Lin Wood was a right-wing media darling just a few weeks ago, but now some former admirers are turning on the Georgia-based attorney after he suggested that President Donald Trump’s supporters boycott the upcoming Senate runoffs.
In the weeks following President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, right-wing media have been largely united in pushing baseless claims of voter fraud. Conservative media personalities cheered the work of people like Wood and attorney Sidney Powell, who have tried to undermine confidence in the election results with groundless lawsuits.
But then Wood — a defamation lawyer whose clients include Sean Hannity — went too far.
Complaining that the Republican Party had failed to adequately address imaginary claims of fraud, Wood suggested that Trump voters should not turn out in January to support Georgia Republican senatorial candidates David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler in the runoffs. Realizing that their manufactured claims of a stolen election were now threatening GOP control of the Senate, many right-wing media figures quickly turned on Wood.
With Breitbart leading the charge, establishment figures turned on Wood
The opening salvo came from Breitbart, a right-wing site notorious for pushing misleading voter fraud stories. In an article published on December 2, writer Matthew Boyle implied that Wood might secretly be a Democrat given his previous political donations. Following the publication of the piece, other media figures began piling on.
In Georgia, local talk radio host Erick Erickson sparred with Wood on Twitter and wrote, “This man has issues and now he, an Obama donor and voter, wants Georgia Republicans to let the Democrats take the Senate.”
During an interview with Perdue on December 3, Fox News host Laura Ingraham, without mentioning Wood by name, complained about “people running around saying don’t vote on January 5 because that would be perpetuating a corrupt process. When I heard that the other day I almost fell out of my chair. I’m like, y’all almost don’t deserve to win if you’re that stupid, frankly.”
Earlier the same day on The Story with Martha MacCallum, Fox News contributor Guy Benson argued, “Lin Wood, that attorney who is pretending at least to be, or putting himself out there as, a big Trump supporter, he’s a two-time Barack Obama donor. … He is stoking the fires that Democrats hope turn into a blaze to burn down the Republicans’ chances and hand the Senate and the federal government completely over to Democrats.”
The Washington Examiner published an opinion piece encouraging Trump to “disavow” both Wood and Powell, who appeared alongside Wood at an event and also suggested that Republicans not support Perdue and Loeffler if their voter fraud claims are not addressed.
Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich issued sharp criticism on Twitter.
The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh attacked Wood, complaining, “Con artists in Georgia are telling Republicans not to vote.” Texas radio host Mark Davis argued, “Anyone impeding the effort to keep those two #Georgia seats Republican is a traitor to conservatism.” And pundit Ann Coulter claimed that Wood is a “Dem” who just “just told Georgia Republicans to commit suicide and take the country with them.”
Far-right personalities jumped to Wood’s defense and lashed out at his detractors
Though they were fewer in number, Wood did have his defenders in right-wing media, particularly among the more extreme MAGA contingent.
Far-right site The Gateway Pundit responded to Breitbart with the headline: “WTH? Breitbart Wages War Against Attorney Lin Wood — Who Is Defending President Trump Against Evil Marxist Horde — Lin Wood Responds”
Talk radio host John Fredericks, during an interview with Powell the day after the Breitbart story was published, referred to the article as a “hit piece” ordered by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Powell agreed and defended both Wood and herself, claiming, “The president loves him. He loves the president. I mean, that was just absolutely ridiculous. … I’m well aware of the fact I am going to irritate a whole lot of people, but I think they need irritating.”
Some of Wood’s supporters fired back directly at his critics. Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon criticized Ingraham for her comments on December 3 when she called those threatening to boycott the runoffs “stupid.” Bannon argued, “No, they're not stupid. In fact, they're very, very, very smart.”
On December 3, Wood appeared on radio host Eric Metaxas’ show, where Metaxas asked him to respond to “a strange article that I read, in Breitbart of all places — I thought I could trust Breitbart.” Wood doubled down on pressuring Perdue and Loeffler to “fight for President Trump and for an honest election,” and Metaxas responded by arguing, “With a runoff coming up, it’s in their self interest to say something. So I don’t know what to think.”
Right-wing media have driven a real wedge among their base over an imaginary problem, and Georgia Republicans are now suffering the consequences of years of systematically undermining voter confidence. As Wood himself put it, “The problem was not created by Sidney and me. It was simply highlighted by us.”