A South Florida lawyer who helped Republicans try to challenge the results of the presidential election in Georgia was among tens of thousands of Twitter users removed from the site in the aftermath of the riot in Washington after posting messages he said were given to him by one of former President Donald Trump’s most controversial allies.
Before he was banned this month, Carlos E. Silva — whose Coral Gables firm, Silva & Silva, has represented clients in high-profile cases in Miami-Dade County — said on Twitter that he was tweeting messages on behalf of L. Lin Wood, an Atlanta attorney who has promoted debunked allegations, including that voting machines used in U.S. elections were rigged in cooperation with late-Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez.
Wood was suspended from Twitter following the Capitol insurrection and then permanently booted.
“Lin Wood asked me to post this: President Donald Trump is aware of the attempted coup.
He is in control,” Silva, 55, tweeted on January 6 after alerting his followers that he would be sharing information from Wood.
He added: “Remember there is only one president at a time. Trust him. God has a plan.”
A Twitter spokesman would not discuss specific tweets, but said Silva’s @carlosesilva65 account “was permanently suspended for violations of the Twitter Rules on ban evasion.”
The policy prohibits users from helping other suspended users get around their prohibition, among other things. Bans apply to the users behind the accounts.
In an interview last week, Silva said he was indeed passing along messages from Wood. But he said Twitter shouldn’t have cut off his access, and his removal is evidence of the site’s censorship of Trump’s supporters.
“They should be sued for what they’ve done to conservatives.
“I’ve never posted any aggression to anybody,” said Silva, who contributed at least 250,000 dollars to Republican campaigns last year despite being a registered Democrat.
Silva, a licensed Florida attorney since 1994, did not respond to subsequent interview requests this week for more information about his Twitter messages regarding Wood.
The Miami Herald also called and texted Wood several times within the last week to ask about his relationship with Silva. Wood did not respond.
When Silva spoke to The Miami Herald earlier this month, he downplayed his relationship with Wood.
But the two crossed paths online and in court in the weeks that followed the 2020 election as Trump claimed to be the victim of elections fraud in key swing states that voted for now-President Joe Biden.
In Georgia, where Wood sued unsuccessfully to overturn Biden’s win in the state, Silva was part of a group of South Florida legal professionals who filed affidavits in support of Wood’s federal lawsuit after visiting elections offices in the Atlanta suburbs to observe what was effectively a hand recount of the presidential election.
Silva and others swore to have witnessed what they believed to be evidence of fraud.
Wood also praised Silva on Twitter in the weeks following the presidential election, calling him a “truth-giver.”
And he thanked Silva for his dedication as Wood continued to argue that the election was stolen from Trump.
“I want ALL to know that Carlos Silva & members of his law firm, Silva & Silva in Coral Gables, FL have worked long hours to help me over the last several weeks.
“Carlos & his team are American Patriots & quiet heroes for their efforts for freedom,” Wood posted on Dec. 11.
In the post, Wood urged people to follow Silva at @Carloss16204129, an account that doesn’t currently exist.
Silva responded to Wood’s post the same day from his @carlosesilva65 account and wrote that “the greatest thing that all patriots can do at this time is collect any information on voter fraud and forward it to Mr. Wood #MAGA.”
The day before the riot at the Capitol, Silva also encouraged people on Twitter to visit a website that provided template letters to send to U.S. senators to encourage them to vote on Jan. 6 to de-certify the results of swing states that went for Biden.
Allegations of widespread voter fraud have been repeatedly debunked in the weeks since Biden won the 2020 election.
The state of Georgia confirmed Biden’s victory by recounting all 5 million ballots cast in the election by hand.
An audit of absentee ballot signatures in Fulton County ordered by Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in response to GOP accusations of mail ballot fraud found no evidence that any had occurred.
Wood, a prominent attorney who represented Palm Beach billionaire Jeff Greene in his defamation case against The Miami Herald and Tampa Bay Times, was unsuccessful in two election-related lawsuits he filed as a plaintiff in Georgia federal court, one of which sought to halt the Jan. 5 U.S. Senate runoff contest ultimately won by two Democrats.
