Election conspiracy theorist Lin Wood, identified by Georgia prosecutors as a state witness as part of a sprawling criminal case targeting Donald Trump and 18 of his allies, is beating back claims that he has turned against the former president following a barrage of headlines anticipating his day in court.
In a flood of messages on his Telegram account, Mr Wood – who joined spurious lawsuits to overturn election results in states that Mr Trump lost in the 2020 presidential election – vehemently denied flipping on the former president in Fulton County.
He did receive a subpoena in the criminal case against former Trump-linked attorney Sidney Powell, but he has “no idea” why, Mr Wood said.
“I do know that whatever the DA asks me, I will speak the TRUTH,” he wrote. “And I have NO knowledge of TRUTH that can be used in any way against President Trump. I support President Trump 117%!!!”
But news of his inclusion in a filing from Georgia prosecutors on 20 September triggered a wave of accusations from QAnon influencers and Trump allies that Mr Wood would be testifying against the former president, injecting what is typically fringe drama in far-right election conspiracy theory spaces into the high-profile criminal case.
Former Trump-era national security adviser turned QAnon proponent and Christian nationalist figurehead Mike Flynn – sharing a post calling Mr Wood a “rat bastard” – wrote that he was “not surprised one bit” about his inclusion on a list of state witnesses.
Both Mr Flynn and Mr Wood were recommended for prosecution by a special grand jury investigating the Georgia case for their alleged role in a “national effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election” in five states and during a joint session of Congress on 6 January, 2021.
The special grand jury voted 20-to-1 to indict Mr Wood.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis ultimately declined to charge both men, though Mr Flynn is likely considered one of the 30 “unindicted co-conspirators” in an indictment charging Mr Trump and 18 others for a number of crimes, including under the state’s anti-racketeering statute.
Liz Crokin, a prominent QAnon influencer who continues to promote the bogus, yearslong Pizzagate conspiracy theory, accused Mr Wood of being a “plant” who “infiltrated the MAGA movement” and is now “flipping” on the former president.
Mr Wood, whose prolific posts on his Telegram account frequently invoke Christian prayer, said he believes that “Jesus Christ wants me to press on” in the face of “wrongful persecution” after he was “broadsided with a frenzy of false attacks, demeaning and mocking utterances”.
He told The Daily Beast that he remains a “loyal supporter of President Trump” and does not possess “any firsthand knowledge” of Ms Powell’s efforts to seize voting machine data in Georgia. He also denied knowing Kenneth Chesebro, an architect of the so-called “alternate” elector scheme to replace certified electors for Joe Biden with Trump loyalists who is now Ms Powell’s co-defendant.
Earlier this year, Mr Wood was held in contempt of court for repeatedly allegedly denigrating his colleagues despite a gag order against him. A lawsuit from his former law partners accused him of “erratic, hostile, abusive, and threatening” behaviour.
This week, Mr Wood was also ordered to pay more than $42,000 in attorneys’ fees.
He retired from his law practice earlier this year to avoid disbarment amid an investigation and possible disciplinary action under the Georgia bar.
In the aftermath of the 2020 election, Mr Wood joined a failed legal effort among a group of pro-Trump attorneys to overturn lawful election results while amplifying bogus conspiracy theories and QAnon-adjacent myths on his social media platforms and elsewhere while amassing an audience of Trump supporters and conspiracy theorists.
Following the conspiracy theory-fuelled attack on the US Capitol on January 6, Mr Wood appeared to call for the assassination of then-Vice President Mike Pence on the social media platform Parler: “Get the firing squads ready. Pence goes FIRST.”