Attorney Lin Wood, who is an expert at winning defamation cases, should know not to tangle himself up in a defamation case he can’t win. That’s what makes me think his stunning allegations against Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger might have merit. Would an expert attorney say, as a “statement of fact,” that both Kemp and Raffensperger are guilty of crimes if he couldn’t prove it? The absolute defense against defamation is the truth.
“I know about defamation. I know about the crooked FBI, too. I defended Richard Jewell,” Wood said at a Georgia rally. “Listen carefully, Governor Kemp, listen carefully, Brad Raffensperger. I state, as a matter of fact, that you are criminals. You took money from Dominion. You took money from China with the COVID purchase and I damn well bet you will never sue me because the truth will prove that I am right. You need to go to jail.”
Governor Kemp has denied the claims. “These are ridiculous,” Kemp said. “They only seek to breed fear, create confusion and sow discord amongst our citizens. Now, more than ever, we must stand up for the truth, and we need to unite around our shared values,” he said.
Wood made the claims at a rally in Georgia, where thousands of Trump supporters reportedly gathered to protest what they consider to be an unlawful election process. Top among their concerns are the last-minute changes to the election law that were outlined very clearly by J. Christian Adams here at PJ Media.
“First, COVID led to a dismantling of state election integrity laws by everyone except the one body with the constitutional prerogative to change the rules of electing the president – the state legislatures,” Adams explained. He detailed other outrages that voters are upset about. “Mail ballots went to dead people. Mail ballots went to abandoned mines in Nevada. Mail ballots went to vacant lots in Pittsburgh. Mail ballots went in the garbage. Mail ballots were voted by people other than the voter.” There should be no doubt why Republican voters are hopping mad.
Wood made the same charges against Kemp in an interview with Tennessee radio host John Fredericks last week.
And there’s a lot of money that went down when the Dominion voting system was purchased by the state of Georgia in 2019. Follow the money. There was also a lot of money that went down when Governor Kemp bought COVID supplies, masks, gowns, and COVID test kits from China. Follow the money.
It’s also an interesting money trail before he appointed Kelly Loeffler as senator and after her appointment. Follow the money. The governor of the State of Georgia is corrupt. He’s compromised by China’s money. And that’s why you don’t hear him out there fighting for the people of this state right now who are going to be outraged and they already are because they know that Trump won this state by a landslide.
If what Governor Kemp says is true, then he should sue Wood, although it is notoriously difficult for a public official to get relief in a defamation case. Public officials are held to a higher standard than private individuals. President Trump has been criticizing libel laws that protect the media from being held accountable when they have repeatedly defamed him.
“Our current libel laws are a sham and a disgrace, and do not represent American values or American fairness,” Trump said, reading from prepared notes.
“So we’re going to take a strong look at that. We want fairness. You can’t say things that are false, knowingly false, and be able to smile as money pours into your bank account … I think what the American people want to see is fairness.”
But currently, there is no federal libel law, and states would have to revisit their process in order for public officials to have more success in court.
Celebrities, politicians, high-ranking or powerful government officials, and others with power in society are generally considered public figures/officials and are required to prove actual malice. Unlike these well-known and powerful individuals, your shy neighbor is likely to be a private figure who is only required to prove negligence if you publish something defamatory about her.
Proving malice requires one of two things: knowing the statement made was false at the time of making it, and (or) “acting with reckless disregard” for the statement’s truth or falsity.” Accusing a person of a crime falls under most defamation statutes and if Governor Kemp can prove he did not commit a crime, then he should be able to get relief in the form of a public retraction, at the very least. And if there’s any law blocking that, it should be changed. Why shouldn’t false statements that can be proven false be corrected? Maybe the president was right and libel laws are standing in the way of getting the whole story. Don’t forget that Wood won his defamation case against CNN and the Washington Post on behalf of Covington teen Nick Sandmann, who was viciously defamed by both media outlets. Sandmann is now a multi-millionaire. Without that lawsuit, we might never have known that Sandmann was an innocent bystander who was set up by activists and smeared by a dishonest media.
What do you think?