Trump attorney gives up his law license as states weigh disciplining him for false election claims
Jul 5, 2023, 8:46 AM
(AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Attorney pushing Trump’s false claims that he defeated Democrat 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.
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. Dozens of lawsuits making such allegations were rejected by the 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 in 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.”
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