Attorney who challenged Trump’s 2020 loss gives up law license as states weigh disciplining him

COLUMBIA, SC (AP) — Attorney Lin Wood, who filed legal challenges seeking to overturn Donald Trump’s 2020 election loss, is…

COLUMBIA, SC (AP) — 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 disciplinary him for pushing Trump’s false 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 acknowledged that he was “prohibited from practicing law in this State and in any other state or jurisdiction and that I may not apply 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.

In the wake of the 2020 election, Trump criticized Wood for doing a “good job” filing legal challenges seeking to overturn his loss, even though Trump’s campaign at times distanced himself from him. Dozens of lawsuits making such allegations were rejected by courts across the country.

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

Other attorneys affiliated with efforts to keep Trump in power following his 2020 election loss have faced similar challenges. Attorney John Eastman, architect of that strategy, faces 11 disciplinary charges in the State Bar Court of California stemming from his development of a dubious legal strategy aimed at having then-Vice President Mike Pence interfere with the certification of Biden’s victory.

___

Meg Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP

Copyright © 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

Scroll to Top