Donald Trump Arrested in Georgia and Mug Shot Released, but TV Coverage Tapers Slightly

Donald Trump has surrendered and been arrested in Fulton County, Ga. for his alleged attempts to overturn his 2020 presidential election loss in the state. The former president, along with 18 of his allies, was charged earlier this month under Georgia’s racketeering laws, marking the fourth indictment of Trump since March.

During a press conference held earlier this month, Fulton County law enforcement officials made clear that Trump’s planned arrest would follow standard protocol. “It doesn’t matter your status,” said Sheriff Patrick Labat. “We’ll have mug shots ready for you.”

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Trump’s mug shot was indeed released by the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office via CNN following his arrest on Thursday evening.

Although #TrumpMugShot has been trending on Twitter since early Thursday morning, the cable news networks were not as packed with wall-to-wall pre-coverage as Trump’s previous arrests. For example, Trump’s first arrest on April 4 for involvement in a “hush money” scheme with adult film actress Stormy Daniels was covered extensively on TV networks the day of the surrender; there was even analysis of his plane flying from Florida to New York the night before. Around midday Thursday, Fox News and MSNBC were both more focused on discussing the alleged Russian plane crash that killed Putin rival Yevgeny Prigozhin, with CNN discussing Wednesday night’s Republican debate. However, the networks began to focus on coverage of the situation as Trump began traveling to Georgia.

CNN and MSNBC declined to carry the statement that Trump released to the press after he was processed and released.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis began her case against Trump following the release of a Jan. 2, 2021 phone call conversation between the then-president and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. In the call, Trump urged Raffensperger and election officials to find the supposed 11,779 missing votes needed to win Georgia over Democrat Joe Biden.

During the announcement of Trump’s indictment earlier this month, Willis said, “Their indictment alleges that rather than abide by Georgia’s legal process for election challenges the defendants engaged in a criminal racketeering enterprise to overturn Georgia’s presidential election result.”

While the Georgia case mirrors the grounds of election disruption found in the prior three indictments against Trump, it stands out due to its large sweep of additional defendants that aided the former president in his attempts to overturn election results.

The 18 other defendants charged include former New York Mayor and Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani, whose mug shot went viral on social media Wednesday night, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and former Department of Justice official Jeffrey Clark. All 19 defendants including Trump were given until noon Aug. 25 to voluntarily surrender.

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