Georgia judges attend fundraiser thrown by controversial Trump attorneys

ATLANTA — Two of the attorneys involved in President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn Georgia’s 2020 election held a fundraiser for six of the state’s top judges this week, Channel 2 investigative reporter Justin Gray learned.

The invite to the fundraiser for three sitting Georgia Supreme Court Justices and three Appeals Court judges says it is hosted by Brad Carver and Alex Kaufman.

On the infamous January 2020 phone call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, Alex Kaufman is the “Alex” referred to by White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows as one of the “attorneys that represent the President” listening in on the call.

Brad Carver was one of the separate slates of GOP electors hoping to be counted by the US House of Representatives instead of the rightful, legal electors chosen by Georgia voters.

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William Perry from Georgia Ethics Watchdogs questions the judges’ judgement for this fundraiser.

“The thing that I hear about judges and lawyers, they are taught in law school to remain beyond reproach, and this is certainly not doing that. It just boggles my mind, the judgement here,” Perry said.

All of the judges, Supreme Court Justices Verda Colvin, Shawn Lagrua and Carla McMillian and State Appeals Court Judges Christopher McFadden, Trea Pipkin and Andrew Pinson declined to talk to Gray.

The judges’ campaigns referred Gray to newly retired former Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold Melton, who defended the fundraiser.

“Because somebody took a position in court doesn’t mean we banish that person from civic engagement,” Melton said.

Melton said the best practice to show lack of bias is to accept donations from people everywhere on the political spectrum.

“It is as wide open as the courthouse doors. And that’s the best way of handling. So, you’re going to see all kinds of positions represented. Popular and unpopular, and that’s how it should be,” Melton said.

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Former White House ethics counsel for George W. Bush, Richard Painter, counters that the attorneys donate to judges for a reason.

“They want people on the courts who will decide cases their way,” Painter said.

And Painter said judges should avoid any appearance of bias.

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“These are no ordinary cases. These are cases involving elections, the heart of our democratic system,” Painter said.

There is nothing illegal about the fundraiser. In Georgia, judges are elected and must raise money for their campaigns. Judges in 38 states are elected.

“It really bothers me that this is allowed in our system, but also that the individuals will elect to do this. It’s their choice. They could say no, but they’re not,” Perry said

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