Trump arrives in Georgia to give up on fees he sought to overturn his 2020 loss


Former President Donald Trump steps off his plane as he arrives at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023, in Atlanta.
Former President Donald Trump steps off his aircraft as he arrives at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Worldwide Airport, Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023, in Atlanta. AP Picture/Alex Brandon

ATLANTA (AP) — Donald Trump arrived in Georgia Thursday night to show himself in on fees that he illegally schemed to overturn the 2020 election in that state, a county jail reserving anticipated to yield a historic first: a mug shot of a former American president.

Trump’s give up to regulation enforcement authorities has develop into by now a well-recognized routine in a method that belies the history-making drama of a former president being booked on felony prison fees. However his go to to Atlanta is notably totally different than the three previous surrenders, requiring him to go to a jail — somewhat than a courthouse — and unfolding not in a liberal bastion like New York or Washington however somewhat the guts of a battleground state very important to the 2024 presidential election.

Trump landed in Atlanta shortly after 7 p.m. and was to be pushed, by 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 personal aircraft.

The Fulton County prosecution is the fourth prison case towards Trump since March, when he turned the primary former president in U.S. historical past to be indicted. Since then, he’s confronted federal fees 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 circumstances 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 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 Power One, on my option to Atlanta the place I might be ARRESTED regardless of having dedicated NO CRIME.”

As afternoon turned to night, scores of Trump supporters had gathered outdoors the jail the place the ex-president was to give up, some waving flags with Trump’s title, as officers tightened safety measures.

His Atlanta give up might be totally different from prior ones, requiring him to point out up at a problem-plagued jail — however with out an accompanying court docket look for now. And in contrast to in different cities that didn’t require him to pose for a mug shot, Fulton County officers have stated they anticipate to take a reserving photograph as they might every other defendant.

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 at the very least one defendant, Kenneth Chesebro, who requested a speedy trial.

Simply forward of his anticipated give up, Trump employed a brand new lead lawyer for the Georgia case.

Distinguished Atlanta prison protection lawyer Steve Sadow took the place of one other high-profile prison protection lawyer, Drew Findling, who had represented Trump as lately as Monday when his bond phrases have been negotiated. However by Thursday Findling was now not a part of the crew, based on an individual with information 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, stated in an announcement that “the president ought to by no means have been indicted. He’s harmless of all the costs introduced towards him.”

“We sit up for the case being dismissed or, if needed, 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 haven’t any place in our justice system.”

It’s not the primary time this yr that Trump has shaken up his authorized crew both within the run-up to an indictment or within the instant aftermath. One among his lead legal professionals, Tim Parlatore, left the authorized crew weeks earlier than Trump was indicted in Florida on fees of illegally hoarding categorised 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 stated in a social media put up this week that he was being prosecuted for what he described in capital letters as a “excellent telephone name” wherein 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 predicted 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 coated in bugs in the principle jail’s psychiatric wing. Three individuals have died in Fulton County custody prior to now month.

However Trump will not be anticipated to spend a lot time there.

His attorneys and prosecutors have already agreed to a $200,000 bond, plus circumstances that embrace barring the previous president from intimidating co-defendants, witnesses or victims within the case.

When defendants arrive on the jail, they usually cross by a safety checkpoint earlier than checking in for formal reserving within the foyer. Through the reserving course of, defendants are usually photographed and fingerprinted and requested to offer sure private info. Since Trump’s bond has already been set, he might be launched from custody as soon as the reserving course of is full.

In contrast to in different jurisdictions, in Fulton County, arraignments — wherein a defendant seems in court docket for the primary time — usually occur after a defendant surrenders on the jail and completes the reserving course of, not on the identical day. Meaning Trump may must make two journeys to Georgia within the coming weeks although the Fulton County Sheriff’s Workplace has stated some arraignments within the case might occur just about if the choose permits, or he may waive Trump’s arraignment.


Tucker reported from Washington, Colvin from New York. Related Press author Sudhin Thanawala contributed to this report.