A trove of emails and documents uncovered by state investigators looking into a voting systems breach in Georgia is being turned over to the Fulton County prosecutors who brought the sweeping racketeering case against former President Donald Trump and his allies.
More than 15,000 emails and documents connected to Misty Hampton, the former election supervisor for Coffee County, were discovered this month by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation – after attorneys for the rural county’s board of elections claimed the information had been lost.
Hampton has been charged alongside Trump and 17 other co-defendants with trying to subvert the 2020 election results in Georgia. She has been accused of facilitating the unlawful breach of Coffee County’s voting systems.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation had been looking into the Coffee County incident since the summer of 2022. Earlier this month, the agency completed its investigation and gave the case file to Fulton County prosecutors to be included as part of discovery to be turned over to defendants in the Trump election interference case.
While it’s unclear what’s in the trove of emails and documents, the Coffee County breach features prominently in the Fulton County indictment. Prosecutors say Trump allies illegally breached the voting systems in hopes of finding proof that the election was fraudulent. Prosecutors also have evidence tying Trump campaign lawyers to the breach.
Sidney Powell, the former Trump campaign attorney charged with crimes stemming from the Coffee County voting systems breach, has centered her defense around the claim that access to the data was authorized by Hampton. Powell and pro-Trump lawyer Kenneth Chesebro are the first two defendants to go to trial, with jury selection set to begin Friday.
In text messages previously obtained by CNN, Hampton allegedly gave Trump attorneys a “written invitation” to access Georgia voting systems.
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Hampton’s attorney Jonathan Miller said he believes that the newly discovered emails and content will exonerate her.
“There is nothing in the 15,000 emails that would do anything to make my client culpable of a crime, and I look forward to reviewing it all,” Miller told CNN. “She was acting under authority of Georgia statutes in doing what she did, and the evidence is going to show that. She did not commit any crimes.”
Hampton and Powell each face seven charges in Fulton County, including conspiracy to commit election fraud and computer trespassing, in addition to racketeering. A trial date for Hampton has not been set, and Miller said his client has not received a plea offer she is “willing to facilitate.”
All but one defendant, bail bondsman Scott Hall, who has agreed to testify for the prosecution, have pleaded not guilty.
The security of Georgia’s elections had been the subject of litigation even before the 2020 presidential contest. The Coalition for Good Governance, a nonprofit organization, sued the Georgia secretary of state over the issue in 2017. Hampton’s alleged involvement in the Coffee County breach came to light as part of that ongoing civil lawsuit.
“Few people believed the bizarre claims made by the Coffee County Board of Elections and their attorneys that Misty Hampton’s emails were suddenly lost shortly after she was terminated in February 2021,” the coalition said in a statement.
The board of elections did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.