Trump hires prominent Atlanta attorney for election probe
Aug 11, 2022, 1:17 AM | Updated: Aug 12, 2022, 5:49 am
(Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, File)
ATLANTA (AP) — Donald Trump has hired a prominent Atlanta criminal defense attorney known for defending famous rappers to represent him in matters related to the special grand jury that’s investigating whether the former president illegally tried to interfere with the 2020 election in Georgia.
Drew Findling’s clients have included Cardi B, Migos and Gucci Mane, as well as comedian Katt Williams. His Twitter bio includes the hashtag #BillionDollarLawyer and his Instagram feed is filled with photos of him posing with his well-known clients.
His most recent Instagram post, dated two days after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in late June, says his firm is committed to “fighting to restore a woman’s right to choose, which has been destroyed by the Supreme Court,” suggesting his personal views don’t align with those of Trump’s Republican Party. He offered to defend anyone charged under Georgia’s restrictive abortion law free of charge.
After Trump insulted basketball star LeBron James’s intelligence in an August 2018 tweet, Findling called Trump the “racist architect of fraudulent Trump University” in a tweet and ended the post with “POTUS pathetic once again!”
The Findling Law Firm said in a statement released Thursday that it has been hired, along with attorneys Jennifer Little and Dwight Thomas, to represent Trump.
Findling said in an emailed statement that he is a “passionate advocate against injustice” and will “strongly defend” Trump.
“I may differ politically from many of my clients, but that doesn’t change my commitment to defend against wrongful investigations,” Findling said. “In this case, the focus on President Trump in Fulton County, Georgia is clearly an erroneous and politically driven persecution and along with my office and co-counsel, I am fully committed to defend against this injustice.”
Little, a former prosecutor, said in an emailed statement that the attorneys were “handpicked” on Trump’s behalf and that “the composition of our team only adds to the integrity of his defense.”
“A politically diverse group of attorneys with differing perspectives have all come to the same conclusion — there have been no violations of Georgia law,” she said. “We as a team look forward to vigorously defending our client and the Constitution.”
Thomas said he has extensive past experience in special grand jury investigations and is serving as a consultant. Other lawyers who have clients who are connected to the investigation have also reached out to him, he said, but he declined to name them.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis opened the investigation early last year, and the special grand jury was seated in May at her request.
Willis has confirmed since the early days of the investigation that she’s interested in a January 2021 phone call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. During that conversation, Trump suggested Raffensperger could “find” the votes needed to overturn his narrow loss in the state.
“All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” Trump said during that call. “Because we won the state.”
Willis last month filed petitions seeking to compel testimony before the special grand jury from seven Trump associates and advisers, including former New York mayor and Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani and U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. And she has said that she is considering subpoenaing the former president himself.
In addition to representing high-profile musical artists and other entertainers, Findling successfully defended Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill in a racketeering trial that threatened to end his law enforcement career. Hill was acquitted in 2013 on 27 felony charges in an indictment that accused him of using his office for personal gain.
Findling is currently defending Hill against charges in a federal indictment accusing him of violating the civil rights of several people in his agency’s custody by ordering that they be unnecessarily strapped into a restraint chair and left there for hours.
He also defended Mitzi Bickers, a former Atlanta city official was the first person to go to trial in a long-running federal investigation into corruption at City Hall under former Mayor Kasim Reed. A jury earlier this year found Bickers guilty on charges including money laundering, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit bribery. Findling said they plan to appeal.
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