History was made on Thursday when former US President Donald Trump was taken into custody at a Georgia jail on charges of racketeering and conspiracy. He was released shortly after on a $200,000 bond and headed to the airport in a motorcade.
The charges stem from an alleged scheme to overturn the 2020 election result in the state, involving 18 other defendants. Trump, who is the leading candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, is the first serving or former US president to have a mug shot taken as part of the booking process.
Designated with the inmate number “PO1135809” by Fulton County Jail, Trump’s specifications include a height of six feet three inches (1.9 meters), a weight of 215 pounds (97 kilograms), and “Blond or Strawberry” as his hair color.
Having encountered four criminal indictments since April, Trump faces a year fraught with unprecedented legal proceedings alongside his pursuit of another White House campaign.
In contrast to his prior arrests this year—charges in New York relating to hush money payments to a porn star, mishandling of classified government documents in Florida, and allegations of conspiring to overturn the 2020 election results in Washington—Trump’s current arrest led to the historic mug shot.
Coinciding with his refusal to participate in a televised debate featuring his 2024 Republican presidential nomination rivals in Milwaukee, Trump’s arrest has taken center stage. Although most of his competitors are trailing in the polls, they expressed willingness to support him as the nominee, even if he were to be a convicted felon.
Amid heightened security measures, Trump underwent booking at Fulton County Jail. The facility, currently under scrutiny for inmate fatalities and unacceptable conditions, is where Fulton County district attorney Fani Willis filed the extensive racketeering case. The district attorney had set a deadline for Trump and the other defendants to surrender by noon on Friday.
Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows surrendered earlier and was released after posting a $100,000 bond. Trump’s former personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, also turned himself in and was subsequently released. Conservative attorney John Eastman, alleged to have been involved in a scheme to present a fraudulent slate of Trump electors to Congress, faced booking and release as well.
A small assembly of former President Trump’s supporters congregated outside the jail during his booking, including Sharon Anderson, who spent the night in her car.
“I think this is political persecution, and now that’s turned into a political prosecution,” Anderson told AFP.
Trump is the first US president in history to face criminal charges.