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Sunday, March 3, 2024

Attorney Who Challenged Trump’s 2020 Loss Pushed into Giving Up Law License

Officials in Georgia had been weighing whether to disbar Wood over his efforts, holding a disciplinary trial earlier this year...

(Headline USA) Attorney Lin Wood, who filed legal challenges seeking to overturn Donald Trump’s 2020 election loss, is relinquishing his law license, electing to retire from practicing rather than face possible disbarment. Multiple states have weighed disciplining him for pushing Trump’s claims that he defeated Joe Biden.

On Tuesday, Wood asked officials in his home state of Georgia to “retire” his law license in light of “disciplinary proceedings pending against me.” In the request, made in a letter and posted on his Telegram account, Wood acknowledges that he is “prohibited from practicing law in this State and in any other state or jurisdiction and that I may not reapply for admission.”

Wood, a licensed attorney in Georgia since 1977, did not immediately respond to an email Wednesday seeking comment on the letter. A listing on the website for the State Bar of Georgia accessed on Wednesday showed him as retired and with no disciplinary infractions on his record. A spokeswoman for the Bar confirmed that the Bar had dismissed its two complaints involving Wood. In a court filing, its Office of General Counsel said it “believes that it has achieved the goals of disciplinary action, including protecting the public and the integrity of the judicial system and the legal profession” by achieving Wood’s inability to practice law.

In the wake of the 2020 election, Trump praised Wood as doing a “good job” filing legal challenges seeking to overturn his loss, though Trump’s campaign at times distanced itself from him.

Officials in Georgia had been weighing whether to disbar Wood over his efforts, holding a disciplinary trial earlier this year. Wood sued the state bar in 2022, claiming the bar’s request that he undergo a mental health evaluation as part of its probe violated his constitutional rights, but a federal appeals court tossed that ruling, saying Wood failed to show there was “bad faith” behind the request.

In 2021, the Georgia secretary of state’s office opened an investigation into where Wood had been living when he voted early in person in the 2020 general election, prompted by Wood’s announcement on Telegram that he had moved to South Carolina. Officials ruled that Wood did not violate Georgia election laws.

Wood, who purchased three former plantations totaling more than $16 million, moved to South Carolina several years ago, and unsuccessfully ran for chairman of that state’s GOP in 2021.

In May, a Michigan watchdog group in filed a complaint against Wood and eight other Trump-aligned lawyers alleging they had committed misconduct and should be disciplined for filing a lawsuit challenging Biden’s 2020 election win in that state. A court previously found the attorneys’ lawsuit had abused the court system.

Wood, whose name was on the 2020 Michigan lawsuit, has insisted that the only role he played was telling fellow attorney Sidney Powell he was available if she needed a seasoned litigator. Powell defended the lawsuit and said lawyers sometimes have to raise what she called “unpopular issues.”

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

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