Trump co-defendant Ray Smith III gave Judge McAfee $150 campaign donation

By 
 July 10, 2024

An interesting development regarding a co-defendant in the Georgia election interference case against former President Donald Trump emerged this week.

According to Fox News, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee received a $150 donation from co-defendant Ray Smith III in May of 2023, records show.

Newsweek originally obtained the judge's campaign filings, which revealed the donation from the Trump co-defendant.

McAfee was able to win the Fulton County primary election in May as he managed to stave off a challenge from civil rights attorney and radio host, Robert Patillo.

What's going on?

Republican Gov. Brian Kemp appointed McAfee to fill the available seat before McAfee was able to secure the elected position for an upcoming four-year term which starts in January.

Notably, McAfee was randomly assigned the landmark case against the former president last year, which has had ups and downs for both sides.

Fox News reported:

McAfee became one of the highest-profile judges in the country after bombshell evidence was revealed in his courtroom that Willis had an "improper" affair with special prosecutor Nathan Wade, whom she hired to help prosecute the case.

The co-defendant who gave the judge a campaign donation was the first co-defendant in the case to plead "not guilty."

Fox News noted:

Smith was accused of 12 counts of illegally asking state lawmakers to appoint a different set of electors from Georgia who would cast their votes for Trump in the Electoral College.

In 2020, Smith participated in state legislative hearings on behalf of the Trump campaign, arguing it was "impossible" to certify President Biden's victory.

"Because of irregularities and abject failure of the secretary of state of this state and the counties to properly conduct the election, it is impossible – impossible – to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election," Smith said at the time.

Case status

In the wake of the turmoil with Fani Willis and her improper relationship with prosecutor Nathan Wade, a number of challenges have put the case on hold for the time being.

While McAfee originally ruled that Willis would remain on the case if some conditions were met, Trump's legal team took the decision to the Georgia Court of Appeals, where a decision on Willis' potential disqualification is pending.

Oral arguments in the appeal will reportedly begin in October, Fox reported.

The delay in the case was seen as a massive victory for Trump, as the more cases he and his lawyers can delay until after the election, the better.

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