Former President Donald Trump switched legal counsel just before turning himself in at the Fulton County Jail, hiring the superstar Georgia defense lawyer Steven Sadow, who specializes in white collar crime.
Sadow’s law firm profile lists the Emory-trained attorney as “Special Counsel for White Collar and High Profile Defense” — and when they say “high profile,” they mean it. Below is a list of boldface names and well-known cases that the firm characterizes as Sadow’s “representative high profile clients.”
- Sergio Kitchens a/k/a Gunna
- William Roberts, Jr., a/k/a Rick Ross
- Howard K. Stern
- Clifford J. Harris, Jr., a/k/a T.I.
- Ray Lewis/Joseph Sweeting
- Gold Club/Steve Kaplan
- “Mansion Madam“/Nicole Probert
- Michael Madlem/Smoke 911
- International Follies/The Cheetah
- Isiah Crowell
- Tyrone Griffen, a/k/a “TyDolla$”
Sadow has a reputation for taking on tough cases and for being adept at using the high profile aspect of his clients’ notoriety to their advantage — a surely attractive quality to Trump, who is the highest profile client imaginable.
Sadow also enjoys a reputation for RICO skepticism and for punching holes in cases where free speech and creative license (song lyrics in some cases) are commandeered by prosecutors as evidence to connect the dots in far-flung racketeering plots.
The Wall Street Journal says of Sadow:
The latest member of Donald Trump’s band of criminal defense lawyers is an Atlanta attorney known for eviscerating cross-examinations of government witnesses and pointed critiques of how the local district attorney uses Georgia’s anti-racketeering law.
Taking on Trump as a client, Sadow has signed up for something of a RICO rematch with Fulton County DA Fani Willis. Just last year, Sadow challenged RICO charges brought by Willis as he represented hip-hop star Sergio Kitchens a/k/a Gunna, who was charged with conspiracy to violate the RICO Act.
With rapper Young Thug, Gunna was among 28 defendants in the Georgia case that essentially claimed that through their record label the hip-hop stars were part of a criminal Bloods-affiliated gang.
Sadow got Gunna released from jail after the rapper submitted an Alford plea, which allowed him to plead guilty while maintaining his innocence, resulting in a plea deal that required him to complete 500 hours of community service.
The Washington Post quotes Sadow on the Gunna result, reporting that for 350 of his community service hours, Gunna “will speak to young men and women about the hazards and immorality of gangs and gang violence, and the decay that it causes in our communities,” according to Sadow.
The Georgia Criminal Defense blog describes an Alford plea below:
The Alford plea is an interesting plea because a defendant is actually allowing himself to be convicted while still claiming and maintaining his innocence. The only time an Alford plea should be considered is when there is an extremely high probability that the defendant will be convicted at trial and after serious conversation and involvement by a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer. The Alford plea allows the defendant to obtain a lower sentence than if the case actually goes to trial.
NOTE: Sadow replaced Drew Findling on Trump’s team. Findling also represented the hip-hip elite, including stars like Gucci Mane, Offset, Cardi B and Waka Flocka Flame.