Donald Trump surrenders in Georgia election case

Former US president turns himself in at the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta to face 2020 election interference charges.

(Al Jazeera)Published On 24 Aug 202324 Aug 2023

Former United States President Donald Trump has surrendered himself to authorities in the state of Georgia, where he faces criminal charges related to efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

The Republican leader flew down from his residence in Bedminster, New Jersey, to appear at the Fulton County Jail on Thursday afternoon, less than a day ahead of his deadline to surrender.

Once inside, he was booked, a process that required Trump to have his mugshot taken, a first in US presidential history.

Trump is just one of 19 people charged in the Georgia election case, which alleges the existence of a criminal enterprise to override his defeat in the 2020 presidential race.

The former president is believed to be the 12th among them to surrender to authorities.

All 19 defendants faced a deadline of Friday at noon local time to turn themselves in. Since Tuesday, high-profile Trump allies have trickled into the Fulton County Jail, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and lawyer Sidney Powell.

Debate over trial start date

Ahead of Thursday’s booking, Trump’s lawyers sparred with Georgia prosecutors over when the trial should begin.

One of Trump’s co-defendants, lawyer Ken Chesebro, filed a motion earlier in the day asking for an October 23 start date, a request a Georgia judge granted.

Fani Willis, the Fulton County district attorney prosecuting the case, followed that ruling with her own request to set that date as the start for all 19 defendants.

She had previously suggested beginning the trial in March 2024.

Trump’s legal team, however, responded by filing a motion to sever his case from Chesebro’s, leading to the possibility that multiple trials could take place at separate times.

On his way to the Fulton County Jail, Trump once again attacked Willis on social media for what he considered a politically motivated prosecution.

“Please excuse me, I have to start getting ready to head down to Atlanta, Georgia, where Murder and other Violent Crimes have reached levels never seen before, to get ARRESTED by a Radical Left, Lowlife District Attorney, Fani Willis,” Trump wrote on Truth Social.

In a subsequent post, the Republican leader accused Willis of campaigning to “get Trump” as part of her bid for office. She became district attorney in January 2021 and opened an investigation into allegations of election interference the following month.

This is a breaking story. More to follow.

Source: Al Jazeera