Aug 25, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Trump's new Georgia attorney has experience with rappers and racketeering cases

Trump on the right side of the photo in a suit and red tie walking away from a black car. To the left, his attorney in a suit and blue tie gets out of the car.

Former President Trump and his attorney Steven Sadow arrive to Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport after Trump was booked in the Fulton County jail on Aug. 24. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Former President Trump's high-profile Georgia lawyer is no stranger to big names or complex racketeering cases like the one his new client now faces.

The big picture: Veteran defense attorney Steven Sadow has represented the likes of Rick Ross and Usher, and has experience working cases involving the state's RICO law.

Driving the news: Sadow joined Trump's legal team before the former president surrendered to authorities on Thursday.

  • Trump's fourth indictment is a sprawling case centered on alleged efforts to flip Georgia's 2020 election results.

What's happening: Sadow, now Trump's lead attorney, is a special counsel for white-collar and high-profile defense, per his biography.

  • He works at Schulten Ward Turner & Weiss, LLP, a business attorney firm founded in 1986.
  • Sadow was admitted to the Georgia Bar in 1979 after graduating with his J.D. from Emory University.
  • His areas of practice include civil and criminal defense, civil and criminal fraud, white-collar defense, trials and appeals, celebrity defense and civil and criminal forfeiture.

The intrigue: Sadow was previously involved in a federal racketeering case involving the Gold Club, a "now-defunct strip club where sports stars received sexual favors," per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

  • The owner and Sadow's client entered a plea deal in 2002 and was sentenced to 16 months in federal prison.
  • In a more recent case, Sadow said Georgia's RICO law, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, was overused by Georgia prosecutors, the AJC reported.

Details: Sadow's high-profile clients have included the rappers Gunna (Sergio Kitchens), T.I. (Clifford J. Harris, Jr.), and TyDolla$ (Tyrone Griffen).

  • He also represented Howard K. Stern, an attorney, in a dismissed case concerning the death of his partner, model Anna Nicole Smith.
  • Recently, Sadow has been representing a contractor involved in a city corruption scandal involving bribery and tax evasion that's been playing out slowly in federal court.

Of note: Sadow said Trump is innocent of all charges, the New York Times reported.

  • In 2017, Sadow said he was not a Trump supporter on the app formerly known as Twitter.
  • "Prosecutions intended to advance or serve the ambitions and careers of political opponents of the president have no place in our justice system," Sadow said Wednesday, per the NYT.

Flashback: Drew Findling was previously designated Trump's lead counsel, and replacing him was "a mistake," according to Anthony Michael Kreis, a professor at the Georgia State College of Law.

Go deeper: Large crowds outside Atlanta jail for Trump's historic booking

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