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Stacey Abrams calls Kemp investigation into Georgia Democrats a 'witch hunt'

Democratic Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams said Monday her Republican opponent, Georgia Secret...

Posted: Nov 6, 2018 5:38 AM
Updated: Nov 6, 2018 5:38 AM

Democratic Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams said Monday her Republican opponent, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, was abusing his power by investigating the Georgia Democratic Party over what his office describes as an attempt to hack the state's voter registration system.

Georgia Democrats have vehemently denied the claim. A series of email chains obtained by CNN late Sunday indicate that, rather than taking part in any alleged "hack," the Georgia Democrats had simply passed along information about security concerns from a voter to a private cybersecurity firm, which in turn shared the issue with Kemp's office.

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The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said in a statement Monday that its Georgia Cyber Crime Center had opened a criminal investigation at the request of Kemp's office.

As secretary of state, Kemp is overseeing an election in which he is also running, and he has resisted calls to step aside to avoid potential conflicts of interest.

"It's wrong to call it an investigation," Abrams told CNN's John Berman on "New Day." "It's a witch hunt that was created by someone who is abusing his power."

Abrams pointed to a recent federal lawsuit in which Kemp was accused of failing to secure his state's voting system and allowing a massive breach that exposed voter records and other sensitive election information.

"Instead of owning up to it, taking responsibility and seeking a way to fix the flaw, he instead decided to blame Democrats, because he does that," Abrams said. "He doesn't take accountability, he doesn't take responsibility -- what he does instead is find someone else to blame."

"It's a complete and utter fabrication," she added.

Kemp defended the move in comments to reporters Monday after a rally, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

"I'm not worried about how it looks. I'm doing my job," Kemp said. "This is how we would handle any investigation when something like this comes up. Because I can assure you if I hadn't done anything and the story came out that something was going on, you'd be going 'Why didn't you act?' "

In a press release Sunday morning, Candice Broce, a Kemp spokeswoman, would not comment on "the specifics of an ongoing investigation" but confirmed that the state Democratic Party was "under investigation for possible cyber crimes."

The Secretary of State's Office later said the decision to launch the investigation was made after "receiving information from our legal team about failed efforts to breach the online voter registration system and My Voter Page."

Broce said the office immediately alerted the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI. The FBI declined to comment.

Kemp's allegations came amid a surge of voter enthusiasm ahead of Tuesday's election.

Early voting has exploded in Georgia. Fewer than a million people voted early in 2014, the most recent midterm election, according to data provided to CNN by the political research firm Catalist. More than 2 million have voted early in 2018, either in person or by mail, according to the Georgia Secretary of State's office.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 1462456

Reported Deaths: 20308
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion2005922494
Lake992001456
Allen903391005
Hamilton70705539
St. Joseph63078746
Elkhart48098622
Vanderburgh46217523
Tippecanoe42115330
Johnson37119516
Hendricks35078455
Porter33900460
Madison28036530
Clark25186321
Vigo24768341
LaPorte22894307
Monroe22201243
Howard21344372
Delaware20937363
Hancock18289217
Kosciusko17513199
Bartholomew17399212
Warrick16060212
Wayne15757296
Floyd15399252
Grant14898293
Morgan13934230
Boone13172136
Noble11421140
Dearborn11355112
Henry11312201
Shelby11231150
Marshall11041166
Dubois10782152
Jackson10174104
DeKalb9944128
Cass9942142
Lawrence9914219
Huntington9823139
Gibson9131125
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Knox8762124
Harrison8718111
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Steuben8340102
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Jefferson7551124
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Adams6508101
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White602379
Greene5913111
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Wells5814120
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Posey529146
LaGrange512996
Randolph4925128
Washington482067
Owen480398
Fountain463579
Spencer438156
Starke434086
Sullivan432164
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Union163619
Ohio119516
Unassigned0742

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 2403645

Reported Deaths: 30922
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin2596932036
Cuyahoga2572672998
Hamilton1666711699
Montgomery1103831586
Summit1066861382
Lucas895171149
Butler78647924
Stark747301383
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Warren49934468
Mahoning49735909
Lake46850586
Clermont43541428
Delaware38876210
Trumbull38576748
Medina37611416
Licking36901401
Fairfield33848331
Greene32124416
Portage31381356
Clark30277440
Richland28251420
Wood27660289
Allen24372392
Miami22806389
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Columbiana22095399
Wayne21275354
Tuscarawas18847423
Erie18041221
Ashtabula17932338
Marion17503231
Scioto16553203
Ross16163249
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Geauga15244221
Lawrence13847186
Huron13399182
Union1329683
Belmont13255247
Jefferson12864257
Sandusky12770197
Athens11949106
Knox11511195
Seneca11454200
Ashland10795174
Darke10673196
Washington10564168
Auglaize10152141
Crawford9854175
Shelby9699155
Brown9400140
Fulton9235148
Guernsey9109115
Defiance9057134
Highland9035143
Logan8955141
Clinton8719121
Mercer8640111
Madison8568104
Preble8002160
Williams7848135
Putnam7731135
Ottawa7629120
Champaign7556112
Jackson7383114
Perry714598
Coshocton7043136
Morrow694580
Fayette662287
Hardin6219125
Pike617086
Gallia594989
Adams5779124
Van Wert5779120
Henry565592
Hocking5521103
Carroll4828100
Wyandot482289
Holmes4747161
Paulding401163
Meigs375071
Monroe299368
Noble279851
Harrison279461
Morgan276848
Vinton239845
Unassigned08
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