Trump Ally, Lin Wood, Comparing Himself to Job, Denies He’s Flipped After Fani Willis Says He’s Witness for the Prosecution
Prosecutors are increasingly looking to Donald Trump’s allies for testimony, ideally of the incriminating kind.
The news that an attorney involved in efforts to challenge the 2020 presidential election, Lucien Lincoln Wood Jr., will testify in District Attorney Fani Willis’s criminal prosecution in Georgia underscores the legal jeopardy posed to Mr. Trump, and his co-defendants, by those the indicted once counted as allies.
Word that Mr. Wood would testify came buried in a brief from Ms. Willis detailing potential conflicts of interest among the attorneys serving as counsel for the 19 defendants she has charged and the many more who have been called as grand jury witnesses. Among her theses of entanglement is the disclosure that “Lin Wood is a witness for the State in the present case.”
Prosecutors are incentivized to alert judges to potential conflicts because they hope to avoid scenarios where any convictions they garner are thrown out on appeal. Mr. Wood took to social media to deny that he has “flipped,” and posted to Telegram, “I have NO knowledge of TRUTH that can be used in any way against President Trump … I support President Trump 117%!!!”
The Sun spoke to Mr. Wood, who asserts that he has “no knowledge” of the cases against two other attorneys, Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro, in respect of whom his testimony has been demanded. He declares himself an “unwavering” supporter of Mr. Trump and characterizes the charges against the former president as “errant nonsense based on zero facts.”
When asked by the Sun what he might say on the stand — it is not a certainty that he will be called — Mr. Wood shared that he will “pray to the Father in the name of the Son that the Holy Spirit will guide me in what to say.” He identifies himself as a “follower and disciple of Jesus Christ.”
Mr. Wood predicts that if he is asked to speak in court, he would not worry what he “says before the tribunal of the High Priest.” Asked if his faith has been tested, he notes that “it has been a grueling four years” but that he is trying to “focus on eternity.” He finds himself turning to the biblical Book of Job for comfort.
Mr. Wood added to the Hill that he has come to no accord with prosecutors, but that he received a subpoena last week and is “always willing to go in under subpoena. I’ll go testify and answer their questions, honestly, like I did in the grand jury.”
That grand jury recommended, by a vote of 20 to 1, that Mr. Wood be charged along with Mr. Trump, Senator Graham, and 37 others. It reckoned he was guilty of participation in the “national effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election.” Ms. Willis, though, declined to hand up charges against him.
While the grand jury noted Mr. Wood’s “national” efforts, he is to a large degree a Peach Tree State fixture, having grown up at Macon, been educated at Mercer, and having practiced at Atlanta. He is no longer a member of the Georgia Bar, though, having preferred to relinquish that affiliation this year rather than face disbarment for supporting Mr. Trump’s claims of election fraud.
Mr. Wood’s choice of an “unqualified, irrevocable and permanent” retirement, in the words of the Bar, comes after an investigation into the lawsuits he brought contesting the last presidential election. Several courts found that Mr. Wood’s suits had “no basis in fact or law.”
The erstwhile attorney’s testimony will present particular challenges to the government’s case. On cross-examination, defense counsel is likely to attempt to undermine his credibility by referring to social media posts where he urged, “Get the firing squads ready. Pence goes FIRST,” and accused Chief Justice Roberts of “treason.” He has also written, “Is the Earth flat or is it a spinning ball??? The answer is found in the Holy Bible.”
A greater threat to Mr. Trump than Mr. Wood’s views could be the testimony of one of the ex-president’s former information technology employees, Yuscil Taveras. Mr. Taveras is involved in the Mar-a-Lago criminal case brought by Special Counsel Jack Smith. He is now cooperating with the government.
Like Mr. Wood, Mr. Taveras is implicated in a criminal case because prosecutors spotlighted a conflict of interest on the part of his representatives. The IT worker was formerly represented by an attorney, Stanley Woodward, who is also counsel for another Mar-a-Lago defendant, Mr. Trump’s valet, Waltine Nauta. In front of a grand jury, Mr. Taveras “repeatedly denied or claimed not to recall any contacts or conversations about the security footage at Mar-a-Lago.”
That claim of ignorance, it turned out, was not true, meaning that Mr. Taveras courted perjury charges, which likely motivated his cooperation with Mr. Smith. At trial, he will likely allege that Messrs. Trump and Nauta conspired to obstruct the government’s investigation into the storage of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago.
Like Mr. Wood and, for that matter, “flipped” witnesses in general, Mr. Taveras’s credibility is also likely to be challenged by Mr. Trump’s team, with his grand jury testimony grist for that impeachment mill. That same dynamic could play out with one of Mr. Trump’s former attorneys, Michael Cohen, a convicted felon who is the linchpin of District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s criminal case at New York.