Who is Lin Wood?

Who is Lin Wood?
Source: Elijah Nouelage, Reuters
In addition to being a staunch supporter of Trump’s claims that the election was stolen, despite no confirmed evidence, Wood has in recent weeks gained notoriety for his conspiracy-laden Twitter threads and attacks on public officials.

In 1996, lawyer Lin Wood entered the national spotlight when he represented Richard Jewell in a host of defamation lawsuits. Jewell was the security guard during the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia who found a bomb and was subsequently accused of planting it. Wood joined the team of lawyers who helped Jewell win remuneration for defamation from multiple news agencies.

Twenty-five years later, Wood is again a national figure for his role in President Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election results. In addition to being a staunch supporter of Trump’s claims that the election was stolen, despite no confirmed evidence, Wood has in recent weeks gained notoriety for his conspiracy-laden Twitter threads and attacks on public officials.

Lin Wood’s early years

Born in 1952 and raised in Macon, Georgia, Lucian Lincoln Wood Jr. experienced tragedy early in his life. Returning home from a date when he was 16, Wood found his mother beaten to death by his father. Wood raised money to hire lawyers to defend his father. Impressed by those lawyers’ efforts, he decided to pursue a career in law.

Wood finished high school while his father was serving a two-year sentence for manslaughter. He then attended Mercer University, receiving both his undergraduate and law degrees at the Macon-based university.

After law school, Wood was hired at Jones, Cork, Miller & Benton before relocating to Atlanta in 1979 to work at Freeman & Hawkins. He built his reputation as a medical malpractice lawyer, often winning major settlements for harmed patients.

Wood gained national recognition in 1996. After security guard Richard Jewell found a bomb at the Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta during the Olympics, he was falsely painted as the perpetrator of the crime he helped thwart. Jewell was cleared of the crime by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), but his public reputation had already suffered irreparable damage.

Following his successful advocacy for Jewell, Wood took on other notable defamation cases, including, in 2004, representing the woman who accused the late basketball star Kobe Bryant of sexual assault.

Wood also represented the parents and brother of JonBenét Ramsey, the six-year-old girl who was murdered in her family’s Colorado home. The child’s parents and brother were accused of the crime by various publications, though no one has ever been convicted of the murder.

In 2011, Wood represented Herman Cain, the late chief executive officer of Godfather’s Pizza and Republican presidential candidate who was accused of sexual harassment by multiple women. At that time, Slate described Wood as “a celebrity lawyer well known for successful defamation claims on behalf of clients who say they’ve been wrongly accused.”

Lin Wood and MAGA

Wood has been popular among MAGA nation ever since representing Nicholas Sandmann in 2019.

Sandmann was the Covington Catholic school student who, in January 2019, was recorded in an apparent confrontation with a Native American activist while wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat during the anti-abortion March for Life gathering in Washington, DC.

Video of the event went viral and Sandmann was subsequently accused by viewers of racist taunting of the activist, Nathan Phillips. Sandmann disputed the characterization, saying he was merely trying to defuse the situation. He also said that he and his classmates were the ones who were insulted by counterprotesters.

With the help of Wood, Sandmann reached financial settlements with CNN and The Washington Post over their reporting of the incident, in which the news agencies allegedly defamed the student.

In the last couple of years, Wood has also played a part in representing other pro-Trump figures, including recently elected Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene and Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager who has been charged with killing two protesters at a Black Lives Matter protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin in August 2020.

Lin Wood, Donald Trump and QAnon

While Wood has never officially joined Trump’s stable of personal lawyers – which includes Rudy Giuliani and, at one point, the QAnon-advocating Sidney Powell – he has become a central figure in the post-election drama. Ever since the election was first called for President-elect Joe Biden, Trump has frequently claimed, without evidence, that the election was stolen from him.

In November, a little more than a week after Election Day, Wood filed a lawsuit against Georgia election officials, including Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican. He argued that the state had unconstitutionally changed election rules earlier in the year and therefore the mail-in ballots should not be counted.

Wood’s lawsuit was dismissed, but the argument he put forth is one of many that Trump and his supporters have latched onto in an effort to overturn election results in multiple states. Like Trump, Wood has argued the election was fraudulent on many fronts, though he has been unable to prove his arguments in court.

With Biden’s victory certified, Wood’s arguments have grown increasingly untethered in recent days. He has accused Democrats of working with the Chinese Communist Party to steal the election and said that billionaires George Soros and Bill Gates were involved in the scheme.

Some of the more eccentric claims involve Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts, who Wood has alleged is a pedophile who illegally adopted young children from Wales. Since the end of 2020, Wood has repeatedly attacked Roberts on Twitter with unfounded accusations that he has ties to deceased billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, who was known for illicit sexual activities with underage girls.

Wood’s statements, which also include claiming Vice President Mike Pence should be charged with treason, have raised many eyebrows. Even his former client, Sandmann, has tweeted his befuddlement.

As has been noted by many observers of online conspiracy theories, including NBC reporter Ben Collins, much of what Wood has been tweeting in recent days is essentially QAnon rhetoric. QAnon is the pro-Trump conspiracy that claims Democrats are a Satanic child sex trafficking cabal and that there is a “Deep State” working to oust Trump.

As all legal inroads to securing an election victory close for Trump, it appears that the only allies who will keep up the fight are those willing to embrace the most outlandish beliefs. Like many QAnon adherents, though, Wood has insisted that when the truth comes out, he will be vindicated.

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