The Obama administration is being investigated for cyber attacks on Georgia's state government network and election system, according to an exclusive investigative report Thursday by The Daily Caller.
The probe is being conducted by Department of Homeland Security Inspector General John Roth, according to a Jan. 17 letter from Roth to Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp.
Kemp has been critical of former President Barack Obama's administration's attempt to designate local and state election machinery as "critical federal infrastructure," according to the report.
The DHS IG's office wrote to Kemp it is "investigating a series of 10 alleged scanning events of the Georgia Secretary of State's network that may have originated from DHS-affiliated IP addresses," The Daily Caller reported. The investigation comes after Kemp wrote Dec. 13 to then-President-elect Donald Trump, requesting a look, and Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight Committee ordered the probe in a Jan. 11 letter.
"We're certainly excited and glad that we're just going to get our questions answered," Kemp told The Daily Caller. "That's all we've been asking for, and we think we deserve to know what was going on. The explanation [DHS has] been giving us leaves a lot of holes unanswered."
The Georgia system's firewall blocked the scanning — akin to "rattling doorknobs" to test a system's security or weakness — which started Feb. 2, 2016 and last occurred Nov. 18, a week after the election but before Georgia had certified its election results, according to the report.
"It's certainly concerning about the dates," Kemp told The Daily Caller. "Well, that's a pretty easy dot to connect. Certainly from a political perspective it makes a lot of sense to ask that question."
Kemp had criticized former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson's Jan. 6 federal designation of local and state election systems as "critical infrastructure" –— calling the late-Obama administration move a "political power play to federalize elections," per The Daily Caller.
It is a federal crime "having knowingly accessed a computer without authorization," and Kemp, wrote Dec. 8 to Johnson: "At no time has my office agreed to or permitted DHS to conduct penetration testing or security scans of our network."
"If these allegations are true, they implicate state sovereignty laws, and various other constitutional issues, as well as federal and state criminal laws," Rep. Chaffetz wrote Jan. 11.
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