Donald Trump surrenders to authorities at Fulton County Jail in response to the Georgia election indictment

Donald Trump surrenders to authorities at Fulton County Jail in response to the Georgia election indictment

Donald Trump has handed himself in to authorities at the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta, Georgia, for processing over his fourth indictment.

The former US president flew to the southern city from his New Jersey golf club to be arrested over an alleged conspiracy to overturn Georgia’s 2020 election results.

“I have to start getting ready to head down to Atlanta, Georgia,” he told his social media followers earlier today, “to get ARRESTED by a Radical Left, Lowlife District Attorney, Fani Willis, for a PERFECT PHONE CALL, and having the audacity to challenge a RIGGED AND STOLLEN (sic) ELECTION.”

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Officials in Atlanta cleared roads for Mr Trump’s journey from the airport to the jail.

After making the short drive in a motorcade followed by news helicopters, he arrived at about 7:30pm local time (9:30am AEST).

A form lodged in the Fulton County Jail records listed the charges against Mr Trump, identifying him as a 6’3″ (1.92-metre) white male with blond or strawberry hair and blue eyes.

Before his arrest, Mr Trump’s lawyers had negotiated the conditions of his immediate release from the Fulton County Jail, including bail of $US200,000 ($312,000).

After the short booking process, during which he had his mugshot taken, Mr Trump left the jail.

It was a first for the former president, who was not photographed for any of his previous arraignments.

His motorcade returned to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, where he gave a short statement to reporters gathered on the tarmac, repeating the sentiment that his indictment was a “sad day for America” as well as false claims of a stolen election.

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Mr Trump is among 19 people charged over an alleged criminal racket designed to overturn Joe Biden’s crucial win in the state.

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They were charged by a grand jury on Monday last week, and ordered to “voluntarily surrender” to Fulton County Jail by midday on Friday, local time.

Many of Mr Trump’s co-defendants, including prominent lawyer Rudy Giuliani, turned themselves in earlier in the week. His former White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, surrendered earlier today.

All were released shortly after they were fingerprinted and their mugshots were taken.

Mr Trump’s arrest promises to steal some of the focus away from the previous evening’s Republican party primary debate, which he did not participate in.

Instead, he gave an interview that was posted on social media as the debate began, in which he described the charges he faces as “bullshit”.

“No country should ever have a president’s mugshot”

Dozens of protesters gathered outside the jail ahead of Mr Trump’s arrival, many braving sweltering heat for hours.

The former president’s fans appeared to easily outnumber those who attended to celebrate his arrest.

Georgia woman Keisha Kennings showed up in a ‘blacks for Trump’ T-shirt to show her support and “let the world know that there are minorities that support Trump”.

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Florida man Forgiato Blow, who makes pro-Trump rap music under the moniker Trump’s Nephew, also wore a supportive T-shirt displaying a fake mugshot.

“No country should ever have a mugshot of a president or a former president,” he said.

“But they’re going to take it to the highest level they can to humiliate Donald Trump.”

Friends Marsha and Cathy, who live locally and declined to give their surnames, said they were angered by what they saw as Mr Trump’s political persecution.

“I’m here really for freedom,” Cathy said.

“This is America. We don’t put our political opponents in jail.”

A small but vocal crowd of anti-Trump protesters also made themselves heard, with tensions simmering between the opposing groups outside.

Trial date to come

This is the fourth criminal indictment for Mr Trump. He also faces separate, federal charges relating to election interference, as well as charges of falsifying business records and mishandling classified documents.

Those cases are being prosecuted in courts in Washington DC, New York and Miami respectively.

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