Former President Donald Trump is, on the verge of turning himself in at a Georgia jail as he prepares to face racketeering charges.
This marks his trial for alleged involvement, in conspiring with co-defendants to overturn the 2020 election. The arrest, which has garnered attention comes after Trump declined to participate in a debate and received unwavering support from his rivals.
On Thursday, Donald Trump, the former president, is set to surrender on racketeering charges at a Georgia jail. This event marks the prelude to his fourth criminal trial next year, even as he campaigns to regain the White House. The 77-year-old ex-president will be apprehended at the notorious Fulton County Jail in Atlanta. He stands accused of collaborating with 18 co-defendants in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election outcome in the pivotal southern state.
The booking of the wealthy real estate magnate, potentially featuring his first mugshot, follows closely on the heels of his rejection of a primary debate involving eight competitors for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
Although absent from the televised debate stage in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Trump remained the center of attention, with candidates vying for the Republican standard-bearer position facing questions about their support for him. In response to whether they would back Trump as the party’s nominee even if he were convicted in one of his ongoing criminal cases, all candidates except former Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson and former New Jersey governor Chris Christie raised their hands.
Instead of participating in the debate, Trump chose an interview with Tucker Carlson, a conservative former host on Fox News. During the wide-ranging pre-recorded interview, aired on X (formerly known as Twitter) simultaneously with the debate, Trump explained his decision not to partake, citing his substantial lead “by 50 to 60 points” in the polls over his rivals.
He voiced his sentiment, “Do I sit there for an hour or two hours, whatever it’s going to be, and get harassed by people that shouldn’t even be running for president?” Dismissing the four criminal indictments against him as “nonsense,” Trump asserted that the Justice Department, under Democratic President Joe Biden, had been “weaponized” to undermine his White House bid.
As Trump prepares to be arrested, tight security measures have been established around his arrival at the Fulton County Jail. This facility, plagued by inmate deaths and deplorable living conditions, is under investigation by the Justice Department.
Fani Willis, the Fulton County district attorney leading the extensive racketeering case, has set a Friday noon deadline for the 19 defendants to surrender.
Although Trump’s exact arrival time remains undisclosed, he announced on his Truth Social platform that it would be Thursday afternoon, affirming, “NOBODY HAS EVER FOUGHT FOR ELECTION INTEGRITY LIKE PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP. FOR DOING SO, I WILL PROUDLY BE ARRESTED TOMORROW AFTERNOON IN GEORGIA.”
Unlike previous instances of arrest this year, Trump cannot evade having a mugshot taken, as per standard procedure in Georgia. His bond has been set at $200,000.
Notably, Trump’s surrender closely follows that of Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, who served as his personal lawyer and championed baseless claims of election victory.
Also implicated in the Georgia charges are Mark Meadows, Trump’s former White House chief of staff, and John Eastman, a conservative lawyer accused of concocting a scheme to submit a fraudulent slate of Trump electors to Congress from Georgia.
In the upcoming year, Trump will face four criminal trials, including one beginning in January during the Republican primary season and another in November 2024, at the height of the presidential campaign.
Special counsel Jack Smith has proposed a January 2024 start date for Trump’s Washington trial on charges related to the effort to overturn the 2020 election. This effort culminated in the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol by his supporters.
In response, Trump’s legal team has countered with an April 2026 start date. A hearing on Monday presided over by US District Judge Tanya Chutkan, is anticipated to set a date for what could become the first-ever criminal trial of a former president.
Furthermore, Fulton County district attorney Willis has called for the racketeering case to commence in March 2024, coinciding with Trump’s scheduled New York trial on charges of paying hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election.
Additionally, a trial is slated for May in Florida, where Trump faces allegations of improperly retaining government documents upon leaving the White House.