Atlanta, Aug. 25 (AP) Donald Trump arrived in Georgia on Thursday evening to surrender, accused of illegally conspiring to nullify the state’s 2020 election, a county jail booking that is expected to result in a historic first : a photo of an old American. president.
Trump’s capitulation, which came amid a sudden reshuffle of his legal team, follows the presidential debate in Milwaukee the previous evening, between his main rivals for the 2024 Republican nomination – a contest in which he remains the main candidate despite serious legal problems.
His presence in Georgia, though likely brief, is once again distracting his opponents after the debate in which they sought to take advantage of his absence to elevate their own presidential prospects.
Trump landed in Atlanta around 7 p.m. and was due to be driven, despite rush hour traffic, to jail for a reservation procedure.
The Fulton County prosecution is the fourth criminal case against Trump since March, when he became the first former president in US history to be charged. Since then he has faced federal charges in Florida and Washington, and this month in Atlanta along with 18 others – including his ex-chief of staff Mark Meadows and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani – under a racketeering law normally associated with gang members and organized crime.
Giuliani visited on Wednesday and posed for a photo ID. Meadows, who sought to avoid having to surrender as he sought to take the case to federal court, surrendered on Thursday. Bail was set at $100,000.
The criminal cases have resulted in a succession of convictions and indictments, with Trump making brief court appearances before resuming the 2024 election campaign. He has turned his appearances into campaign events on a much lighter schedule than that of his rivals, with staff reveling in wall-to-wall media coverage that included news helicopters monitoring his every move.
The campaign has also used these appearances to solicit fundraising contributions from its supporters, while its aides present the charges as part of a politically motivated effort to damage its re-election chances. While Trump was en route from New Jersey to Atlanta, his campaign sent a message saying, “I am writing to you from Trump Force One, en route to Atlanta where I will be ARRESTED although I have committed NO CRIME. »
As afternoon turned to evening, dozens of Trump supporters gathered outside the jail the ex-president was due to go to, some waving flags with Trump’s name on them, as authorities beefed up security measures. security measures.
His surrender in Atlanta will be different from previous ones, requiring him to report to a troubled prison – but no court appearance yet. And unlike other cities that don’t require her to pose for a photo ID, Fulton County officials said they expect to take a reservation photo as they would anyone. what other defendant.
District Attorney Fani Willis has given all defendants until Friday afternoon to report to the main Fulton County Jail. His office on Thursday proposed a trial date of Oct. 23, even though the complexities of the 19-person case — and potential scheduling conflicts with other lawsuits against Trump — appear to make that virtually impossible. This date appears to be a response to early legal maneuvers by at least one defendant, Kenneth Chesebro, who demanded a speedy trial.
Just before his expected surrender, Trump hired a new lead attorney for the Georgia case.
Prominent Atlanta criminal attorney Steve Sadow replaced another top criminal attorney, Drew Findling, who had represented Trump as recently as Monday in negotiating his bail terms. But on Thursday, Findling was no longer part of the team, according to a person familiar with the change who spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
Sadow, who represented rapper Gunna, who pleaded guilty last year in a racketeering case also brought by Willis, said in a statement that “the president should never have been charged. He is innocent of all charges against him.
“We look forward to the case being dismissed or, if necessary, an impartial and open-minded jury finding the president not guilty,” he added. “Prosecutions aimed at furthering or furthering the ambitions and careers of the president’s political opponents have no place in our justice system.” (PA)
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