By ERIC TUCKER, KATE BRUMBACK and JILL COLVIN Related Press
Former President Donald Trump surrendered Thursday on expenses that he illegally schemed to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia, a brisk 20-minute reserving that yielded a historic first: a mug shot of a U.S. ex-president.
He was launched on $200,000 bond and headed again to the airport for his return flight house to New Jersey, flashing a thumbs-up by way of the window of his sport utility automobile as his motorcade left. Unrepentant however subdued after the temporary jail go to, he insisted as has repeatedly has that he “did nothing improper” and referred to as the case accusing him of subverting election outcomes a “travesty of justice.”
“For those who problem an election, it’s best to be capable of problem an election,” he instructed reporters on the airport tarmac earlier than boarding his aircraft.
Trump’s give up to legislation enforcement authorities, the fourth time this yr, has change into by now a well-known election-season routine in a approach that belies the unprecedented spectacle of a former president, and present candidate, being booked on felony expenses. However his go to to Atlanta was notably totally different from the three previous surrenders, unfolding at night time and requiring him to go to a problem-plagued jail — somewhat than a courthouse. It occurred not in a liberal bastion like New York or Washington however somewhat within the coronary heart of a battleground state seen as very important to the 2024 presidential race.
And in contrast to in different cities that didn’t require him to pose for a mug shot, a reserving picture of him was taken, in line with an individual acquainted with the matter who spoke on situation of anonymity to debate the proceedings.
His jail go to created a outstanding split-screen visible throughout a 2024 Republican major contest by which he stays the main candidate, coming someday after a debate in Milwaukee the place eight of his main rivals sought to take advantage of Trump’s absence by standing out from the pack.
Trump landed in Atlanta shortly after 7 p.m. and was pushed to jail for the reserving course of. Sporting his signature white shirt and purple tie, he supplied a wave and thumbs up as he descended the steps of his personal aircraft.
He accomplished the method in 20 minutes, offering officers as is customary together with his bodily measurements: 6 foot 3 inches. 215 kilos. Strawberry or blond hair.
The Fulton County prosecution is the fourth felony case in opposition to Trump since March, when he turned the primary former president in U.S. historical past to be indicted. Since then, he’s confronted federal expenses 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 felony instances have spurred a succession of bookings and arraignments, with Trump making temporary 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 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 Power One, on my approach to Atlanta the place I shall be ARRESTED regardless of having dedicated NO CRIME.”
District Legal professional Fani Willis had given the entire defendants till Friday afternoon to show themselves in on the major Fulton County jail.
Simply forward of his anticipated give up, Trump employed a brand new lead lawyer for the Georgia case.
Distinguished Atlanta felony protection lawyer Steve Sadow took the place of one other high-profile felony protection lawyer, Drew Findling, who had represented Trump as just lately as Monday when his bond phrases have been negotiated. However by Thursday Findling was not a part of the group, in line with an individual with data of the change who spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of they weren’t approved 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 an announcement that “the president ought to by no means have been indicted. He’s harmless of all the costs introduced in opposition to him.”
“We sit up for the case being dismissed or, if vital, an unbiased, open minded jury discovering the president not responsible,” he added. “Prosecutions supposed 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 group both within the run-up to an indictment or within the quick aftermath. One in every of his lead legal professionals, Tim Parlatore, left the authorized group weeks earlier than Trump was indicted in Florida on expenses of illegally hoarding labeled 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” by 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.
The Fulton County jail the place Trump surrendered has lengthy been a troubled facility. The Justice Division final month opened a civil rights investigation into situations, citing filthy cells, violence and the demise final yr of a person whose physique was discovered lined in bugs in the primary jail’s psychiatric wing. Three individuals have died in Fulton County custody previously month.
He didn’t spend a lot time there. His attorneys and prosecutors had already agreed to a $200,000 bond, plus situations that embrace barring the previous president from intimidating co-defendants, witnesses or victims within the case.
Not like in different jurisdictions, in Fulton County, arraignments — by 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. Meaning Trump could should make one other journey to Georgia within the coming weeks although the Fulton County Sheriff’s Workplace has mentioned some arraignments within the case could occur just about if the choose permits. Or he may waive Trump’s arraignment.
Related Press author Sudhin Thanawala contributed to this report.