Lin Wood, an Atlanta-based lawyer who says President Donald Trump asked him to join the effort to challenge Joe Biden’s election victory, is promoting a right-wing group’s call for Trump to declare martial law and use the military to oversee a new election. Retired Gen. Michael Flynn also promoted the call for martial law just a day after the Justice Department released the language of the extremely broad pardon Flynn received from Trump
We the People Convention, an Ohio group with Tea Party roots, made the call for martial law in a full-page ad in the right-wing Washington Times and a press release distributed Tuesday. As of Tuesday afternoon, the press release had been shared more than 70,000 times online. Wood tweeted a link to the press release, adding his own message:
Our country is headed to civil war. A war created by 3rd party bad actors for their benefit – not for We The People.
— Lin Wood (@LLinWood) December 1, 2020
Wood, who is apparently working on his own rather than as an official part of Trump’s legal team, sued unsuccessfully to block certification of Biden’s victory in Georgia. He recently suggested that Georgia voters should hold off voting for Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler in their runoff election until the senators did more to support Trump’s election challenges. Wood, whose Twitter bio includes the QAnon movement hashtag #WWG1WGA, is scheduled to hold a press conference in Georgia with former Team Trump attorney Sidney Powell Wednesday afternoon.
Wood also represents Kyle Rittenhouse, who has become a right-wing folk hero after being charged with killing anti-racism protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin. A recent profile of Wood in the Trump-supporting Pentecostal-oriented media outlet Charisma said that he is “walking in the power of the Holy Sprit as a humble man of faith” and described him this way:
Prayer is the ammunition of Wood’s slingshot, figuratively speaking. He comes to do legal battle for “We The People” in the name of the Lord whose hand is still on America, he said, and he will not allow the enemies of God’s people to take over this nation and transform it into the twisted image of the godless, manipulative, intellectual elite who disdain true Christians.
The ad calling for martial law cites constitutionally suspect actions that Abraham Lincoln took during the Civil War as precedent for Trump to act. “Today, the current threat to our United States by the international and domestic socialist/communist left is much more serious than anything Lincoln or our nation has faced in its history – including the civil war,” the ad reads.
The ad claims that leftist activists, colluding with Big Tech and a corrupt media, are out to destroy the United States, and that their “attempted stealing of these elections” is an act of “rebellion.”
Here are the concluding paragraphs:
We the People must not and WILL NOT cede our exclusive Constitutional right to elect our Representatives to judges, lawyers, courts, Governors, Secretary’s of State, Congress, corrupt election officials and local politicians, the corrupt media – or Leftist threats of violence! It is OUR EXCLUSIVE RIGHT to decide our Representatives not theirs! Therefore, We the People MUST demand a NEW and fair national vote, a vote that all Americans can trust and live by regardless of the winner! Without a fair vote, we fear, with good reason, the threat of a shooting civil war is imminent. Gun sales are at an all time high and 40% are first time gun owners looking to defend themselves, their property, and their rights. Therefore, Mr. President you must act now before there is no peaceful way left to preserve our Union.
When the legislators, courts and/or Congress fail to do their duty under the 12th Amendment, you must be ready Mr. President to immediately declare a limited form of Martial Law, and temporarily suspend the Constitution and civilian control of these federal elections, for the sole purpose of having the military oversee a national re-vote. A vote that assures a fair election in every jurisdiction and reflects the true will of the people. Federal candidates only. Paper ballots. No computers. Hand-counted with both parties watching every vote. Only registered voters. Photo ID to prove residence. Conducted safely with everyone wearing masks and six feet apart, just like we did in Ohio. Only then can the winning candidate be accepted as legitimate by a true majority of We the People who must give our consent to be justly governed! Unfortunately we are at a point where we can only trust our military to do this because our corrupt political class and courts have proven their inability to act fairly and within the law.
You must also act, like Lincoln did, to silence the destructive media’s one-sided propaganda designed and proven to influence the election outcome, and end the unlawful censorship of Big Tech, to restore the confidence of the American People in our electoral process or we cannot continue as a nation. Failure to do so could result in massive violence and destruction on a level not seen since the Civil War. Limited Martial Law is clearly a better option than Civil War!
Many will object to these actions, as they did in Lincoln’s day, but we assure you that We the People understand that no less action will suffice to prevent the loss of our Constitutional right to vote and preserve our Republic. It is time to honor your oath, Mr. President. It is time for you to boldly act to save our nation as Lincoln did. We the People will support a national re-vote. We will also have no other choice but to take matters into our own hands, and defend our rights on our own, if you do not act within your powers to defend us.
The press release also quotes Tom Zawistowski, who it identifies as “President of the TEA Party affiliated We the People Convention (WPTC) and Executive Director of the Portage County Tea Party.” Zawistowski posts a We The People Convention weekly podcast, which until this week had been carried on a network of five radio stations across Ohio.
In last Friday’s broadcast, Zawistowski declared that Trump was leading in the Electoral College, repeating Trump attorneys’ unsupported claims about voter fraud in those states. He declared his “complete and unconditional support” for former Team Trump attorney Sidney Powell, whose extravagant conspiracy theories about the election were apparently even too much for Trump. “The facts will prove that Donald J. Trump won this election in a landslide,” he declared.
Zawistowski also played a clip from Trump attorney Joseph diGenova calling for ballots to be thrown out, noting that his group had called for diGenova to be named a special counsel to investigate Robert Mueller, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, “and all these criminals.” Zawistowski told listeners to stock up on food and be prepared to engage in a nationwide work stoppage if necessary.
The We the People Convention website says its mission is to recruit and train Ohio citizens to get involved in politics to ensure “limited constitutional governance.” It was founded in 2011, and Rep. Jim Jordan and Jenny Beth Martin of Tea Party Patriots spoke at the inaugural event. In 2012, the group was addressed by James O’Keefe of Project Veritas and Matt Kibbee of FreedomWorks. Jordan Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice was the keynoter in 2013.
In March 2018, Cleveland.com reported on Zawistowski’s denial that his request for a $1 million contribution from a Republican gubernatorial candidate amounted to attempted extortion. According to that story:
Zawistowski — known in Ohio political circles as simply “Tom Z” — is executive director of the Portage County Tea Party, and is a fixture in grassroots conservative politics.
The exact extent of his influence is debatable. But Zawistowski’s role in the Ohio Tea Party community is prominent enough that a candidate forum he organized in suburban Columbus last year attracted three of the four Republicans who were running at the time for governor, as well as hundreds of Tea Party activists. In attendance were Attorney General Mike DeWine, Secretary of State Jon Husted, who ended up dropping out and becoming DeWine’s running-mate, and U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, who now is running for the U.S. Senate. Taylor didn’t attend the forum, but submitted a video in lieu of a personal appearance.
Zawistowski’s communications firm, TRZ Business Services, has done work on behalf of conservative Ohio Republican politicians. The company has been paid about $42,000 over the past several years for marketing services and robo-calls on behalf of State Rep. Nino Vitale, State Rep. Kristina Roegner, and others, state records show. Zawistowski also ran unsuccessfully for chair of the Ohio Republican Party in 2013.
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