Georgia’s Fulton County is hacked, but prosecutor’s office says Trump election case is unaffected

ATLANTA (AP) — Officials said court and other systems in Georgia’s most populous county were hacked over the weekend, interrupting routine operations, but the district attorney’s office said the racketeering case against former President Donald Trump is unaffected.

Fulton County, which includes most of Atlanta, was experiencing a “widespread system outage” from a “cybersecurity incident,” county commission Chair Robb Pitts said Monday in a video posted on social media. Notably, he said, the outage is affecting the county’s phone, court and tax systems.

But the office of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said the racketeering case against Trump and others is not affected.

“All material related to the election case is kept in a separate, highly secure system that was not hacked and is designed to make any unauthorized access extremely difficult if not impossible,” Willis’ office said in a statement.

But the prosecutor’s office said its operations were being “drastically” affected by the electronic court filing system outage. Visitors to the website that houses Fulton County’s online court records were greeted by a message saying it is “temporarily unavailable.”

Additionally, the statement said, the Atlanta Police Department was not sending emails to or opening emails from the district attorney’s office out of concern for its own systems. That was hindering prosecutors’ work because about 85% of their cases come from Atlanta police.

A Fulton County grand jury in August indicted Trump and 18 others. They’re accused of participating in a wide-ranging scheme to illegally try to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia. Four people have already pleaded guilty after reaching plea deals with prosecutors. Trump and the others who remain have pleaded not guilty.

Pitts said the outage was reported to law enforcement and was under investigation. The FBI office in Atlanta confirmed that it was aware of the breach and had been in contact with the county’s information technology department but declined to discuss specifics.

County spokesperson Jessica Corbitt said Tuesday there was no estimate for when the outage would be repaired. Most county offices remained open, though certain transactions were limited due to the outage, according to the county’s website.

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