When asked about his involvement with Wood’s lawsuit seeking to challenge the results of the presidential election in Georgia, Silva wouldn’t discuss the details of what he saw in Georgia or his involvement in Wood’s case and said he distrusts the media.
“You won’t see my signature anywhere. That’s all I can tell you. After that, I was in Georgia and I guess Lin Wood is known there,” said Silva, who did not explain why Wood reached out to him following his removal from Twitter.
Silva, though, defended the statements he made in his Nov. 17 affidavit submitted on behalf of a motion by Wood to temporarily stop the state of Georgia from certifying its presidential election results, saying “I would never file anything frivolous.”
And he told the Miami Herald that the media is lying about there being no evidence of election fraud.
“For the media to say there’s no evidence is a pure lie. There are many affidavits.
“There are reports, experts, many things, videos put together, and no judge has looked at a single piece of evidence,” said Silva, who began an interview by asking a reporter how he voted and whether he was a Democrat.
“There’s a lot of evidence,” he added.
Silva said he traveled to Georgia in mid-November because he wanted to see if talk of election fraud was accurate.
Bidenhad won the state by about 14,000 votes, and Raffensperger, the secretary of state, had ordered a hand recount of the entire presidential election in order to help address allegations of fraud and chicanery.
The recount confirmed Biden’s victory by a smaller margin of about 12,000 votes.
Silva’s suspicions about the election were shared by a number of Republicans and Trump voters around the country and in Miami-Dade County, where Trump successfully boosted his support in significant numbers.
“I wanted to see if it was true, if an election can be stolen in this country,” Silva said,
A Georgia Republican Party list of election observers in Henry County, south of Atlanta, included Silva, a paralegal at his firm and an attorney who listed the same address as Silva & Silva, among other South Florida legal professionals. Silva’s affidavit didn’t mention any visits to Henry County.
But he swore under oath in the affidavit that he saw election workers in nearby DeKalb and Cobb counties count “thousands of (mail) ballots that just had the perfect bubbled marked for Biden and no other markings in the rest of the ballot.”
Silva also swore that he saw Trump ballots placed into stacks of Biden votes and hostility toward Republican observers.
“Based on my observations, I have reached the conclusion that in the counties I have observed, there is widespread fraud favoring candidate Biden only,” Silva wrote.
Janine Eveler, Cobb County’s director of elections, dismissed Silva’s allegations.
“All of his ‘observations’ are skewed, conflated, or manipulated to match what he wanted to believe was going on.
“If I’m being generous, I could also say he just did not understand the process,” Eveler wrote after The Miami Herald emailed her a link to Silva’s affidavit.
A spokesman for Raffensperger wouldn’t specifically address the allegations in Silva’s affidavit but pointed to a letter the secretary of state sent to members of Congress seeking to debunk false allegations ahead of the Jan. 6 vote to certify the election.
In the letter, Raffensperger noted that there were “numerous reasons” for the existence of “pristine” mail ballots lacking creases or evidence of wear and tear.
“The unstated implication of this allegation is that county elections officials are creating fake or invalid ballots and running them through scanners,” wrote Raffensperger.
“There is absolutely no evidence this happened a single time in Georgia,” he added.
In Georgia’s northern district, federal District Judge Steven Grimberg ultimately denied Wood’s motion for a temporary restraining order, an effort to stop the certification of the Nov. 3 vote.
But Silva says he witnessed ballot tampering first-hand and doesn’t understand why there isn’t more of an effort to investigate.
He also believes Twitter has over-stepped its bounds and is controlling free speech.
“This is horrific. This is terrifying,” said Silva, who noted that his parents came to the U.S. from Cuba and said he was worried about the Democratic Party’s leftward bend.
“And I’ll try for the future of my children to keep fighting for freedom, the first amendment, and that’s all I can tell you, buddy.” (tca/dpa/NAN)