voting systems breach, according to a Sunday report.
The messages could play a central part in Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ grand jury presentation this week in connection with her election fraud case against the 77-year-old current GOP presidential frontrunner, who has already faced three criminal indictment this years.
“Just landed back in DC with the Mayor huge things starting to come together! Most immediately, we were just granted access — by written invitation! — to Coffee County’s systems. Yay!” reads a Jan. 1, 2021 text message in a group chat of colleagues from Sullivan Strickler, the law firm hired by Trump’s team to examine the voting systems in the heavily Republican county, CNN reported.
Trump’s then-lawyer, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, was referred to as “the Mayor” in other messages sent by the same group, the outlet said.
Texts and other documents suggest that Trump’s team was scrambling for access to voting systems in the rural, mostly Republican county as early as mid-December, the report continued.
The letter of invitation was supposedly penned by Misty Hampton, a former Coffee County elections official who first piqued the interest of Trump’s cronies in the days after the election when she incorrectly claimed that Dominion voting machines could “very easily” flip votes from one candidate to another.
Desperate to delay certification of Joe Biden’s victory, a Trump campaign official emailed Hampton and asked to “obtain as much information as possible” about the voting situation in the county, which Trump won by 70%, CNN said.
In early December, Hampton delayed the certification of Biden’s win in the Peach State by refusing to recount results by the deadline.
A video Hampton made purportedly alerting the public to issues with the county’s voting machines was also used by Giuliani and Trump’s other lawyers in their push to convince other state legislators that the 2020 election results were marred by voter fraud.
Coffee County was name dropped in a draft of executive orders to seize voting machines that was presented to Trump at an Oval Office meeting on Dec. 18, 2020, according to the article.
At the time, Giuliani also allegedly hinted at plans to gain “voluntary access” to Georgia voting machines, he and others previously testified before the House Jan. 6 committee.
A few days after the pivotal Oval Office meeting, CNN explained, Hampton shared the written invitation to access Coffee County’s election office with the Trump team.
Katherine Freiss, another attorney working with Giuliani, Sidney Powell, and other Trump cronies, reportedly distributed the invitation to a group of Trump allies on Jan. 1, 2021 – just a few days before the breach.
That same day, Freiss also reportedly sent the invite to disgraced former NYPD Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik, who had teamed up with his former boss Giuliani to back up their claims of voter fraud.
Hampton and elections official Cathy Latham then allegedly helped Trump’s team access the Coffee County voting system, the messages reviewed by the outlet indicated.
Latham, in particular, has come under fire for surveillance footage that purportedly shows her allowing unauthorized visitors to access the voting systems.
The text messages and other communications are expected to play a role in Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ investigation into charges of election interference, which will come up before a grand jury this week.
While the probe initially focused on Trump’s January 2021 call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and a plot to put forward fake electors, the Coffee County breach and those tied to it has emerged as another central part of the effort, CNN said.
The bombshell case could slap the embattled former president with racketeering and other charges in his fourth criminal case this year.
Trump was charged last month with conspiracy and obstruction in connection with his alleged role in the riots at the US Capitol a day before the Coffee County voting systems breach.
“AS PRESIDENT, CHALLENGING ELECTION FRAUD – MY DUTY & RIGHT!” Trump vented Saturday on Truth Social.
Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat previously confirmed that the real estate mogul would need to follow “normal practices” — including a mug shot — if indicted.
Willis’ office could not be immediately reached for a comment.