Trump’s give up to regulation enforcement authorities has develop into by now a well-recognized election-season routine in a approach that belies the unprecedented spectacle of a former president being booked, in 4 completely different cities, on felony prison prices.
However his go to to Atlanta is notably completely different than the three previous surrenders, unfolding at night time fairly than requiring him to go to a problem-plagued jail — fairly than a courthouse — and unfolding not in a liberal bastion like New York or Washington however fairly within the coronary heart of a battleground state very important to the 2024 presidential election. And in contrast to in different cities that didn’t require him to pose for a mug shot, Fulton County officers have mentioned they anticipate to take a reserving photograph as they might another defendant.
Trump landed in Atlanta shortly after 7 p.m. and was to be pushed, by the town’s rush-hour site visitors, to jail for the reserving course of. Carrying his signature white shirt and pink tie, he supplied a wave and thumbs up as he descended the steps of his non-public airplane.
The Fulton County prosecution is the fourth prison case towards Trump since March, when he grew to become the primary former president in U.S. historical past to be indicted. Since then, he’s confronted federal prices in Florida and Washington, and this month he was indicted in Atlanta with 18 others — together with his ex-chief of employees, Mark Meadows, and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani — below a racketeering statute usually related to gang members and arranged crime.
Giuliani surrendered on Wednesday and posed for a mug shot. Meadows, who had sought to keep away from having to show himself in whereas he seeks to maneuver the case to federal court docket, turned himself in Thursday. Bond was set at $100,000.
The prison instances have spurred a succession of bookings and arraignments, with Trump making transient court docket appearances earlier than returning to the 2024 marketing campaign path. He’s turned the appearances into marketing campaign occasions amid a far lighter schedule than his rivals, with employees delighting in wall-to-wall media protection that has included information helicopters monitoring his each transfer.
The marketing campaign has additionally used the appearances to solicit fundraising contributions from his supporters as aides paint the costs as a part of a politically motivated effort to break his reelection probabilities. As Trump was en route from New Jersey to Atlanta, his marketing campaign despatched a message saying, “I’m writing to you from Trump Drive One, on my technique to Atlanta the place I will likely be ARRESTED regardless of having dedicated NO CRIME.”
As afternoon turned to night, scores of Trump supporters had gathered exterior the jail the place the ex-president was to give up, some waving flags with Trump’s title, as officers tightened safety measures.
District Lawyer Fani Willis has given all the defendants till Friday afternoon to show themselves in on the fundamental Fulton County jail. On Thursday, her workplace proposed an October 23 trial date, although the complexities of the 19-person case — and potential scheduling conflicts with different Trump prosecutions — would seem to make all of it however inconceivable. The date gave the impression to be a response to early authorized maneuvering by a minimum of one defendant, Kenneth Chesebro, who requested a speedy trial.
Simply forward of his anticipated give up, Trump employed a brand new lead legal professional for the Georgia case.
Outstanding Atlanta prison protection legal professional Steve Sadow took the place of one other high-profile prison protection legal professional, Drew Findling, who had represented Trump as not too long ago as Monday when his bond phrases have been negotiated. However by Thursday Findling was not a part of the workforce, based on an individual with data of the change who spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of they weren’t licensed to debate the matter publicly.
Sadow, who has represented a rapper, Gunna, who pleaded responsible final yr in a racketeering case additionally introduced by Willis, mentioned in a press release that “the president ought to by no means have been indicted. He’s harmless of all the costs introduced towards him.”
“We stay up for the case being dismissed or, if crucial, an unbiased, open minded jury discovering the president not responsible,” he added. “Prosecutions meant to advance or serve the ambitions and careers of political opponents of the president don’t have any place in our justice system.”
It’s not the primary time this yr that Trump has shaken up his authorized workforce both within the run-up to an indictment or within the quick aftermath. Considered one of his lead legal professionals, Tim Parlatore, left the authorized workforce weeks earlier than Trump was indicted in Florida on prices of illegally hoarding categorized paperwork, citing conflicts with a high Trump adviser. Two different legal professionals, James Trusty and John Rowley, introduced their resignations the morning after that indictment was returned.
Trump has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. He mentioned in a social media put up this week that he was being prosecuted for what he described in capital letters as a “good telephone name” during which he requested the Republican secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, to assist him “discover 11,780 votes” for him to overturn his loss within the state to Democrat Joe Biden.
Trump is anticipated to show himself in on the Fulton County jail, which has lengthy been a troubled facility. The Justice Division final month opened a civil rights investigation into circumstances, citing filthy cells, violence and the loss of life final yr of a person whose physique was discovered lined in bugs in the principle jail’s psychiatric wing. Three folks have died in Fulton County custody previously month.
However Trump just isn’t anticipated to spend a lot time there.
His attorneys and prosecutors have already agreed to a $200,000 bond, plus circumstances that embody barring the previous president from intimidating co-defendants, witnesses or victims within the case.
When defendants arrive on the jail, they usually go by a safety checkpoint earlier than checking in for formal reserving within the foyer. In the course of the reserving course of, defendants are usually photographed and fingerprinted and requested to offer sure private data. Since Trump’s bond has already been set, he will likely be launched from custody as soon as the reserving course of is full.
In contrast to in different jurisdictions, in Fulton County, arraignments — during which a defendant seems in court docket for the primary time — typically occur after a defendant surrenders on the jail and completes the reserving course of, not on the identical day. Which means Trump may need to make two journeys to Georgia within the coming weeks although the Fulton County Sheriff’s Workplace has mentioned some arraignments within the case might occur just about if the choose permits, or he may waive Trump’s arraignment.