Atlanta rappers Young Thug, Gunna, and more than two dozen members of the YSL group have been in jail for the past four months on felony charges, including the RICO statute, that could land them in prison for decades if they are convicted.
During a court hearing for Thug on Sept. 8, the judge brought up the rapper’s social media activity, most notably a tweet that was sent to professional swimmer Michael Phelps. Many on social media have assumed that Thug has access to his phone in jail, but some think it’s somebody else tweeting for him.
I'm talking with my roommate and we're wondering if you could swim 100 miles from the middle of the ocean back to shore – @MichaelPhelps 🏊♂️
— Young Thug ひ (@youngthug) August 31, 2022
Brian Steel, Thug’s and Gunna’s lawyer, denied that the rapper has access to his cellphone in jail.
The judge countered, saying, “This is part of the conversation I had with all of you about your teams and everybody else. If people don’t need to know, you don’t need to disclose it. It’s going to get somebody either hurt or somebody in a lot of trouble.”
Steel then doubled down and said that someone else is tweeting for Thug while he’s in jail.
“That last tweet that was sent out to Michael Phelps is recorded,” Steel said in court. “It was a conversation that was recorded between [Young Thug] and a member of his close family, close friendships. He asked the other person who’s in control of his Twitter account to send that or the Instagram. That is not a reason to [restrict].”
The judge then concluded that Thug can intimidate witnesses if he can get a message out while he’s in jail.
Thug has been denied bond until the trial begins in January 2023.