Anti-Trump Georgia prosecutor and judge crack jokes during announcement of criminal indictment

August 17, 2023
Ben Marquis

In the view of many Republicans, the mounting cascade of criminal indictments against former President Donald Trump are clearly motivated by politics and are decidedly unserious, despite insistent claims to the contrary from the liberal media and even the prosecutors and judges who are involved.

That unseriousness was made glaringly evident on Monday when both the district attorney and the judge overseeing the case against Trump in Georgia decided it was a good time to crack jokes with reporters, according to the Western Journal.

Prosecutor jokes about needing sleep

First up is Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who has been intently investigating former President Trump and others associated with him since early 2021 and on Monday announced a sprawling indictment that alleges a racketeering conspiracy to overturn Georgia's 2020 election results involving dozens of criminal counts against Trump and 18 other associates.

During a late-night press conference to discuss the indictment, Willis provided a summary of the charges and set a deadline of the end of the week for Trump and his alleged co-conspirators to voluntarily turn themselves into authorities to be arrested and booked.

Then, to laughter from the gathered reporters, the broadly grinning prosecutor joked, "I will now take a very limited number of questions before, uh, going to sleep."

Judge asks reporters of Trump charges, "Was it all you hoped it would be?"

Earlier in the evening, according to the Western Journal, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney, who oversaw the grand jury that issued the criminal indictment against former President Trump and several associates, also made an attempt at humor following the unveiling of the charges.

After reading off the dozens of criminal counts, McBurney addressed the reporters gathered in the courtroom and quipped, "That's it. Was it all you hoped it would be?"

He then stated, "So -- you all need to leave. Um, I mean that politely and nicely. We've had a long day but these folks can't go until you all go," in reference to court staff and employees.

The judge then added another joke about how the reporters, contrary to a prior discussion about leaving their equipment in the courtroom until the next day, now said not to do so unless they intended to sit in observance of unrelated "good old trial stuff" that was scheduled to take place the following morning.

Former Fox News producer Kyle Becker shared video clips of those two moments and wrote, "Unbelievable. Fani Willis cracks jokes after calling for the surrender of Trump and his associates. This followed upon Judge Robert McBurney cracking jokes in the courtroom. Is there something funny about indicting a former president millions of Americans support?"

Same judge compared once Trump to the "Rumpelstiltskin" gold-spinning character

Separate but relatedly, Judge McBurney's attempted humor may have stemmed from his rather coincidental continued involvement in this Georgia case against former President Trump, according to an op-ed this week from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Despite the fact that there are 20 different superior court judges in Fulton County, McBurney not only presided over the state's admitted "legal oddity" of a "special purpose" grand jury that conducted an eight-month investigation in conjunction with DA Willis into Trump and associates, but also presided over the separate criminal grand jury that considered the special purpose grand jury's report and recommended the slate of criminal charges against the former president and others.

Interestingly enough, Trump's attorneys unsuccessfully moved for McBurney to be recused from the case, and in his order denying that motion, compared Trump to the titular gnomelike creature from the Brothers Grimm "Rumpelstiltskin" fairy tale who was able to spin worthless straw into gold, which was in reference to the former president's increased fundraising and polling support in the wake of a series of other federal and state criminal indictments.

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