As Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis works to push the prosecution of former President Donald Trump and 18 codefendants in a historic racketeering case in Georgia, a 34-year-old judge described as mild-mannered, will preside over the case.
Judge Scott McAfee, an award-winning "bright and driven legal 'star,'" as the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported, was also described by a friend at his Atlanta Lawn Tennis Association team as able to handle cases "fairly and efficiently."
The indictment against Trump and his co-defendants is unprecedented in U.S. politics, so it's hard to predict how McAfee might handle this case in the months to come.
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Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp called McAfee a "tough prosecutor" who has a reputation for searching out "fraud, waste, abuse, and corruption, and bring[ing] those to justice who break the law," CNN reported.
The Georgia Office of the Inspector General and the Superior Court of Fulton County in Atlanta said McAfee is an Emory University-educated musician who once received a scholarship to play cello in the institution's orchestra. He later received his juris doctor degree from the University of Georgia School of Law.
McAfee is an Atlanta-area native who grew up north of the city in Kennesaw, Georgia - the son of a retired Delta Airlines employee, the AJC reported.
He has a storied public background with accomplishments that include his time as an Eagle Scout when he was younger, before graduating from North Cobb High School in the Atlanta-area.
He will preside over the case of a former U.S. president and a list of co-defendants who are charged in a historic and sweeping RICO case in Georgia.
Trump is the 12th defendant in the case to have now turned himself in. All of the defendants face at least one count of violating the state's Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Any of the defendants found guilty on that count would be subject to a minimum prison sentence of five years. Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows turned himself in earlier Thursday.
Other notable co-defendants who have turned themselves in this week include Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman and Sidney Powell.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis requested that the trial for defendants begin in late October.
Each state has a certain requirements before a judge can be appointed to the bench, and one legal analyst told Scripps News that McAfee's age is on the young side - especially for a case with such a lack of historic precedent.
The Wall Street Journal reported that McAfee had been a judge for just around six months before being randomly assigned the Trump case — potentially one of the most significant cases in U.S. criminal history.
McAfee has interned for Georgia Supreme Court justices including David Nahmias and Keith Blackwell.
Blackwell said Judge McAfee has "the intellectual horsepower," and said that "while he'll expect the lawyers and people around him to work hard, he'll be working as hard, or harder, than they are,” the AJC reported.
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