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Trump hires Atlanta attorney Drew Findling to represent him in Fulton County grand jury probe

Lawyer Drew Findling attends the Billboard R&B Hip-Hop Power Players event at Legacy Records on Sept. 27, 2018, in New York.   (Getty Images)
Bill Rankin Atlanta Journal-Constitution

ATLANTA — Former President Donald Trump has retained noted Atlanta lawyer Drew Findling to represent him in the ongoing criminal investigation by the Fulton County special purpose grand jury examining what happened in Georgia after the 2020 presidential election.

Trump’s hiring of Findling, along with Atlanta lawyer Jennifer Little, was confirmed by attorneys with knowledge of the matter. Findling, a highly regarded criminal defense attorney, has represented a number of notable clients. These include Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill, former Atlanta City Hall employee Mitzi Bickers, NBA star Shaquille O’Neal, singer Faith Evans and several famous rappers, including Gucci Mane and Migos.

Now Findling’s law firm represents a former president in one of the highest profile cases in the country.

“Drew is a spectacular attorney and the former president could not have chosen better,” said Atlanta criminal defense attorney Bruce Morris.

Findling, known for his trademark dark sunglasses, is a former president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. On his Twitter account, he refers to himself with the hashtag #billiondollarlawyer.

Little, both a criminal defense lawyer and civil litigator, once prosecuted major cases for the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office. In 2010, she was named Attorney of the Year by the DeKalb DA’s office.

When reached Thursday, both Findling and Little declined comment.

Findling, who is active on social media, has sent out a number of tweets critical of Trump. For example, in 2018 when Trump criticized NBA star LeBron James, Findling tweeted, “POTUS pathetic once again!”

The special purpose grand jury was convened in May. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has said the primary impetus behind the probe was Trump’s Jan. 2, 2021, phone call to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which he asked Raffensperger to “find” him 11,780 votes, one more than was needed to overturn the election results.

Trump has said he did nothing wrong and characterized the conversation as a “perfect phone call.”

The past week has been notable for the former president. On Monday, the FBI executed a warrant at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, in search of classified, presidential documents Trump should no longer possess.

On Wednesday, Trump invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself hundreds of times while being questioned by lawyers from New York’s Attorney General’s Office, according to published reports. The New York AG has been investigating the business practices of the Trump Organization.

In the Fulton County investigation, prosecutors have been serving subpoenas on members of Trump’s inner circle. They include U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who made two phone calls to Raffensperger; attorney John Eastman, a key player in Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election; and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, whose law license has been suspended in New York for his false claims of election fraud in Georgia and other states.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has confirmed that a number of people, including the slate of 16 fake Republican electors who cast sham Electoral College ballots for Trump, have been notified by the DA’s office they are targets of the special grand jury probe. But no word has surfaced publicly that Trump has been told he’s a target.

Norm Eisen, general counsel to House Democrats during Trump’s first impeachment trial and coauthor of a Brookings Institution report on the Fulton County case, said Findling is well respected by the criminal defense bar.

“He has a reputation as an outstanding lawyer and Donald Trump is going to need one because the evidence of possible criminal misconduct against him in Georgia is powerful,” Eisen said.

Eisen noted that Trump has been known not to pay his attorneys in full, and that some of the former president’s own attorneys have found themselves in legal trouble.

“So considering the combination of dealing with the powerful evidence of criminality, Trump’s past record of payment difficulties and the toxic dangers of being Trump’s lawyer, this is a retention from hell,” Eisen said.

On Thursday, Decatur attorney Dwight Thomas confirmed he has been helping Findling and attorneys representing others who are a focus of the special purpose grand jury investigation.

“I serve as a consultant to Drew and other lawyers,” Thomas said.

Thomas once represented former DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones during two special purpose grand jury investigations and former DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis in another.

”Several lawyers have reached out to me about my expertise in special purpose grand juries,” Thomas said. “I’m helping quite a few lawyers who have interest in this matter.”

Thomas, whose involvement was first reported by Yahoo News, noted he is not an attorney of record for any target of the special purpose grand jury investigation.