Trump booster Lin Wood’s Georgia runoff suit tossed out by judge

Erik Larson

A federal judge dismissed an “astonishingly speculative” lawsuit brought by a high profile supporter of President Donald Trump who claimed that Georgia’s Jan. 5 runoff election is being undermined by lax rules for mail-in ballots on top of a vast voting-machine conspiracy.

Georgia attorney Lin Wood’s claims are “too generalized” and not backed by actual evidence of harm, U.S. District Judge Timothy Batten in Atlanta said Monday in tossing out the case, which echoed claims brought in similar lawsuits by former Trump campaign attorney Sidney Powell.

Attorney Lin Wood, member of President Donald Trump's legal team, gestures while speaking during a rally on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020, in Alpharetta, Ga.

Wood and Powell have been among the most vocal proponents of unsubstantiated conspiracy theories claiming that voting machines made by Dominion Voting Systems Inc. were used by corrupt election workers to switch millions of votes from Trump to President-elect Joe Biden.

But Batten, a George W. Bush appointee, cited numerous technical deficiencies in Wood’s case before singling out his claim that his rights are being violated by the state’s work with Dominion. Wood argues the machines are tainted by corrupt computer code created to help Hugo Chavez win elections in Venezuela, and that China, and possibly Iran, infiltrated the machines to help Biden win.

“Not only is this allegation astonishingly speculative, but it also presumes that because independent bad actors allegedly fixed the election of a now-deceased Venezuelan president, fraud will recur during Georgia’s runoff,” Batten said.

Wood didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment, but he slammed the judge’s decision on Twitter.

Wood also complained that a hearing wasn’t allowed.

The suit was filed against Georgia’s embattled Republican elections chief, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, whom Wood has accused – without evidence – of conspiring to deny Trump a second term. Raffensperger has defended the state’s handling of the election and denied the claims.

Wood had asked Batten for a court order that would have changed the state’s signature-verification process for mail-in ballots as well as rules for processing those ballots. Wood also challenged the use of ballot drop boxes.

Another federal judge in Georgia earlier this month dismissed a similar lawsuit brought by the state’s two Republican senators, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, seeking to change the mail-in ballot signature verification rules for their runoff, calling their worries about voter fraud “far too speculative.” Their races will determine control of the U.S. Senate.