'Unbelievable': DA and Presiding Judge Both Crack Jokes as Trump Is Indicted in Georgia


Indicting a former president of the United States is serious business, or so the left says after every new charge against Donald Trump.

That, of course, is why the judge and district attorney in the 2024 Republican front-runner’s latest round of charges are having a good laugh about it.

Sound contradictory to you? Not to Judge Robert McBurney and Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who used an indictment to try out their comedy chops.

On Aug. 14, Trump and 18 associates were charged over their efforts to challenge the outcome of the 2020 presidential race in Georgia, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The indictment — like any Trump indictment as the 2024 campaign season ramps up — was hardly unexpected. What was unexpected was prosecutors and judges making light of the situation.

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Take McBurney, who was cracking wise with journalists after the indictment became public.

“That’s it,” he said after the proceedings had come to their official conclusion. Then, he quipped, “Was it all you hoped it would be?”

As if they needed to prove they were taking this just as seriously as the judge was, the journalists laughed along with him.

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“So, you all need to leave,” the judge added. “I mean, I’ve — politely and nicely — had a long day, but these folks [the court staff] can’t go until you all go.

“I know we had talked about leaving the equipment here,” he continued. “Don’t leave the equipment here because you don’t want to be here tomorrow … just good old trial stuff.”

There’s nothing more hilarious than judge humor! Well, except for district attorney humor.

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“I will now take a very limited number of questions before, uh, going to sleep,” a smiling DA Willis told reporters, after announcing a deadline for the former president and his co-defendants to surrender themselves.

To the eternal disgrace of the Fourth Estate, the reporters laughed along with her.

The conservative news site Citizen Free Press, which posted the clip on social media, had a better sense of the moment: “This is absurd,” the caption read.

That wasn’t the only comment on social media from those who wrote that these were individuals who weren’t treating the indictment with appropriate gravity.

“Unbelievable. Fani Willis cracks jokes after calling for the surrender of Trump and his associates,” former Fox News producer Kyle Becker tweeted.

“This followed upon Judge Robert McBurney cracking jokes in the courtroom,” he added.

“Is there something funny about indicting a former president millions of Americans support?” he asked.

I’m not sure whether that question was rhetorical, but it might as well have been. In fact, I’m halfway surprised these folks didn’t play Kool and the Gang’s “Celebration” as background music during these clips.

These are fundamentally unserious prosecutions, a fact underlined by the wholly suspicious timing of them. And, while these jokes might not have been out of place during normal circumstances, the fact is that this is hardly normal — or, at least, it shouldn’t be.

When judges and prosecutors can hardly contain their glee at dragging the political opposition into court, there’s something wrong. Not that we didn’t know this already, mind you, but both Judge McBurney and DA Willis managed to drive home the point with their weak attempt at garnering laughs.

And there was nothing funny about it.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture