Monday, Dec. 04, 2023|
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Newly revealed video shows that consultants hired by former President Donald Trump’s lawyer to help overturn the 2020 election were given access several times to a voting office in Georgia by a Republican official now under investigation for her role in attempting to forward a slate of fake electors on Trump’s behalf. One of those visits came on the same day a voting machine was breached there.
It adds to mounting evidence that efforts to help Trump in his attempted coup weren’t the disparate actions by random supporters they once appeared to be, but were part of a coordinated plot. Those who are still defending Trump’s indefensible actions — a group that includes far too many Republican elected officials — should look at these revelations and ask themselves whether their political calculus is more important than their duty to democracy.
Georgia’s vote went to President Joe Biden in the 2020 election. Prosecutors there have since been investigating attempts to create a slate of fake Georgia electors from people loyal to Trump, to be deployed in place of the state’s actual electors had Trump’s attempt to overturn the election results on Jan. 6, 2021, been successful.
Among those under investigation is Cathy Latham, then-Republican chair in Coffee County. Multiple news outlets reported on newly released security camera footage from the county’s election office showing Latham literally holding the door open to let two Trump campaign consultants into the election office on Jan. 7, 2021. That was the same day a voting machine was breached there, a subsequent investigation has shown.
The revelation is important because it establishes a working relationship between Trump’s operatives and local officials who were in his corner. The party official in the video wasn’t just some earnest, if misled, person seeking an honest election but was an active participant in a conspiracy with Trump’s own people.
Some of the operatives seen in the footage were hired by Trump lawyer Sidney Powell and have previously admitted they accessed a Georgia voting machine at Powell’s direction, ostensibly to search for evidence of fraud. Latham testified in a separate lawsuit that she wasn’t even at the office when the machine was accessed that day — but the video clearly shows her ushering the operatives into the office.
More information is needed to get to the bottom of what, exactly, Trump’s people did with that access, but the incident highlights the danger to democracy that Trump’s efforts caused. Voting machines are secure for a reason: Unsupervised access to them can open the door to hacking and other mischief that could affect future elections. It’s one more indication that election integrity is, in fact, in danger today — not from the imagined anti-Trump conspiracies peddled by him and his supporters, but by those supporters themselves.
— St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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