Computer Forensics Firm Named In Georgia Indictment Says It Wasn't Part Of Trump ‘Team’

In between the dozens of allegations of criminal wrongdoing levied by a Georgia grand jury at Donald Trump and 18 others Monday night, a little-discussed computer forensics firm enjoys a prominent place in the most recent indictment against the former president and his alleged co-conspirators. 

The firm, Atlanta’s SullivanStrickler, seemed to have been treated almost like a teammate by the Trump advisers and allies who allegedly engaged in a coordinated criminal enterprise to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in the state. 

But SullivanStrickler, which is not a defendant in the indictment, has also said for months that its employees were merely third-party contractors working for lawyers it had no reason to believe would ask them to do something illegal ― “only witnesses in this matter,” as it said in a statement last September.

Now it appears SullivanStrickler’s records were instrumental in piecing together a key part of the Georgia case: Trump allies’ alleged efforts to break into voting machines in order to provide fodder for Trump’s claims that the 2020 election was “stolen” from him. 

In response to HuffPost’s questions, an attorney representing the firm shared a statement that SullivanStrickler has been circulating for at least a year, stating that it “is not and has never been part of a ‘Pro-Trump team’ or any ‘team’ whose goal is to undermine our democracy through lies and conspiracy theories about the 2020 election” and that, on the contrary, its work is “politically agnostic.” 

SullivanStrickler’s job was simple but crucial to the alleged effort to disrupt the ceremonial certification of Joe Biden’s win: In Georgia and elsewhere, including Michigan and, to a limited extent, in Nevada, the firm’s technicians worked to forensically copy election machine data and then preserve digital images of the data on an online server, allowing third parties ― namely, conspiracy theorists working or allied with the campaign ― to access those images, turning them into salacious false “evidence” of a stolen election. 

In one striking example, SullivanStrickler investigators, with a judge’s approval, made a digital copy of the election machine data in Antrim County, Michigan, that showed where a minor human error had briefly resulted in incorrect results favoring Joe Biden being recorded in 2020 before being fixed. Subsequently, a false report based on their digital copy claimed that Dominion Voting System machines were intentionally designed to corrupt elections. The report was released publicly, and Trump subsequently told a Justice Department official in 2020 that the report ought to serve as grounds to declare the election “untrustworthy,” the official later testified. The report was also cited in a draft executive order, which was never signed, that purporting to give Trump authority to seize voting machines nationwide. 

SullivanStrickler’s technicians, who were not mentioned at all in the Aug. 1 federal election conspiracy indictment against Trump, are not known to have made any false statements themselves about the voting machines. The firm’s work was done “without analysis or opinion,” according to its statement. 

But its role in copying the machine data as contractors for Trump’s allies gave them a front-row seat to the alleged criminal scheme that’s now rocking Trump World.


SullivanStrickler’s involvement in the Georgia indictment was short but jam-packed: Around Dec. 6, 2020, according to the indictment, pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell “entered into a written engagement” with the firm for collection and analysis of Dominion Voting Systems equipment in “Michigan and elsewhere,” including Coffee County, Georgia. 

The following day, Powell allegedly told SullivanStricker’s chief operating officer,  Paul Maggio, who is not named in the indictment, that three unnamed co-conspirators should all be given copies of the data retrieved from Michigan. The indictment names at least three other unindicted co-conspirators who had access to the data. 

Powell later told the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riot that she “didn’t have any role in really setting up” the efforts to gain access to voting machines in those counties, which the Georgia indictment counts as an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy. In fact, according to the indictment, Powell’s contract with SullivanStrickler caused employees of the firm to travel to Coffee County “for the purpose of willfully tampering with said electronic ballot markers and tabulating machines,” allegedly part of the conspiracy.

That allegation corresponds to SullivanStrickler’s busiest day as witness (and non-criminal participant) in the Trump team’s alleged scheme: On Jan. 7, 2021, several Trump allies met with local Republicans at the Coffee County elections office, where SullivanStrickler employees made digital copies of the county’s election machines. 

The firm has repeatedly emphasized that “at the time they engaged in that work, they were operating under the good faith belief that their client was authorized to access the voting machines and servers” and that “the firm elected to cease any further new work on this matter after the January 7th time period.”

The Coffee County Elections and Registration office in Douglas, Georgia.
The Coffee County Elections and Registration office in Douglas, Georgia.

The Coffee County Elections and Registration office in Douglas, Georgia.

But what happened that day makes up a significant portion of Monday’s indictment. 

For one thing, SullivanStrickler’s involvement that day was cited as evidence that Cathleen Alston Latham ― the former chair of the Coffee County Republican Party and a false elector for Trump in Georgia ― perjured herself. Among other things, according to the indictment, Latham falsely claimed under oath that she had “no idea” if SullivanStrickler employees met Eric Chaney, then a member of the county’s elections board, at the county elections office on that day. In fact, surveillance footage later reported by The Washington Post appeared to show Latham introducing Chaney to the SullivanStrickler employees. 

SullivanStrickler’s work that day is also cited in evidence that multiple defendants ― Powell, Latham, then-Coffee County Elections Director Misty Hampton and local bail bondsman Scott Graham Hall ― were allegedly involved in multiple conspiracies, including two counts of conspiracy to commit election fraud, conspiracy to commit computer theft, conspiracy to commit computer trespass, conspiracy to commit computer invasion of privacy and conspiracy to defraud the state.


In Michigan, SullivanStrickler employees ― with payment reportedly arranged by Sidney Powell ― worked in Antrim County, where a local man sued after a clerk’s human error had briefly resulted in the county reflecting incorrect vote totals. The attorney representing the plaintiff, Matthew DePerno, went on to win the Republican nomination for Michigan attorney general in 2022 and then lose in the general election. Last month, he was charged with multiple state felonies over an alleged scheme to improperly access voting machines. DePerno has denied wrongdoing.

DePerno named Maggio and Greg Freemyer, SullivanStrickler’s director of forensics, as “experts” in the case, in which a judge allowed the plaintiffs to have access to the county’s voting systems. 

But that’s not all. When MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell held a conspiracy-theory-driven “Cyber Symposium” in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in 2021 ― falsely advertising the event as a would-be clearinghouse of legitimate evidence of election theft ― attendees apparently received unexpected, and unauthorized, access to SullivanStrickler’s work. 

Harri Hursti, a cybersecurity expert who attended the event, noted with concern that digital images of Antrim County’s election system had been made available to symposium attendees. Though he decided not to examine the images themselves ― he knew they’d been prohibited from being shared publicly by a Michigan judge ― he did look at “metadata” that listed Freemyer, the SullivanStrickler forensics director and DePerno’s expert witness, under “Examiner Name.” Hursti shared the metadata with someone who he knew had a legitimate copy from the court’s evidence.

“We found out that the Antrim image they had, it was stolen court evidence,” Hursti said in August 2021.

SullivanStrickler did not answer HuffPost’s specific questions about its work in Georgia and Michigan, though there may be a good reason, as criminal prosecutions and investigations are ongoing. 

Besides the alleged scheme to improperly access voting equipment in Michigan, investigators for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the state attorney general’s office have for months been investigating the similar situation in the Coffee County breach, parallel to the investigators from Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ office. 

A spokesperson for Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr told HuffPost on Monday that “this investigation has not been absorbed into the Fulton County matter.”