In 2020 Lin Wood and Sidney Powell were something rare: activist lawyers who successfully argued conservative causes.
For Wood, it was wrangling undisclosed but likely lucrative settlements out of CNN and The Washington Post for defaming Nick Sandmann and the other boys from Covington Catholic High School.
The media outlets portrayed them as racists in a stand-off with a Native American protester.
For Powell, it was thrashing the Justice Department, and the justice system, for the unscrupulous targeting of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s first national security adviser.
Her arguments and revelations of the government’s shoddy tactics prompted the DOJ to drop the case.
Then came the Georgia run-off elections for the U.S. Senate. And a new report about those contests is simply devastating to Republicans who now must endure President Joe Biden and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer as shot-callers.
Both Democrats – Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock – were easily beatable by GOP incumbents David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler.
Perdue bested Ossoff by roughly 88,000 votes in the first round. In Warnock’s case, he actually got more votes than other candidates, but Loeffler and another Republican, Doug Collins, actually split the vote. All told, they combined to take 636,000 more votes than Warnock.
But after Biden narrowly won Georgia, Wood and Powell began making Trump’s case that the election was rigged, and that the system and voting machines couldn’t be trusted, even though a Republican governor and a GOP secretary of state were in charge.
They actively urged Republicans not to vote as the Senate hung in the balance.
At a rally about a month before run-off election day, Wood told the crowd, “Do not be fooled twice. This is Georgia. We ain’t dumb. We’re not going to vote on Jan. 5 on another machine made by China. You’re not going to fool Georgians again. If Kelly Loeffler wants your vote, if David Perdue wants your vote, they’ve got to earn it.”
He added that if they didn’t come home and actively protest against the system, “They have not earned your vote. Don’t you give it to them. Why would you go back and vote in another rigged election? For God’s sake, fix it. You’ve got to fix it before you do it again.”
For her part, Powell told the gathering “There should not be a runoff, certainly not on Dominion machines. “I think 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. We can’t live in a free republic unless we know our votes are legal and secure.”
They made that argument repeatedly, but failed to prove it.
They put Trump in the ridiculous position of claiming he lost the state because of a tainted election, but having to encourage GOP voters to turn out in the runoff so the party could retain control of the Senate.
Now we know the consequences.
Breitbart News reported on Wednesday of a study that showed 752,000 fewer voters turned out for the Jan. 5 run-off than voted in November.
“The analysis revealed that the dropoff in turnout from the November 3 presidential election to the January 5 runoff election was highest in northwest Georgia and southern Georgia, both Republican-leaning regions of the state,” Breitbart noted.
“Counties in northwest Georgia … voted 70–80 percent in favor of former President Donald Trump, for instance, but parts of that region saw a 19–24 percent decline in voters from the presidential election to the runoffs.”
The report also indicated that more white voters, who skew Republican, than black voters, who go Democratic, opted to stay home in January.
The critics’ reaction captured by Breitbart suggested Trump should bear the blame for this debacle. But most people understand Trump’s a master of hyperbole, exaggeration and self-promotion.
More likely they would more readily trust his lawyers who would know the particulars of the lawsuits they brought on behalf of the former president.
In one final irony, state officials announced that they are investigating Wood for voter fraud. It seems he voted in Georgia after saying publicly that he had moved to South Carolina.