Trump surrenders for his Georgia indictment during primetime, giving him the media circus he'd hoped for

Trump surrenders for his Georgia indictment during primetime, giving him the media circus he'd hoped for
  • Donald Trump surrendered to Atlanta authorities for booking in his fourth criminal case.

  • He may have his mugshot taken and publicly released this time.

  • Trump and his allies had hoped to use arraignments to get media attention, media reports previously said.

Former President Donald Trump surrendered to law enforcement in Georgia on Thursday evening — and picked a primetime moment for it.

For the fourth time this year, Trump is in custody, and is now getting booked at the Fulton County Jail on charges alleging he conspired to illegally overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia.

The booking, at the notorious jail locally known as "Rice Street," is expected to follow the county's ordinary procedures. The sheriff who oversees the jail system has said Trump's mugshot and fingerprints will be taken for the National Crime Information Center.

A presidential historian said in March that if Trump's mugshot is made public, it'll likely cement himself as "folk hero" among his supporters.

In the past, Trump's allies have said he wants to use his court appearances to cause a spectacle, according to previous media reports.

When he was booked in Manhattan in his first criminal case, Trump told his advisors that he wanted to be handcuffed and led in by authorities to avoid seeming weak, The Guardian reported in March.

The New York Times, meanwhile, reported that Trump was relishing the idea of being paraded in front of TV cameras. Trump had even wondered if he should smile for the cameras, the newspaper reported.

Meanwhile, Trump's own campaign is capitalizing on the notoriety. Team Trump is still selling a T-shirt with a fake mugshot on it emblazoned with the words "NOT GUILTY."

The T-shirts cost $36 a piece.

Because Trump's lawyers already negotiated a $200,000 bond with the Fulton County district attorney's office, he'll be permitted to skip an initial appearance hearing before a magistrate judge on Thursday.

The bond, issued by Fulton Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee, forbids Trump from intimidating and making threats against other defendants, potential witnesses, victims, and the local community. Trump also isn't permitted to speak to other witnesses and defendants in the case except through his attorneys.

An Atlanta grand jury empaneled by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis indicted Trump and 18 other co-defendants earlier this month. The indictment, brought under Georgia's RICO statute, alleges they operated a racketeering enterprise for the illegitimate purpose of overturning the state's 2020 election results.

Trump has been charged with 13 of the 41 counts in the indictment, which was also brought against some of his top allies and a group of local Republican Party officials who acted as fake electors following Trump's election loss.

Eleven of Trump's co-defendants have already turned themselves in ahead of Trump's booking. The Fulton County Sheriff's office has already produced iconic mugshots of high-profile lawyers who were indicted for helping Trump try to overturn election results, including Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, Jenna Ellis, and John Eastman.

Willis has said she plans to arraign all 19 defendants in a single hearing in early September. At the arraignment, Trump and the other defendants will be formally presented with the criminal charges and can enter pleas. McAfee may allow the defendants to waive their appearances or hold the hearing over remote video.

Trump is the first former president to face any criminal charges for a first, second, third, or fourth time.

The Manhattan district attorney's office was the first to bring charges. While Trump's fingerprints were taken, the district attorney's office didn't require him to stand for a mugshot (Trump's face is very famous). Trump had an initial appearance and arraignment immediately following the booking.

Justice Department Special Counsel Jack Smith brought criminal charges against Trump in June over his handling of government documents, and another set of charges for election interference in July. Trump has said he is innocent of all the charges against him and that the prosecutors are motivated by politics.

Trump is far and away the frontrunner for the Republican nomination in the 2024 election and may use the mugshot to help raise funds. His campaign used a fake mugshot after his first booking, in Manhattan, to raise money from supporters.

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