In a letter to federal investigators, including Attorney General Merrick Garland and Special Counsel Jack Smith, Free Speech For People called for a “vigorous and swift investigation” into the Trump attorneys’ plan, claiming possible evidence of federal crimes.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 13, 2022) – Evidence uncovered in Georgia has implicated several Donald Trump attorneys, including Sidney Powell, for organizing and funding a multi-state scheme to unlawfully access, copy and share voting system software from the two largest voting system companies in at least three states. Copies of election system software were taken, analyzed, and uploaded to a sharefile site, then accessed and copied by an unknown number of individuals and organizations. Subpoenas recently issued by the Department of Justice’s Special Counsel do not appear to address the software breach by Trump allies. 

Plaintiffs in a longstanding civil lawsuit, Curling v. Raffensperger, obtained through discovery emails, contracts and other documentation that show technicians, including Doug Logan of Cyber Ninjas, were hired and paid by Powell and the “Defending the Republic” organization to travel to Coffee County, Georgia, and unlawfully access, copy, analyze and distribute copies of election software in the aftermath of the 2020 election. (Curling was first filed in 2017 and does not allege any election was incorrectly decided.)  The documents also reveal that the effort in Georgia was part of a larger multi-state enterprise that also included Michigan and Nevada, possibly constituting a federal criminal conspiracy.

The nonpartisan legal advocacy group Free Speech For People has organized a coalition of security and election advocates and experts to provide details of the plaintiffs’ discovery, to outline the potential federal crimes and possible links to attempts to overturn the 2020 election, and to summarize the cybersecurity risks associated with the software theft, in a letter to Special Counsel Jack Smith, Attorney General Merrick Garland, Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Jen Easterly and Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Chris Wray, and Assistant Director Robert Wells.

Their letter, issued yesterday, states this evidence reveals a plan that “possibly constitutes federal crimes.” 

In addition to indicating a potential multistate conspiracy, the evidence developed through plaintiffs’ discovery appears to link the events in Coffee County to the draft executive order provided to Donald Trump that sought to seize voting machines and rerun the 2020 presidential elections, making this information directly relevant to Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into attempts to illegally interfere with  the transfer of power. 

Further, unlawfully copying and distributing the software that runs election systems used in Georgia and other states magnifies threats to elections. The coalition’s letter warns that malicious actors may use the software to develop ways to attack or disrupt elections, or to fabricate evidence to discredit legitimate election results. It further urges the Department of Homeland Security to investigate the distribution of the unlawfully obtained software, to conduct a risk assessment, and to factor these developments into its efforts to protect U.S. elections.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, currently the defendant in the civil suit in which this evidence was obtained, has dismissed the severity and implications of these developments.

“The plaintiffs in Curling uncovered a bombshell – attorneys for Donald Trump sought to unlawfully obtain voting system software and share it with a wide network of election deniers. This should spur investigations on the federal level on at least three fronts: to investigate the potentially criminal multistate conspiracy to seize election system software; to investigate the role the software theft may have played in attempts to unlawfully interfere with the transfer of presidential power on January 6th; and to investigate and assess the risks posed by the unlawful distribution of proprietary voting system software to individuals and entities that sought to overturn the 2020 election,” said Susan Greenhalgh, Senior Advisor for Election Security at Free Speech For People. “Yet, we’ve seen no evidence these investigations are being conducted. In fact, we’ve seen the Georgia Secretary of State disregard and dismiss these matters, which may, in effect, discourage necessary federal engagement.” 

“This plot was orchestrated by individuals currently under investigation for their attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, and their coordinated and illegal effort to obtain voting system software may have been part of that plot. This calls for a vigorous and swift investigation by the Department of Justice, the Special Counsel, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” said Ron Fein, Legal Director for Free Speech For People. 

“There’s a reason that the U.S. protects critical infrastructure software like voting systems.  Cyber warfare is always mounted by a kill chain that begins with reconnaissance to uncover mistakes or vulnerabilities that can be exploited, weaponized, and efficiently deployed. The riskiest, most expensive part of a cyber-attack is reconnaissance—think of it as good old-fashioned human espionage—to discover vulnerabilities. It can take decades to discover how to attack systems, but when the target software is widely available, adversaries can experiment with little risk of detection,” said Richard DeMillo, Warren Chair in Computing and founder of the School of Cybersecurity at Georgia Tech. “This effectively short-circuits the kill chain making weaponization much more efficient for adversaries.  It’s an economic consequence of global cyber warfare that voting system software in the wild multiplies the number of potential attackers by many orders of magnitude.”


The letter was first reported on by the Washington Post, and can be found here.