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Former President Donald Trump's team has been consulting a high-profile local lawyer to help navigate the Fulton County criminal investigation into some of his associates' actions in the 2020 election.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis confirmed that her team has interacted with Trump's new hire, Dwight Thomas, but declined to elaborate further in an interview with Yahoo News.

Thomas is one of the most high-profile lawyers in the region and has nearly four decades of experience in the legal arena.

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"If you hired Dwight Thomas, you are absolutely serious," former prosecutor Clinton Rucker told CBS. "You absolutely believe that you have some exposure and you want to make sure that you have somebody that is skilled enough to not only examine the issues, but you want somebody who ultimately can go in and fight and win."

Throughout his career, Thomas has taken up myriad sensitive and fraught cases, having previously represented rapper T.I. in a weapons case and former congressional hopeful Vernon Jones on several occasions, the outlet reported. Jones was a Democratic politician at the time he consulted Thomas, but he has since flipped parties and mounted unsuccessful bids for Congress and Georgia governor.

Thomas has a history of donating to Democrats, including Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) in 2021, according to campaign finance records. Still, he "checks any partisan views at the courthouse door," Georgia attorney Jason Sheffield told the outlet.

Thomas, 71, has mentored a lengthy list of lawyers, including prosecutors who are currently working for Fulton County. He also has extensive experience in dealing with special grand juries, Rucker said.

"He will catch you on technicalities in the 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 added.

Willis's investigation is circling closer to Trump, with the district attorney leaving the door open to calling Trump before investigators to testify.

"I think it's something that we're still weighing and evaluating," she said.

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Willis began her investigation last year after reports surfaced that Trump had a call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which he underscored the need to "find" 11,780 votes to tip Georgia in his favor. A special grand jury was impaneled to assist with the inquiry in May and issue subpoenas. Willis has been investigating whether any crimes were committed by Trump or his allies in their quest to challenge the 2020 election. Trump has dismissed allegations of wrongdoing and touted the call with Raffensperger as "perfect."

The Fulton County inquiry has procured testimony from several key witnesses, such as Raffensperger and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. The grand jury has also subpoenaed Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and several other key Trump allies for testimony.

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Letters to the Editor | Letters: Stop rodeos | Nuclear safety | Legal standard | Driving inflation

Submit your letter to the editor via this form. Read more Letters to the Editor.

Stop rodeos’
cruelty to animals

Thanks to reporter Shomik Mukherjee for his Aug. 14 informative article on the proposed Alameda County rodeo ordinance (“Proposed ban on wild-cow milking threatens rodeos,” Page A1). Note that all animal welfare organizations condemn rodeo due to its inherent cruelty. Even Cesar Chavez was an outspoken critic.

The Board of Supervisors rightfully outlawed the children’s “mutton busting” event in 2019. The current amendments would ban the nonsanctioned, brutal and blatantly sexist “wild cow milking contest.” Also the use of painful devices such as flank straps, spurs and non-release ropes, allowing “breakaway” calf roping only. Worthy goals, all.

Rodeo has little to do with ranching. Working cowboys/girls never routinely rode bulls, wrestled steers, rode bareback, barrel raced or practiced calf roping as a timed event (terrified babies). It’s mostly hype, a macho exercise in domination. It needs to end.

Partial penance: Convert HARD’s Rowell Ranch property into a farm animal sanctuary and education center for Bay Area schoolchildren.

Eric Mills
Oakland

Safety checks needed
to extend nuclear plants

Re: “Newsom wants nuclear plan open,” Page C7, Aug. 13:

The climate crisis may necessitate the extension of operations of the hundreds of aging nuclear plants in the United States and around the world but before doing so, each plant for consideration should have an independent, thorough and robust safety inspection, especially in the case of Diablo Canyon.

Any serious accident at this plant sited next to two earthquake faults has the potential of poisoning our nation’s Central Valley breadbasket or making surrounding cities “habitat exclusion zones” for hundreds of years – all to gain 5-10 years of “clean energy.”

This is not a small decision as Diablo is now 20 years past its original planned-for operational life. There is no margin for error.

Terry Lamphier
Grass Valley

Trump under same legal
standard as all of us

I’m saddened by David Brooks’ report that the legal, warranted search of the former president’s residence has consolidated Republicans’ support for him (“Did the FBI just reelect Donald Trump?” Page A13, Aug. 14). All citizens, even ex-presidents, must be held accountable for their alleged crimes. Substantial evidence is piling ever higher in Donald Trump’s cases. I’m shocked that Brooks seems to say the FBI and other agents of justice ought to take such political reactions into account when pursuing investigations as required by law.

When Brooks says, “distrust of established power is so virulent that actions by elite actors tend to backfire,” is he labeling the FBI an “elite actor”? That would confirm Republicans’ illegitimate propaganda that bringing Trump to justice is a political ploy of the “deep state,” the “Regime,” or what Brooks labels “the Brahmin class.” The irony of a con artist who wormed his way into elite circles now posing as the defender of non-elites is dangerous when unmentioned.

Bruce Joffe
Piedmont

Inflation Reduction Act
will exacerbate inflation

Re. “How will historic bill benefit Californians,” Page A1, Aug. 9:

However well-intentioned a national government’s spending program, spending more than you receive – “profligate spending” – from taxes creates disaster. For more than 100 years, economics fundamentals teach that the number one cause of inflation is government simply printing more money, which dilutes the value of all money.

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The absurdly named “Inflation Reduction Act” spends three-quarters of a trillion dollars, in addition to the $4 trillion spent in the last 18 months. You cannot dig your way out of an economic hole with a larger shovel; you must stop digging (i.e., spending).

America’s yearly inflation is now 8.5%; food costs have jumped 10.9%.

Denial of this negative impact puts all Americans at economic risk. Argentina’s government has denied this association for more than a decade; they print huge amounts of their currency. The result: Argentina now has inflation of 70%.

Fred Korr
Oakland

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