Wednesday, September 5, 2012

CP: Williamson GOP Received Alleged Stolen Romney Tax Files [Updated]

Posted by on Wed, Sep 5, 2012 at 12:15 PM

At The City Paper, Ken Whitehouse reports that the Williamson County Republican party received "a letter and a flash drive allegedly containing the stolen tax records of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney."

From the CP:

A representative from The City Paper has seen both the letter and the drive, but GOP officials would not allow them to be photographed. Jean Barwick, the county Republican party executive director, said that an envelope was found at the front door of their headquarters on main street in Franklin on Friday. The envelope was crudely addressed to Republican officials with the name of the party misspelled.

Efforts to contact Williamson County Democratic party officials have been unsuccessful at this time because of the ongoing Democratic National Convention.

The Franklin office of PricewaterhouseCoopers, the site of the alleged hacking, directed all inquiries to their New York offices. Messages left with them have not been returned.

Last night, Whitehouse reported that "an anonymous individual or group" was claiming to have stolen Romney's tax records by accessing computers at PricewaterCoopers. Today he reports that the county GOP officials have been told to be contacted by the Secret Service.

The contents of the flash drive are still unknown. They could be Mitt Romney's tax records. They could be a vast collection of cat videos. We don't know, yet.

Not for nothing, though, the infamous Sarah Palin email hack was done from Tennessee — by the son of outgoing state Rep. Mike Kernell — and that turned out to be legit.

Update: The CP reports that the Secret Service has confiscated the alleged stolen Romney tax records, which were received by both the Williamson County Democrats and Republicans:

A representative from The City Paper has seen both the letter and the drive, but GOP officials would not allow them to be photographed. Jean Barwick, the county Republican Party executive director, said that an envelope was found at the front door of their headquarters on main street in Franklin on Friday. The envelope was crudely addressed to Republican officials with the name of the party misspelled.

Williamson County Democratic chairman Peter Burr said that they received a similar manila envelope addressed in blue highlighter ink containing the letter "and a 4 gigabyte cruiser thumb drive."


As a side note, I haven't even been able to load the CP site, which is apparently buckling under Drudge-fueled traffic. Keep trying there, but we'll keep posting updates here as well.

Update II: CP update, with a statement from PricewaterhouseCoopers:

"We are aware of the allegations that have been made regarding improper access to our systems. We are working closely with the United States Secret Service, and at this time there is no evidence that our systems have been compromised or that there was any unauthorized access to the data in question."

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