As in Georgia Grand jury investigates Donald Trump for his conduct after losing 2020 electionThe former president’s team has grown into one of Atlanta’s most respected and influential lawyers.
Dwight Thomas has represented many of the region’s high-profile defendants in horrific, sensitive cases for more than four decades. According to former prosecutor Clinton Rucker, who has consulted for the Trump team, it may be a sign that it is taking the investigation very seriously by Fulton County District Attorney Fannie Willis, who worked for that office on key cases. Spent more than 25 years in
“If you hired Dwight Thomas, you are absolutely serious,” said Rucker, who is now a municipal court judge. “You absolutely believe that you have some risk and you want to make sure you have someone skilled enough to not only investigate issues, but you want someone who will ultimately Go inside and fight and win.”
A spokesman for Willis’ office confirmed that Willis has spoken to Thomas about the matter, and that the DA will only discuss the matter with the lawyers involved. Yahoo News was the first to report that Willis and Thomas spoke. Thomas declined in an email to discuss his involvement, citing grand jury confidentiality rules. A source with knowledge of Thomas’ involvement described his work as “consulting” about the special grand jury and the laws governing him.
Trump’s representatives and lawyers did not return requests for comment. Trump has denied all allegations of wrongdoing in relation to his conduct after the 2020 election.
A special grand jury has summoned dozens of Trump aides and supporters in recent months. there is also heard testimony from state officials involved in a Badnaam January 2, 2021 phone call In which the then-president told Georgia election officials, “I just want to get 11,780 votes” – the number needed to erase Biden’s lead.
Rucker said few defense attorneys have as much experience with special grand juries as Thomas. Special Grand Juries are unique in that they focus on only one investigation and can be empanelled for a longer period of time than typical Grand Juries. Willis wrote while requesting special grand jury In January it will have “an investigational focus appropriate to the complexity of the facts and circumstances”.
Thomas’s current and past clients include many celebrities and politicians. He represented rapper T.I. in a weapons case, and is currently listed as an attorney for Alfred Magbuluba, a 32-year-old charged with murder for allegedly pushing a woman out of a moving Lamborghini. was. Another lawyer in the case told local media that Megabuluba would file a plea of not guilty. Thomas recently defended Atlanta-area suburban mayor Jason Larry, who pleaded guilty to fraud charges stemming from a plan to steal more than $900,000 in COVID-19 relief funds.
Closer to Trump’s home, Thomas represented Vernon Jones, a then-democratic local politician, in many respects. Jones garnered national attention when he supported Trump’s reelection in 2020. Jones later changed his party affiliation to Republican.
Campaign finance records show Thomas donated primarily to Democrats, including $2,000 in 2021 Sen. Raphael Warnock, who is facing a tough election campaign against Trump-backed challenger Herschelle Walker. But Georgia attorney Jason Sheffield said it should come as no surprise that Thomas would clash with a prominent Republican client.
“He checks for any partisan views at the court’s door. And he is extremely diligent. A prudent, fair, great negotiator. Thorough, but I think, above everything else, just for the fair application of the law.” is a lawyer,” said Sheffield, an assistant professor at Emory University School of Law who previously worked in Thomas’ office.
Sheffield said he had recently called Thomas for advice before taking on a high-profile, controversial client. Travis McMichael was one of them three people convicted of murder In the racist killing of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old black man who was jogging, he was chased and shot by three white men in pickup trucks.
“Before I took the matter I called Dwight and I said, ‘What do you think about this? It’s a very worrying matter and people are outraged.’ ‘If you can’t take up the matter, you can’t take up any matter,'” Sheffield said.
Sheffield said the advice fits a sort of mantra Thomas pressures those lawyers to remember: “If you can’t do it for one, you can’t do it for nobody.”
This sentiment was echoed by another former colleague of his firm, Michael Holmes.
“He was to me a mentor, a father figure and friend, and a phenomenal advocate,” Holmes said.
Thomas, 71, has advised countless lawyers, Sheffield and Rooker said, and many of his dependents are current or former prosecutors in Fulton County.
“There are more prosecutors here who have learned the practice of criminal law through Dwight’s office than I can count,” Sheffield said.
Rucker remembers taking lessons from Thomas even when he opposes him.
“He’ll catch you on the technicality in law, and he’ll do it with a smile. And when it’s all over, he’ll say, ‘Hey, let me take you to lunch,'” Rucker said.