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Trump surrenders at Fulton County jail in Georgia election case

19 defendants surrender in Georgia election case
Trump and his 18 co-defendants have all surrendered in Georgia election case 03:10

Washington — Former President Donald Trump surrendered Thursday at the Fulton County jail, where he was booked on 13 felony counts related to an alleged scheme to overturn the results of the presidential election in Georgia. 

His surrender in Georgia marks the fourth time this year the former president has turned himself in after criminal charges were brought against him by federal and state officials, but it's the first time he was subjected to a mug shot. It's also routine for defendants in Fulton County to be fingerprinted and have their eyes scanned for biometric identification. 

Former President Donald Trump's mug shot, Fulton County Jail, Aug. 24, 2023. Source: Fulton County Sheriff's Office

Within an hour after he boarded his plane to leave Atlanta, Trump's Save America PAC sent a fundraising email featuring his booking photo on a t-shirt. Trump also posted the mug shot to his X account, formerly known as Twitter, as well as to Truth Social, both posts with the words "election interference" and "never surrender." It marked Trump's first tweet since Jan. 8, 2021, two days after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. 

The booking process was quick — just about 30 minutes — since Trump's attorneys and prosecutors had agreed earlier this week to a $200,000 bond. The conditions of the agreement in part prohibit Trump from intimidating his co-defendants, witnesses or alleged victims in the case, including on social media. 

Inmate records from the Fulton County Sheriff's Office list Trump as 6 feet, 3 inches tall and 215 pounds. His hair color is described as "blond or strawberry" and his eyes blue.

Before he boarded his plane back to New Jersey, the former president told reporters that he and his co-defendants "did nothing wrong," and said it was "a very sad day for America." 

"You should be able to challenge an election," he said. "I thought the election was a rigged election, a stolen election, and I should have every right to do that." 

Ahead of his surrender, Trump made changes to his legal team, bringing in Steven Sadow, an Atlanta-based lawyer who specializes in white collar and high-profile defense. Sadow entered his appearance as lead counsel for Trump on Thursday, according to a filing with the Fulton County Superior Court, and accompanied Trump to the jail. ABC News was first to report the change.

Sadow is expected to replace Drew Findling, the lead attorney on Trump's defense team. Findling did nor return a request for comment.

Was Trump arraigned? 

Trump, who has denied any wrongdoing, did not appear in court Thursday to enter a plea because the booking and arraignment processes are separate in Fulton County. 

It's unclear when Trump will appear before a judge to be arraigned. District Attorney Fani Willis has proposed Trump and his 18 co-defendants be arraigned the week of Sept. 5, but the judge has not yet approved that request.

Who posted bond for Trump?

Trump was working with a local bonding company to cover his $200,000 bond.

Charles Shaw, the CEO of Foster Bail Bonds LLC in Lawrenceville, Georgia, assisted Trump in covering the bond. Defendants only need to put up 10% of the bail amount — $20,000 in the former president's case. Trump will pay the company a fee for posting the bond.

The arrangements were made remotely earlier this week, Foster Bail Bonds confirmed. CNN first reported Trump's use of the bail bond company.

Why was Trump arrested?

A 41-count indictment accuses Trump and others of participating in a "criminal enterprise" that aimed to reverse his loss in Georgia's 2020 presidential election. 

The former president and his co-defendants are accused of engaging in a wide-ranging plot to overturn the election results, which included allegedly making false statements to state legislatures and state officials; creating fake Electoral College documents and recruiting supporters to cast false votes; harassing a Fulton County election worker; and "corruptly" soliciting senior Justice Department officials and then-Vice President Mike Pence.

Trump has been charged with 13 counts, including an alleged violation of Georgia's racketeering law, making false statements and writings, and conspiring to commit forgery, regarding the alleged plot to replace duly elected presidential electors with new electors who would vote for him.

The district attorney gave defendants until noon Friday to surrender at the Fulton County jail, and most had done so by Thursday night, including his former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and his former lawyer Rudy Giuliani

What about Trump's other indictments? 

Trump has also been charged in two federal cases related to investigations overseen by special counsel Jack Smith. One in South Florida relates to his handling of sensitive government records, and the second in Washington, D.C., stems from alleged attempts to stop the transfer of presidential power after the 2020 election. 

Trump is also facing 34 state felony charges in New York related to an alleged scheme to use "hush-money" payments to conceal damaging information before the 2016 presidential election.

He has entered not guilty pleas in all three earlier cases, which he claims are politically motivated.

Nicole Sganga contributed to this report.

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