September 25, 2022

Georgia Grand jury investigating Donald Trump Because of his behavior after losing the 2020 election, the former president’s team has turned into one of the most respected and influential lawyers in Atlanta.

For more than four decades, Dwight Thomas has represented many of the region’s high-profile defendants in sensitive and fraught cases. His advising the Trump team may be a sign that the investigation by Fulton County District Attorney Fanny Willis is being taken seriously, according to former Attorney General Clinton Rucker, who has spent more than 25 years on this office’s major cases.

“If you hire Dwight Thomas, you’re very serious,” said Rucker, now a municipal court judge. “You totally think you have some exposure and you want to make sure that you have someone skilled enough to not only examine issues, but you want someone who can eventually come in and fight and win.”

Attorney Dwight Thomas speaks to reporters in a file photo from 2007
Attorney Dwight Thomas, center, speaks to reporters alongside two colleagues outside federal court in Atlanta after an insurance hearing for their client, rapper T.I., on October 19, 2007.

John Ames/AFP

A spokesperson for Willis’ office confirmed that Welles had spoken to Thomas about the case, and that the DA would only discuss the case with the lawyers involved in it. Yahoo News first reported that Willis and Thomas spoke. Thomas declined in an email to discuss his participation, citing grand jury confidentiality regulations. A source familiar with Thomas’ involvement describes his work as a “consultation” about special grand juries and the laws that govern them.

Trump’s representatives and lawyers did not respond to requests for comment. Trump has denied all allegations of wrongdoing regarding his conduct after the 2020 election.

The special grand jury in recent months has summoned dozens of Trump allies and supporters. She also has I heard testimony of state officials involved in January 2, 2021 infamous phone call As the then-president told Georgia election officials, “I just want to find 11,780 votes” — the number needed to erase Biden’s lead.

Rucker said that few defense attorneys have the same experience as Thomas with private grand juries. Special grand juries are unique in that they focus on only one investigation and can be imposed for a longer period than typical grand juries. Willis Books On Demand Special grand jury Next January, it will have an “investigative focus appropriate to the complexity of the facts and circumstances involved”.

Thomas’ current and former clients include a large number of celebrities and politicians. Rapper has represented T.I. in a weapons case, and is currently listed as an attorney for Alfred Mgbuluba, a 32-year-old man charged with murder for allegedly pushing a woman out of a moving Lamborghini. Another lawyer in the case told local media Migbuluba will file an acquittal. Thomas recently defended Jason Larry, the mayor of an Atlanta suburb, who pleaded guilty to fraud charges stemming from a scheme to steal more than $900,000 in COVID-19 relief funding.

Close to Trump, represented Thomas Vernon Jones, the then-Democratic local politician, on multiple matters. Jones gained national attention when he endorsed Trump’s re-election in 2020. Jones later changed his party affiliation to Republican.

Campaign funding records show Thomas donated primarily to Democrats, including $2,000 in 2021 to Senator Raphael Warnock, who is facing a tough re-election campaign against Trump-backed challenger Herschel Walker. But Georgia attorney Jason Sheffield said it was no surprise that Thomas had dealings with a prominent Republican client.

“He vets any partisan opinions at the door of the court. He is very diligent. A wise, fair, and great negotiator. Thorough, but I think above all, just an advocate for the fair application of the law,” said Sheffield, an assistant professor at Emory University School of Law who previously worked In Thomas’ office.

Sheffield said he called Thomas for advice recently before dealing with a high-profile and controversial client. Travis McMichael was one of the Three men convicted of murder In the racially charged murder of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old black man was running when the three white men chased him in pickup trucks and shot him dead.

“Before making the case, I called Dwight and said, ‘What do you think about this?’ It is a very worrying issue and people are angry about it. “If you can’t take over this case, you can’t take any case,” Sheffield said.

The advice fits into a mantra of sorts, Sheffield said, pressing Thomas to counsel the lawyers he instructs to remember: “If you can’t do it to someone, you can’t do it to anyone.”

This sentiment was echoed by Michael Holmes, another former colleague at his company.

“He was my mentor, father and friend, and an exceptional lawyer,” said Holmes.

Sheffield and Rucker said the 71-year-old Thomas has mentored countless attorneys, and many of his subjects are current or former Fulton County attorneys general.

“More prosecutors here have learned criminal law practice through Dwight’s office than I can count,” Sheffield said.

Rucker remembers learning from Thomas even while opposing.

“He’ll catch you on the technicalities of the law,” said Rucker, “and he’ll do it with a smile. And when it’s all over, he’ll say, ‘Hey, let me take you to lunch.'”

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