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'She's no ringleader' says attorney for fired Coffee Co. election official

Cathy Latham is seen opening the elections office door, allowing unauthorized access to the secure area.

ATLANTA — An attorney representing a fired south Georgia election official says she did not lead an effort to undermine the state's election hardware or to overturn the 2020 election.

In a conference call with a federal judge in Atlanta, attorney Holly Pierson said that despite what's seen in surveillance video, former Coffee County Republican chair Cathy Latham wasn’t leading an incursion into the local election office.

Surveillance video shows Latham opening the door for people entering the Coffee County election office on Jan. 7, 2021, one day after the massive riot at the U.S. Capitol. 

The video shows her in the office among folks connected to Sidney Powell, an attorney tied to post-election efforts by the Trump campaign to overturn the election. Authorities believe they copied election data and imaged software from machines used to manage elections.

In the conference call, an attorney claimed Latham was at the Willard Hotel in Washington days earlier, where Trump loyalists like Rudy Giuliani and Steve Bannon had met to strategize efforts to overturn the election of Joe Biden.

Yet, Pierson told the court Latham "wasn’t engaged" with those folks – and said it was "completely untrue" that Latham was a "ringleader."

Attorneys revealed Latham repeatedly invoked the fifth amendment to avoid answering questions in a deposition.

Pierson told the court the fifth amendment "protects the innocent as well the guilty."

Attorneys want Latham’s phone – which could document some of what she did and who she was in contact with during that period of time. Judge Amy Totenberg directed attorneys in the case to take steps to make the phone available.

Latham is also a target in a criminal investigation where Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told 11Alive last week he expects those found guilty to do jail time.

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