Judge assigned to Trump's criminal case in Georgia once worked for DA

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Judge Scott McAfee

Judge Scott F. McAfee, 34, is “brand-new on the bench,” according to Law360. Photo from the Superior Court of Fulton County.

The state court judge appointed to preside in the Georgia racketeering case against former President Donald Trump once worked for Fani T. Willis, the current Fulton County, Georgia, district attorney who obtained the indictment.

Judge Scott F. McAfee, 34, is “brand-new on the bench,” according to Law360. He became a judge in February after his December 2022 appointment to fill a vacancy by Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. McAffee is the newest judge on the 19-member Fulton County superior court.

The Washington Post, the New York Times, Reuters and Axios also have stories.

McAfee had worked under Willis when she led the complex trial division of the Fulton County district attorney’s office. McAfee was later promoted to the major case division, where he prosecuted murder cases. Willis became district attorney after McAfee no longer worked at the district attorney’s office.

After leaving the district attorney’s office, McAfee became an assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia and then the leader of Georgia’s Office of the Inspector General. The office investigates waste, fraud, abuse and corruption in the state executive branch.

Despite McAfee’s prior working relationship with Willis, he has “conservative bona fides,” according to the New York Times. He was vice president of the Federalist Society when he was a law student at the University of Georgia. As an undergraduate at Emory University, he played cello and majored in music, the Washington Post reports.

McAfee worked for then-Georgia Supreme Court Justice Keith R. Blackwell as an intern after law school.

“I have known Judge McAfee for more than a decade,” Blackwell told Law360. “As a lawyer and judge, he is bright, careful, thoughtful and practical. He is both hard-working and modest—a classic workhorse, not a show horse.”

The Washington Post noted that the Trump case “could be transferred to a different judge later in the process.”

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “Georgia indictment bolstered by broad state law on racketeering”

ABAJournal.com: “These lawyers are charged along with Trump in Georgia RICO indictment; is ‘partisan shift’ to blame?”

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