Hackers Steal Trump Court Documents, Threaten To Release Them Ahead Of 2024

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A hacking group known to U.S. and British authorities claims to have stolen court documents in former President Donald Trump’s Georgia case and has threatened to release them ahead of the 2024 election unless a ransom is paid.

Business Insider reported that, initially, the hacker collective set a Saturday deadline for the ransom to be paid, but after Saturday came and went, the group then set a Thursday deadline. But that came and went, too, without any reports of documents being released or a ransom being paid.

The outlet noted further that it is not clear how much of a ransom the group is demanding. The group said that the documents it allegedly hacked were beyond the reach of law enforcement.

The group is led by a hacker with the fake name LockBitSupp, which was the subject of a Feb. 20 raid by the FBI and Britain’s National Crime Agency, the outlet noted. Officials said 34 servers were taken down during the raid.

Also, the U.S. Department of Justice reported that two Russians were arrested in connection with the group. The indictment claimed that the two suspects were involved in more than 2,000 cases since 2000, totaling more than $120 million in ransoms.

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“For years, LockBit associates have deployed these kinds of attacks again and again across the United States and around the world. Today, U.S. and U.K. law enforcement are taking away the keys to their criminal operation,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a news release that was posted on the department’s website.

“And we are going a step further — we have also obtained keys from the seized LockBit infrastructure to help victims decrypt their captured systems and regain access to their data. LockBit is not the first ransomware variant the Justice Department and its international partners have dismantled. It will not be the last,” Garland added.

In a statement, the hacking group said it was targeted because of what it now knows about the cases involving Trump in Fulton County, Georgia.

“The FBI decided to hack now for one reason only, because they didn’t want to leak information from https://fultoncountyga.gov/ the stolen documents contain a lot of interesting things and Donald Trump’s court cases that could affect the upcoming US election,” the statement said.

“Personally I will vote for Trump because the situation on the border with Mexico is some kind of nightmare, Biden should retire, he is a puppet,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, more damning evidence has emerged from the misconduct hearing of District Attorney Fani Willis.

Text messages between Terrence Bradley and Ashleigh Merchant’s attorneys have surfaced, and they contain information that defies Willis’ sworn testimony about when her affair with Nathan Wade began.

Renowned legal analyst Phil Holloway made the texts on X public, drawing attention to the inconsistency in Willis’ story. The texts claim that before Willis took office as District Attorney, he and Wade—both significant figures in the legal community—began a romantic relationship.

This stands in stark contrast to Willis’s earlier admission that the affair began in 2022. The texts imply a longer time frame than previously acknowledged, saying it actually started when she left the DA’s office (as ADA) and was a judge in South Fulton.

Several legal analysts say that Willis could face perjury charges for her testimony about a relationship with Wade.

Eric Anderson, an attorney at Early Sullivan Wright Gizer & McRae in Los Angeles, told Newsweek: “Given the political climate, I would not be completely surprised if the attorney general, a Republican, acts. Attorney General Carr has shown a willingness to take on elected officials in criminal proceedings before.”

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“When it comes to politics, anything is possible. Unless the alleged perjury is about a fact material to the matter at hand, perjury charges are not likely for a regular witness,” Anderson added.

Stephen Gillers, a law professor at New York University, told Newsweek that Trump’s lawyers want “to shift the question before the court from disqualification to perjury.”

“The judge should focus on the real disqualification question here. Is there any basis to find that Willis chose to pursue the case to generate income for Wade, which he would then use to take her on luxury trips?” Gillers added.

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