OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
The judge assigned to oversee former President Donald Trump’s case in Georgia was appointed by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp just six months ago and used to work under the Fulton County district attorney.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee, 34, who earned his law degree from the University of Georgia, previously worked for Kemp as the state’s inspector general. He also worked under Fulton County DA Fani Willis.
Under Willis, McAfee worked with the complex trial division for the Fulton County District Attorney’s office, The New York Times reported.
McAfee’s 2024 judicial campaign website says: “While with the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office, Judge McAfee started in the complaint room and worked his way up to the major case division where he exclusively handled homicide prosecutions.”
Later, he became a federal prosecutor and served in the Northern District of Georgia, working on major drug trafficking probes. While in that position, he worked under U.S. Attorney Byung Pak, who left his position after arguing with Trump over his claims of vote fraud.
He then took a job as Georgia’s inspector general under Kemp.
“Scott McAfee is a strong addition to my administration,” Kemp said when McAfee joined his administration. “His experience as a tough prosecutor equips him to search out fraud, waste, abuse, and corruption, and bring those to justice who break the law.”
In December 2022, Kemp appointed McAfee to the Fulton County Superior Court. While in that role, McAfee ordered pro-Trump lawyer Lin Wood to pay a fine of $5,000 after Wood was found in contempt of court due to remarks he had made about former colleagues in a case unrelated to his actions during the 2020 election.
“I can’t overlook the protracted and flagrant nature of the violation,” McAfee said then.
Earlier, McAfee served as an intern for former Georgia Supreme Court Justices David Nahmias and Keith Blackwell, both of whom were appointed by Republicans.
The Daily Wire added:
McAfee was the vice president of the Federalist Society and the treasurer of Law Republicans while at law school. He has also appeared to give several hundred dollars to Republican candidates in Georgia, including Kemp.
Willis has proposed starting the trial date for Trump and 18 of his allies on March 4, which would be just one week before the Georgia Republican presidential primary.
Trump has decried the prosecution and said that he will produce evidence of voter fraud in the 2020 election next Monday.
“Like Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, Deranged Jack Smith, and New York AG Letitia James, Fulton County, GA’s radical Democrat District Attorney Fani Willis is a rabid partisan who is campaigning and fundraising on a platform of prosecuting President Trump through these bogus indictments,” Trump said after Willis indicted him.
Willis said late Monday, as she announced the indictment, she wants to bring Trump to trial within six months, but several legal experts and former prosecutors have said that is not realistic.
“There is no planet on which this case will be tried in March, due to the logjam that we just saw,” CNN legal analyst Elie Honig told host Anderson Cooper on Wednesday.
He went on to explain.
“Now we see all of these four different indictments, and they’re all jockeying for very limited trial space, but the D.A. has asked to try this in March,” he said. “First of all, there is an ongoing racketeering trial right now that the D.A.’s office is handling in Georgia. They are still choosing a jury, they’re seven months in. I know that sounds unbelievable, but state jury selection is way slower than in federal cases.”
The legal analyst added: “So, even if they start in March, they’d still be picking a jury on election day, so that is not happening. I understand what the D.A. is doing, she’s doing what prosecutors are trained to do. You always say, ‘We are ready to go, any day; we want to try everyone all together,’ but March is not happening for this case.”
Michael J. Moore, a former U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, agreed, adding he believes it is unlikely there will still be 19 defendants when the case finally does go to trial.
“There’s not a chance. There’ll be people who flip, who cooperate, plead out. There may be people she decides to get rid of because it complicates the case. I mean, there could be a number of reasons,” he said. “There won’t be 19 defendants sitting in the courtroom, and because there’s 19, that’s one of the reasons there’s no possible way that she’s gonna go to trial in March.”
Moore added: “I mean, this is sort of a PR move, I think, on her part. I think it throws gas to Trump to say, ‘Look, why are they treating me different than every other criminal defendant in Fulton County? Why are they rushing my case?'”