Donald Trump’s campaign on Wednesday turned against a prominent attorney who has been making the case that the 2020 election was stolen from the president in a vast conspiracy.
The turn: The campaign on Wednesday night tweeted a Breitbart News article about Lin Wood’s record of supporting Democrats.
- The political attack came hours after Wood told a pro-Trump rally in Georgia not to vote in the state’s upcoming runoffs — which will determine control of the U.S. Senate — because the elections will again be “rigged.”
- “While Wood made his comments purportedly as a self-described supporter of Trump, while donning a red ‘Make America Great Again’ ball cap, the real story here is that Wood is by no means a Republican and there is no record in Georgia of him ever voting for President Trump—in 2016 or in 2020—in the Republican primaries,” wrote Breitbart politics editor Matthew Boyle.
According to Georgia records, Wood registered to vote in the Democratic primary in 2018 as well as in 2006 and throughout Barack Obama’s first presidential term.
- Wood last applied to vote in a Georgia GOP primary in 2004 and skipped the primaries altogether during Trump’s presidency.
Federal Election Commission records show, Wood has donated to at least two Democratic presidential campaigns, giving $2,500 to Obama in 2008, and to Democratic U.S. Senate campaigns in Georgia in 2014 and 2008.
- The 2014 donation, of just $100, went to the opponent of Republican Sen. David Perdue, whose reelection is at stake in the Jan. 5 runoffs.
What Wood said: At the “Stop the Steal” rally in Georgia on Wednesday, Wood urged the crowd to boycott Georgia’s Jan. 5 Senate runoffs, saying the incumbent Republican senators haven’t addressed the allegedly corrupt electoral system that led to Democrat Joe Biden’s apparent victory in Georgia and nationwide.
- “They have not earned your vote. Don’t you give it to them,” Wood said of Perdue and Sen. Kelly Loeffler. “Why would you go back and vote in another rigged election for god’s sake! Fix it! You gotta fix it!”
- Wood, a Georgia native and libel lawyer for conservative causes célèbres, also condemned top Republican state and federal officials, suggesting they were complicit in what he has described as an international scheme to rig American democracy and take down Trump.
- At various points, Wood led the crowd in chants directed at Gov. Brian Kemp, “Lock him up!,” and U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr, “Do your job!”
Sidney Powell, a former Trump campaign lawyer, delivered a similar message at the rally.
- “I would encourage all Georgians to make it known that you will not vote at all until your vote is secure, and I mean that regardless of party,” she said.
- Powell — a former federal prosecutor who represents Trump’s erstwhile National Security Adviser Michael Flynn in his criminal case — also repeated her promises to “release the Kraken,” or provide evidence of the supposed anti-Trump election conspiracy.
Wood and Powell, who have separately sued to overturn the George election results, demanded that Kemp hold a special legislative session to tighten residency requirements for the runoffs, an idea Kemp has rejected.
The attorneys said what they said despite Trump reportedly having called them earlier this week to tell them to stop discouraging Georgia voters amid fears that such talk could cost the party the Senate.
A Democrat plant?: The Breitbart article about Wood’s support of Democrats was part of a wave of Republican backlash to the Georgia rally.
- Evangelical commentator Erick Erickson was among those who accused Wood and Powell of being in league with Democrats.
- “It turns out the Kraken is a deep state ploy to suppress the Republican vote and hand the Senate to Joe Biden so the Democrats can impose their gun tax and wipe out Donald Trump’s legacy,” he wrote in a blog post published on Thursday.
Before the rally on Wednesday, a group of 16 former Georgia Republican politicians, including Loeffler’s Senate predecessor, Johnny Isakson, called on Republicans to ignore calls to boycott the runoffs.
- “[W]ithout every vote cast for President Trump and all our Republican candidates on November 3 also being cast in the U.S. Senate runoffs, the trajectory of our State and Nation will be irreparably altered on January 5th,” they wrote in a letter.
- “I am not Democrat. I am not Republican. I am an American Patriot who believes it is essential to our freedom that [Trump] victory be recognized & fraud in voting system be fixed,” he said.
Trump, for his part, has seemingly been of two minds about the role of Georgia Republicans in his apparent election loss.
Like Wood and Powell, the president and his campaign have made wild allegations about how the 2020 election was allegedly stolen from him.
- And Trump has criticized Kemp and GOP leaders of other swing states for not trying to overturn election results for Biden that he deems fraudulent.
But, just as Trump allowed his campaign to criticize Wood, he last week watched Powell be removed from the legal team after she seemed to implicate Kemp’s administration in her conspiracy theories.
- In an appearance on “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the president believes it’s important “to turn out and vote.”
- On Saturday, Trump is scheduled to travel to Georgia to campaign for Perdue and Loeffler.
Obama, meanwhile, is planning to hold a virtual rally on Friday for the Democratic candidates, Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.