Former president Donald Trump recently hired a powerful, Atlanta-based attorney to represent him as he resists a longstanding criminal investigation launched by a prosecutor in Georgia over his efforts to overturn the Peach State’s 2020 presidential election results.
Somewhat awkwardly for the 45th president, his newest attorney has previously been one of his most vehement critics.
That lawyer, Drew Findling, whose last name is pronounced with soft i-sound on the first syllable (like the top part of a dolphin), previously took his new client task for remarks about NBA legend LeBron James.
In a tweet sent Aug. 4, 2018, Findling called Trump both “racist” and “pathetic.” He also accused the then-president of fraud.
“The racist architect of fraudulent Trump University criticizing Lebron, the founder of a free school for children,” the lawyer tweeted in a post that is still live as of this writing. “POTUS pathetic once again!”
Findling’s comments were aimed at Trump going after James during an interview in which the heralded and highly-decorated small forward appeared on CNN with host Don Lemon to discuss a school he funds for at-risk youth in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. During that interview, James also assailed Trump for stoking national division through sports and saying:”sports has never been something that divides people it’s always been something that brings someone together.”
“Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon,” Trump tweeted in response – also appearing to weigh in on the never-ending debate over whether James’ legacy will or can eclipse that of storied Chicago Bull Michael Jordan. “He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!”
But the basketball-focused imbroglio wasn’t the first time the attorney called Trump a racist. Findley also criticized the one-term president’s lifelong obsession with the falsely accused Central Park 5 as “racist, cruel, sick, unforgivable, and un-American” in a 2017 tweet.
Findling and another attorney with the Findling Law Firm, Jennifer Little, confirmed their representation of the former president in response to a series of questions from Law&Crime.
“I am a passionate advocate against injustice and will not deny that; however, where I see a misuse and abuse of power I feel compelled to act,” Findling said in a statement. “I will strongly defend President Trump as it relates to this misguided and overblown Special Purpose Grand Jury investigation being pushed forward by the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office.”
The attorney also addressed his past criticism of Trump – albeit somewhat obliquely.
“I may differ politically from many of my clients, but that doesn’t change my commitment to defend against wrongful investigations,” Findling continued. “In this case, the focus on President Trump in Fulton County, Georgia is clearly an erroneous and politically driven persecution and along with my office and co-counsel, I am fully committed to defend against this injustice.”
Little struck a similar chord in her own response to Law&Crime’s questions.
“These attorneys were handpicked on behalf of the President, and the composition of our team only adds to the integrity of his defense,” she wrote. “A politically diverse group of attorneys with differing perspectives have all come to the same conclusion- there have been no violations of Georgia law. We as a team look forward to vigorously defending our client and the Constitution.”
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (D) has empaneled a special purpose grand jury to investigate Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. Though the special grand jury cannot issue indictments, the DA already announced that the fake Trump electors are “targets” of her probe, suggesting a concurrent grand jury is considering charging them. The would-be electors falsely said they were valid presidential electors, even though now-President Joe Biden won in Georgia by 11,779 votes.
That margin of victory was made famous by Trump’s request to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) to “find” one more vote than that number to overcome his defeat.
The DA’s efforts have recently garnered a spate of attention after subpoenas were issued for testimony to several people allegedly associated with that effort, including South Carolina’s senior Sen. Lindsey Graham. At least 17 individuals, in total, have been marked as “targets” in the investigation.
Trump has not yet been publicly designated as one of those targets.
[image via Brandon Bell/Getty Images]
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