The judge overseeing the racketeering case against former President Donald Trump and 18 others declined on Thursday to hold a hearing to sanction a special prosecutor whose private law firm sent a solicitation to four of the defendants offering legal services.
In a two-page order, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee wrote off the brochure as junk mail and not a violation of legal ethics or an attempt to harass the defendants who received it.
The “mailer appears to be the type of mass-generated material to which all citizens with a mailbox are regularly subjected,” the judge wrote.
Former Georgia Republican Party Chairman David Shafer requested a hearing last week after he received a mailer from the law office of Nathan Wade, one of several private attorneys hired by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to help prosecute the massive conspiracy case. Three of his co-defendants — Sidney Powell, Cathy Latham and Jeffrey Clark — joined the motion after they received the same mailer.
The brochure featuring Wade and his law partner, Christopher Campbell, was mailed to Shafer’s home address and advertised the firm’s legal services. In the request, Shafer’s attorneys, Craig Gillen and Anthony Lake, claimed Wade should be punished for the mailer “ranging from admonishment to disqualification.”
Shafer called attention to the mailer with a post last week on X, formerly Twitter. In a post Thursday, Shafer did not reference McAfee’s ruling, but in a plea for donations to his defense fund, he pointed to the request for a disciplinary hearing as evidence he was fighting the charges.
“I am fighting with all my strength, sustained by your prayers and encouragement,” he wrote.
Shafer’s attorneys had no comment on McAfee’s order.
McAfee saw the mailer as a blunder by Wade’s firm, but not something that required him to discipline the attorney.
“Nothing indicates that Special Prosecutor Wade knowingly sent the mailer or specifically targeted the Defendants,” McAfee wrote. “While presumably embarrassing on the part of Special Prosecutor Wade and his firm, this case should not be sidetracked by matters which facially lack merit.”
McAfee wrote that he anticipates numerous hearings to deal with the “substantive and unprecedented legal arguments” presented by a case with 19 co-defendants, one of whom is running for president.
“But this is not one of them,” he wrote.