Trump booked at Atlanta jail on election charges, heads home

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Donald Trump was booked at an Atlanta jail on Thursday on more than a dozen felony charges as part of a wide-ranging criminal case stemming from the former US president’s attempts to overturn his 2020 election defeat in Georgia.

Trump - inmate no. P01135809, according to Fulton County Jail records - spent about 20 minutes inside the jailhouse, where authorities had said they would take his mug shot.

Fulton County jail record showing former US President Donald Trump's booking information. (Fulton County Jail)
Fulton County jail record showing former US President Donald Trump's booking information. (Fulton County Jail)
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That represents a first for Trump, who did not have to sit for a photograph when answering charges in his three other criminal cases.

Before boarding his private plane at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport after the booking, Trump repeated his claim that the prosecution - along with prosecutors in the other indictments he faces - is politically motivated.

“What has taken place here is a travesty of justice,” he told reporters. “I did nothing wrong, and everybody knows it.”

Trump, 77, already has entered uncharted territory as the first former US president to face criminal charges, even as he mounts another campaign for the White House next year.

Far from damaging his candidacy, however, the four cases filed against him have only bolstered his standing among Republican voters. He holds a commanding polling lead in the race for the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic President Joe Biden in the November 2024 election.

Dozens of supporters, waving Trump banners and American flags, jostled for a glimpse as Trump arrived at the jail. Among the Trump backers gathered outside was Georgia US Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, one of the former president’s most loyal congressional allies.

Lyle Rayworth, 49, who is in the aviation industry in the Atlanta area, had been waiting near the jailhouse for 10 hours, since early on Thursday.

“Yeah, I’m hoping he sees me waving the flags, showing support,” Rayworth said as he awaited Trump’s arrival. “He needs us.”

The mug shot, which was not immediately made available, adds Trump to the ranks of gangster Al Capone, crooner Frank Sinatra and other high-profile Americans who have posed for jailhouse photographs.

The image is certain to be circulated widely by Trump’s foes and supporters alike.

‘A MORE POPULAR IMAGE THAN THE MONA LISA’

“We want to put it on a T-shirt. It will go worldwide. It will be a more popular image than the Mona Lisa,” said Laura Loomer, 30, a Republican former congressional candidate who mingled with other Trump supporters outside the jail on Thursday morning.

Earlier in the day, Judge Scott McAfee set a trial date of Oct. 23 for one of Trump’s 18 co-defendants, attorney Kenneth Chesebro, after Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis proposed that date in response to Chesebro’s request for a speedy trial. The judge’s order said the schedule does not yet apply to Trump or any of the other defendants.

At least 10 of his co-defendants already have been booked. Some, like Rudolph Giuliani, the former New York mayor, were stone-faced in their mug shots, while others, such as lawyer Jenna Ellis, smiled for the camera.

All 19 defendants face a Friday deadline to surrender. Court records showed that Mark Meadows, who served as Trump’s White House chief of staff, was processed at the jail on Thursday.

The jail has a reputation for grim conditions that have inspired rap songs and prompted an investigation by the US Justice Department.

Trump faces 13 felony counts in the Georgia case, including racketeering, which is typically used to target organized crime, for pressuring state officials to reverse his election loss and setting up an illegitimate slate of electors to undermine the formal congressional certification of Biden’s 2020 victory.

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