Donald Trump surrendered to Fulton County Jail on Thursday on more than a dozen charges stemming from an attempt to alter Georgia’s 2020 election results, the fourth time this year the former president has faced criminal charges.
Trump spent more than 20 minutes in the Fulton County Jail, where he was processed and released on bond. Jail records show him 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighing 215 pounds, with blue eyes and blond or strawberry hair. His booking number is P01135809.
Trump’s mug shot was released shortly after his release from prison.
Trump’s surrender in Georgia marks the fourth time this year that a former president has turned himself in to local or federal authorities after criminal charges have been brought against him — episodes not seen in the United States before 2023.
Trump, who has denounced the charges against him as politically motivated, repeated the scene Thursday as he marched to be arrested. – Facing a criminal charge.
Trump called being in prison a “terrible” and “very sad” experience, saying in an interview with Newsmax later Thursday: “I’ve never known anything about the charges my whole life, and now I’ve been charged four times.”
In April, Trump was indicted in New York on federal charges related to the hush money scheme. In June, he surrendered in federal court in Miami to face charges in the investigation of special counsel Jack Smith’s mishandling of classified documents. Earlier this month, Trump was arrested in Washington, D.C., on charges brought by Smith in an investigation into efforts to rig the 2020 election.
All of those cases could come to a head next year as Trump runs for president.
Here are the key developments on a historic day in Georgia:
Like his 18 co-defendants in the vast fraud case who have already surrendered to prison, Trump was quickly processed through the facility because the former president and his lawyers had already negotiated his promissory note deal. Trump agreed to a $200,000 bond and other conditions, including not using social media to target co-defendants and witnesses in the case.
Sources told CNN that Trump paid 10% of the cost of his $200,000 bond and worked with Foster Bail Bonds LLC, a local Atlanta bond firm.
Trump left his Bedminster, New Jersey, Georgia golf club on Thursday afternoon and touched down in Atlanta on his private plane shortly after 7 p.m. ET
Trump’s motorcade drove to the Fulton County Jail for his arraignment. After spending about 20 minutes in jail, Trump returned to the airport, where he spoke briefly to reporters before taking no questions and boarding his plane.
“What has happened here is a travesty of justice. We didn’t do anything wrong. I did nothing wrong, everybody knows that,” Trump said. “I have never had such support and the same goes for others. What they are doing is election interference,” he said.
Ahead of his surrender, Trump appointed his top Georgia attorney, Drew Findling, to Atlanta-based Steven Sado, whose website profile describes him as “special counsel for white-collar and high-profile defense.”
A Trump source indicated it wasn’t about Findling’s performance, while another source familiar with Sadow called him “Georgia’s best criminal defense attorney.”
Sato met Trump at the airport in Atlanta and accompanied him to the Fulton County Jail.
Earlier Thursday, Fulton County District Attorney Fannie Willis requested an Oct. 23 trial date in the election tampering case she brought against Trump and 18 of his associates.
While it’s too early to say whether that date is possible or plausible, if it does happen it would be the first of Trump’s four impeachment investigations.
Trump’s lawyers told a judge in Georgia on Thursday that they would oppose Willis’ proposed trial date. They will try to separate his Georgia case from co-defendant Ken Chesbro, who is trying to speed up proceedings and has pushed Willis’ proposed trial date.
Willis’ proposed chronological measures would be exponential. When he withdrew the chargesheet last week, he told reporters that he would begin the investigation within six months.
Legal experts at the time said the timeline was implausible, especially since Willis had indicated he wanted to try all 19 defendants together. Attorneys for Trump and his co-defendants have previewed the possibility of pre-trial disputes that could drag out the proceedings. Three defendants are already seeking to move the case to federal court, and the former president is expected to launch a similar effort of his own.
Another broad anti-fraud case brought by Willis suggests that such a deadline is unrealistic. The case accusing Jeffrey Williams, rapper Young Thug and several of his associates of violating Georgia’s RICO statute — the main charge in the Trump case — has moved slowly to trial, despite Williams’ move to assert his right to a speedy trial.
Willis has asked the 19 defendants to appear next month.
Former WH chief of staff and DOJ official surrenders
Two of the defendants, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clarke, had their efforts to block pending arrests dismissed by a federal court on Wednesday.
Both Meadows and Clark reached $100,000 bond deals with prosecutors Thursday. Meadows surrendered and was released on bail.
On Thursday, Trevion Kutty, the Georgia man accused of threatening an Atlanta election worker, reached a $75,000 bond deal with prosecutors ahead of his surrender.
Other terms of the agreement state that he cannot “intimidate anyone he knows as a co-defendant or witness” in the case, which is particularly relevant given his allegations. He is also banned from posting about the case on social media, including but not limited to posts on Instagram.
Harrison Floyd, head of Black Voices for Trump, also surrendered at the Fulton County Jail, jail records show. According to a Fulton County sheriff’s statement, he did not reach a bond deal early and was “in custody” at the jail until he appears before a judge, which is expected within 24 hours.
Meadows held a hearing Monday in an attempt to move the case against him in Bolton County to federal court, which is shaping up to be a major test for Willis.
On Thursday, the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office subpoenaed Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger and Frances Watson, who served as the secretary of state’s chief investigator during the 2020 election, to testify.
The subpoena is one of several signs that Fulton County prosecutors plan to make Trump’s January 2021 call — in which Trump urged Raffensberger to “find” votes that would have reversed the state’s election loss — the focus of a court hearing Monday morning in efforts to toss the Meadows district attorney’s charges.
Meadows was on the call, and now he’s facing charges in a Georgia election tampering case.
A federal judge scheduled a Sept. 18 hearing on Clark’s request to move the Fulton County election tampering case against him to federal court.
Trump falsely claimed victory after the 2020 election, then tried to reverse the results in Georgia and other states.
In a series of phone calls, he pressed Georgia election officials, including Raffensberger, to help his efforts. The former president’s campaign filed a disqualification lawsuit trying to overturn the results in Georgia and throw out Joe Biden’s legitimate electoral votes, trying to convince GOP voters to replace them with state legislators.
In an indictment handed down last week, Willis charged Trump with 13 counts, including fraud, conspiracy and soliciting a public official to violate their oath of office.
The fraud charge Willis brought against 19 defendants in the Georgia case alleges they were part of a broader “criminal enterprise” that attempted to sway the outcome of the 2020 election in the Beach State.
When that plan didn’t work, his campaign tried to project fake, pro-Trump voters. While presiding over Electoral College certification in Congress on January 6, 2021, Trump pressed then-Vice President Mike Pence to recognize those fraudulent GOP electors.
This story has been updated with additional updates.