A pro-Trump lawyer who helped architect the Stop The Steal movement has been fined $5,000 for contempt of court, while legal pressures mount against him in at least three other cases.
L. Lin Wood became a key promoter of election fraud myths shortly after the 2020 presidential election and helped Donald Trump’s team unsuccessfully challenge the election results in court. Since those failed challenges, Wood has faced his own legal trouble. A trio of former colleagues sued him in Georgia, accusing him of bizarre behavior and breach of contract. The Georgia Bar held a disciplinary trial for Wood in May while it weighs whether to disbar him. Earlier that month, a Michigan attorney regulatory agency filed a misconduct case against Wood and colleagues for their election fraud lawsuits. And this month, a former ally in the QAnon world filed suit against Wood, accusing him of defamation.
Wood, a bombastic celebrity attorney, rose to fame when he defended Richard Jewell, a security guard wrongly suspected in the 1996 Olympic Park bombing. Wood later represented prominent conservatives like Herman Cain and Marjorie Taylor Greene, before entering Trump’s legal orbit during the 2020 election and its aftermath.
While Wood was making inroads with the White House that year, he was falling out with some of his former colleagues. Three lawyers from his firm departed that year to start their own practice and sue him for alleged breach of contract.
The former colleagues, Nicole Wade, Jonathan Grunberg, and Taylor Wilson, accused Wood of wild and abusive behavior, ranging from an alleged assault to “irrational and incomprehensible email, text and voicemail threats” late at night. The plaintiffs claimed Wood called one of them a “Chilean Jewish fucking crook,” and repeatedly claimed to be acting on direct orders from God. “God has given me permission to be profane in this email,” Wood allegedly wrote in one missive.
While the case works its way through, a judge has forbidden Wood from disparaging his erstwhile colleagues—but Wood just can’t stop himself. On the messaging platform Telegram, where he has nearly 400,000 followers, Wood frequently inveighs against his former coworkers, sometimes implying that they and their lawsuit are part of a Deep State plot.
“‘QAnon John Sabal is a Mike Flynn minion,’ reads one of Wood’s Telegram posts.”
“The Atlanta (and Nashville) law firm of Wade, Grunberg, & Wilson (WGW),” Wood wrote in November. “Remind me. Who is the driving force behind this errant nonsense? You know. A Deep State (CIA) operative. And if you know to whom I refer, you know who is really behind the frivolous lawsuits filed against me by Wade, Grunberg, & Wilson intended to smear me with false statements and misrepresentations. I know who the REAL enemy is.”
A Georgia judge last week found Wood violated the gag order five times, and fined him $1,000 for each instance. “I can’t overlook the protracted and flagrant nature of the violation,” the judge said.
Meanwhile, Wood stands to lose his ability to practice law in the state. Last month, Wood sat for a disciplinary hearing with the Georgia Bar which, in Feb. 2021, filed a 1,677-page document itemizing Wood’s bizarre antics and raising concerns about his mental health.
Although the Bar has not announced its decision, Wood posts regular updates about the proceedings on Telegram, sometimes accusing a prosecutor of being a Satanist.
“I believe I am right about ‘Special Master’ Tommie ‘Kiwani’ Cauthorn being a high ranking Freemason and a devil worshiper,” Wood wrote after leaving court last month. “Just my opinion!!!”
Throughout the trial, Wood has also accused the prosecutor and other officials of being members of secret societies.
“It’s interesting this all arose in December of 2020 after I criticized Governor Brian Kemp, a member of Gridiron Secret Society,” Wood said of his disciplinary case during a January hearing.
“I’d criticized him about some financial transactions based on information that I had received. I certainly was critical of him for failure to call a special session for the record to look at the election in Georgia in 2020. And then here it comes. December 2020. I’ve gotten stacks of documents. I got efforts to try to be mentally examined. The State Bar has pulled out every trick in the book to get me here because I believe the State Bar’s made up of Freemasons. I believe Brian Kemp is a Freemason.”
Wood and a group of fellow Stop The Steal attorneys are also facing a new complaint from Michigan’s Attorney Grievance Commission, which accuses them of misconduct while trying to overturn the 2020 election. The complaint accuses Wood and colleagues like Sidney Powell of advancing false claims about election fraud in Michigan’s courts, after other courts had already rejected those claims.
A Wisconsin judge previously hit Wood and Powell with sanctions for their election-denial suits, ordering them to take classes on election law.
One of Wood’s newest legal battles comes from a fellow conservative conspiracy theorist. Last week John Sabal, a conspiracy influencer who sometimes goes by “QAnon John,” filed suit against Wood, accusing him of defamation.
Although Wood and Sabal were once allies, with Sabal defending Wood against allegations of mishandling fundraising for Kyle Rittenhouse, the pair later drifted apart during one of the QAnon world’s many arcane feuds. (Sabal allied with former Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, whom Wood has decried as a fake QAnon supporter.)
According to Sabal’s lawsuit, Wood’s insults made it hard for him to continue working as an organizer of conservative events.
“QAnon John Sabal is a Mike Flynn minion,” reads one of Wood’s Telegram posts, quoted in Sabal’s lawsuit. “That means that John is liable for Flynn’s acts of blackmailing, threatening, and
intimidating my children. You missed in your Deep State efforts to cut me down, John. I pray that you confess and repent John. Otherwise, God is going to cut you down, John. I pray for you, John. I don’t want anyone to spend eternity in hell, John. Not even my enemies, John.”
The suit also claims Wood falsely accused Sabal of fraud and embezzlement, after a scheduling snafu with one of Sabal’s conferences.
Wood, who did not return requests for comment, claimed on Telegram that Sabal’s case was meritless.
“What did I say about John Sabal that was a false statement of fact???” Wood wrote. “NOTHING.”
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