Former US President Trump Arrested In Election Case, Mug Shot Released

Former US President Donald Trump was arrested in a Georgia jail on racketeering and conspiracy charges on Thursday and released on a $200,000 bond following the taking of a historic mug shot.

Trump, who is charged of conspiring with 18 other defendants to reverse the outcome of the 2020 election in Georgia, spent less than 30 minutes in Atlanta’s Fulton County Jail before leaving in a motorcade for the airport.

The 77-year-old Trump, like the other defendants in the case who have surrendered so far, had his mug shot taken during the booking procedure, a first for any serving or previous US president.

He sneered at the camera in the photo issued by the sheriff’s office, clothed in a dark blue suit, white shirt, and red tie.

Speaking to reporters after his arrest, Trump, the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, said it was a “very sad day for America.”

“What has taken place here is a travesty of justice,” he said. “I did nothing wrong.”

Trump posted the mug shot on his own Truth Social platform with the caption “Election Interference” and a link to his campaign website.

A short time later, he also put it on X — previously Twitter, which was Trump’s favorite bullhorn until he was banned from it following a mob of his fans’ January 6, 2021 insurgency at the US Capitol.

Elon Musk, the new owner, restored Trump on X in November of last year, but Trump stayed away and instead posted on Truth Social. This was Trump’s first tweet since 2021 on what was previously known as Twitter.

The Fulton County Jail assigned Trump the inmate number “PO1135809” and stated his height as six feet three inches (1.9 meters), weight as 215 pounds (97 kilograms), and hair color as “Blond or Strawberry.”

Since April, the billionaire has been legally charged four times, setting the stage for a year of extraordinary drama as he juggles many court appearances and another White House campaign.

During his previous arrests this year, Trump avoided having a mugshot taken: in New York on charges of paying hush money to a porn star, in Florida for mishandling top secret government documents, and in Washington on charges of conspiring to overturn his 2020 election loss to Democrat Joe Biden.

His arrest came just one day after Trump walked out on a televised debate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, including eight of his competitors for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024 – all of whom trail him in the polls.

He did, however, steal the show, with all but two of the candidates declaring they would support him as the party’s nominee even if he was a convicted felon.

This handout image released by the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office on August 24, 2023 shows the booking photo of former US President Donald Trump.

Court dates in election race

The Fulton County Jail, which is under investigation for a slew of inmate fatalities and awful circumstances, was cordoned off for Trump’s booking.

The Fulton County district attorney who launched the massive racketeering case, Fani Willis, had set a Friday noon deadline for Trump and the other 18 defendants to surrender.

Trump and 11 others have turned themselves in so far.

Mark Meadows, the former White House chief of staff, surrendered on Thursday and was released on $100,000 bond.

Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, who served as Trump’s personal lawyer in the White House and fiercely promoted false claims that Trump had won the 2020 election, was arrested and released on Wednesday.

John Eastman, a conservative lawyer suspected of devising a plan to submit a phony slate of Trump electors to Congress from Georgia instead of the actual Biden electors, has also been arrested and released.

A few dozen supporters of the former Republican president gathered outside the jail, including Sharon Anderson who spent the night in her car.

“I think this is a political persecution and now that’s turned into a political prosecution,” Anderson told AFP.

Trump is the first US president in history to face criminal charges.

If his trials are held next year, they might coincide with the Republican presidential primary season, which begins in January, and the campaign for the November 2024 White House election.

Special counsel Jack Smith has requested that Trump’s trial begin in January 2024 on accusations of conspiring to overthrow the last election with a lie-fueled campaign that culminated in his followers’ January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol.

Trump’s attorneys have countered with a suggested start date well after the election — April 2026.

Willis, the district attorney for Georgia, initially requested that the racketeering case begin in March of next year, the same month Trump is due to go on trial in New York on charges of paying hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels.

On Thursday, after one of the defendants requested a swift trial, she offered that it begin for all 19 in October of this year, which was immediately rejected by Trump’s lawyers.

The trial in Florida, where Trump is accused of stealing classified government documents as he left the White House and refused to return them, is set to begin in May.

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