Florida Governor Says a Second County Was Hacked During 2016 Elections

Special Counsel Robert Mueller revealed in his recent report that there was significant evidence that a Florida county’s voting system had been hacked during the 2016 election.


On Tuesday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced that the FBI has uncovered evidence of a second county being hacked during that same time.

DeSantis, who was briefed by the FBI on Friday, said two counties “experienced intrusion into the supervisor of elections network,” but added that there was no manipulation of the data, and that the intrusion “had no effect” on Florida vote totals. He did not say which counties were involved.

DeSantis declined to name the counties in question, saying he was required by the FBI to sign a non-disclosure statement that prevented him from talking about the details.

The Tampa Bay Times questioned the gag order.

DeSantis seemed unsure Tuesday of the rationale behind the nondisclosure agreement in this case.

“I think they think if we name the counties, that may reveal information to the perpetrator that we know what they did, but you’d have to ask them,” he said when asked why the FBI had him sign it. “I think it should be named.”

But years of case law suggests that confidentiality agreements signed by Florida government officials aren’t enforceable because of the state’s broad public records law, said Barbara Petersen, president of the First Amendment Foundation, an open-government group that counts the Tampa Bay Times and Miami Herald as members.

Legally speaking, “the promise of confidentiality is an empty promise in Florida,” she said. If DeSantis was shown any records related to this investigation, they would be considered public unless there is a specific state or federal exemption, Petersen added.

DeSantis said the meeting with the federal authorities happened recently in Tallahassee. Also attending were Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee, Florida Department of Law Enforcement officials and DeSantis’ chief of staff, Shane Strum.

In a statement, an FBI spokesperson confirmed Friday’s meeting with DeSantis, saying the federal agency “provided assurance that investigators did not detect any adversary activity that impacted vote counts or disrupted electoral processes during the 2016 or 2018 elections.”



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