It’s a presidential portrait that’s sure to go down in history. The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia publicly released a mug shot of former president Donald Trump, inmate no. P01135809, after he was booked at the facility Thursday evening on 13 felony counts stemming from his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in that state.
Trump and 18 of his allies, who are also in the process of surrendering, were named in a 98-page indictment last week that outlines a long list of alleged crimes, including racketeering (under Georgia's RICO laws), conspiracy to commit forgery, filing of false documents and soliciting a violation of oath by a public officer. The Georgia indictment is Trump’s fourth since leaving office in January 2021.
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Why it matters:
Even though it’s also Trump’s fourth time being booked and processed on criminal charges, Thursday was the first time his mug shot was taken. It also came one day after the first 2024 Republican presidential debate in Milwaukee, which he notably skipped.
Prior to the indictment, Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat indicated that, if charged, Trump would be subject to the regular booking process for criminal defendants, which includes fingerprinting and posing for mug shots.
Thursday was also the first time Trump had to surrender at a jail. Following his three previous indictments, the former president was able to turn himself in at the time of his arraignments at federal courthouses in Miami and Washington, D.C., and at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
What’s next for the Georgia case:
In a court filing Thursday, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis proposed a new trial date of October 23, 2023, after defendant Kenneth Chesebro asked for a speedy trial.
Willis also proposed the week of Sept. 5 for all 19 defendants to appear for an arraignment, in a court filing last week.
The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office previously noted in a press release that the booking process is separate from an arraignment for criminal cases in Fulton County. “In this case, some arraignments/appearances may be virtual as dictated by the presiding judge,” the statement added.
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Ex-Trump Aide Meadows Surrenders In Georgia 2020 Case, via Bloomberg
Will the Georgia trial be televised?
If Trump appears in person for the arraignment, this will be the first criminal hearing of Trump’s in which TV cameras will be allowed inside the courtroom.
Georgia law allows photography and live video inside the courtroom as long as it doesn’t interfere with or disrupt the proceedings. The same rules are expected to apply when the trial gets underway — though there may be exceptions.
Clark Cunningham, a law professor at Georgia State University, predicted that “certain testimony might not be televised because a witness is really risking their life,” noting that there have already been death threats against others involved in the cases against Trump.
“I would think that they would want to keep the camera off the jury box the whole time,” Cunningham said.
Photographers were briefly allowed inside the Manhattan courtroom where the former president was arraigned in April. Trump’s other two arraignments took place in federal courtrooms, where not even cellphones were allowed.