A Trump Holdout in Atlanta

Two weeks earlier than Joe Biden’s Inauguration, L. Lin Wood answered his phone. The defamation lawyer and conspiracy theorist was at house, in Atlanta, watching a human-trafficking phase on the One America News Network. “I saw there was a warning out,” Wood informed the caller. Maybe there was work in it for him? His current purchasers have included the Georgia congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (Wood appends coronary heart emojis to their correspondences) and Kyle Rittenhouse (“a hero”), and he has litigated on behalf of Donald Trump, whose election-fraud fits in Georgia had failed underneath Wood’s watch. “Nobody loses 0–60,” Wood mentioned, “unless the deck is stacked!” Twitter had completely banned Wood, because it had Trump, for inciting violence. Parler was shut down. Wood misplaced greater than 1,000,000 followers on the 2 platforms mixed. He’d quickly be faraway from a case in Delaware, owing to “textbook frivolous litigation.” There was additionally the matter of the Capitol rebellion, which Wood’s phrases (“rhetorical hyperbole!”) had arguably helped provoke.

L. Lin WoodIllustration by João Fazenda

Still, at house, watching OAN, Wood remained upbeat. “I have eternal life,” he mentioned at one level through the hour-long name. He flitted from firing squads to what makes a great father to the pitching mechanics of a Double-A man generally known as Flame Fleming, “who threw like a cannonball.” He waved away the truth that there had been a Trumpist rebellion the day earlier than. “I don’t believe anybody died yesterday,” Wood mentioned of the violence, which killed a minimum of 5, together with a San Diego girl who, earlier than she died storming the Capitol, had retweeted Wood’s name for Mike Pence to be charged with treason. “I think it was all staged,” he went on. “It was Antifa dressed up as Trump people.”

How did he know? “I apply critical thinking and the instincts God gave me,” he mentioned, including, “I’m not God!” Moments later, although, he did evaluate himself to King David. He continued, “I’m just a person who understands what’s going on and why.” He added a hedge: “If I am God, I’ve got one bad memory! I don’t remember creating myself, the clouds, the oceans, the stars. But do I try to live like God? This is the second harvest. God is getting ready to show he’s real again.”

Wood was not referring to Biden’s Inauguration. To make this level clear, he guess the caller a dinner at one in every of Atlanta’s costliest steakhouses that Trump could be re-inaugurated on the 20 th. The thought might have held some purely theoretical attraction had Wood not already defined that he nearly by no means wore a masks and had by no means taken a COVID check, “and wouldn’t believe it if I did.” Still, would Wood pay up? A few days later, his curious correspondent despatched him a screenshot of Trump admitting {that a} new Administration could be inaugurated on the 20 th. Wood replied, by textual content, “Ha! Not so quick! I prefer to wait to see who is inaugurated first!” What did Wood assume, then, just a few days later, when shifting vans confirmed up on the White House? As a former sportswriter for the Macon News, Wood quoted Yogi Berra in his response: “It ain’t over till it’s over.” On January nineteenth, the baseball metaphors continued. “9 innings,” Wood texted. “Sometimes extra innings!”

The subsequent morning, Trump lastly flew off. Wood was among the many tens of millions who watched. What did he assume now? The lawyer answered with a query: “What do you make of the gold-trimmed flags behind him when he spoke?” The caller famous that there have been seventeen of them—a lot to the delight of the QAnon press corps. (“Q” is the seventeenth letter of the alphabet.) “I did not count them,” Wood wrote of the flags. “I was just enjoying the beauty of the gold trim.” And he added, in one other textual content, referring to Biden’s speech, “Waiting for it to end so I can play with my puppies!”

Now in his late sixties, Wood mentioned that he’d cried, as a younger man, when Richard Nixon resigned. He had not cried, nevertheless, when Trump acquired on the airplane to Mar-a-Lago. “I’m pretty calm about everything,” he mentioned, tv audible in the background, “even though a lot of people are pulling their hair out.” He went on, “It’s a way of God saying, ‘Hey, you better trust me.’ ” As for his personal future, Wood appeared on the brilliant facet. “I’ve always wanted to write,” he mentioned. “But I’ve never had the time to do it.” Before hanging up, he added, “I’m afraid they’re going to put me in jail, but that’s where Paul wrote some of his greatest chapters of the Bible.” ♦

Sourse: newyorker.com

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