Trump claims $200,000 bond was set so he doesn’t ‘fly to Russia to share gold domed suite with Vladimir’

Donald Trump is facing 13 charges in Georgia in his election interference case

Matt Mathers
Tuesday 22 August 2023 11:39 BST
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Donald Trump has claimed that he was slapped with a high bond in his Georgia election interference case so that he doesn't fly to Russia to “share a gold-domed suite” with Vladimir Putin.

The former president agreed on Monday to his bond being set at $200,000 as he faces 13 charges including racketeering over his efforts to overturn the 2020 election in the state.

In a post on his Truth Social platform, the former president railed against his bond and sarcastically claimed he was a flight risk as he could flee to join the Russian president.

“The failed District Attorney of Fulton County (Atlanta), Fani Willis, insisted on a $200,000 Bond from me,” he wrote.

“I assume, therefore, that she thought I was a “flight” risk - I’d fly far away, maybe to Russia, Russia, Russia, share a gold domed suite with Vladimir, never to be seen or heard from again.

“Would I be able to take my very “understated” airplane with the gold TRUMP affixed for all to see. Probably not, I’d be much better off flying commercial - I’m sure nobody would recognize me!”

In a separate Truth Social post, Mr Trump earlier confirmed that he would turn himself in to Fulton County authorities on Thursday to be formally arrested.

“Can you believe it? I’ll be going to Atlanta, Georgia, on Thursday to be ARRESTED,” he wrote.

Mr Trump, the favourite to secure the Republican nomination for the presidential election next year, has been indicted four times this year.

In New York, he faces 34 felony state counts in connection with hush money payments to a porn star. In Florida, he faces 40 felony federal counts for hoarding classified documents and impeding efforts to retrieve them. In Washington DC, he faces four federal felony counts for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

The former president’s social media posts came just hours after his attorneys met with prosecutors in Atlanta to discuss the details of his release on bond. Mr Trump is barred from intimidating co-defendants, witnesses or victims in the case – including on social media – according to Ms Willis, Trump’s defence attorneys and the judge. This explicitly includes “posts on social media or reposts of posts” made by others.

The agreement also bans Mr Trump from making any “direct or indirect threat of any nature” against witnesses or co-defendants, and from communicating in any way about the facts of the case with them, except through attorneys.

Former president has been incidted four times this year
Former president has been incidted four times this year (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

The order sets his bond for the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations – or RICO – charge at $80,000, and adds $10,000 for each of the 12 other counts he is facing. Bond is the amount defendants must pay as a form of collateral to ensure they show up for required court appearances.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis set a deadline of noon ET Friday for Trump and his co-defendants to turn themselves in to be booked.

The prosecutor has proposed that arraignments for the defendants follow during the week of 5 September. She has said she wants to try the defendants collectively and bring the case to trial in March of next year, which would put it in the heat of the presidential nominating season.

A spokesman for Mr Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the filing.

The former president and his co-defendants were last week charged with attempting to subvert the will of the Georgia electorate by interfering in the state’s election results following his defeat to Democrat and current President Joe Biden.

In a phone call with Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, on 2 January 2021, Mr Trump was recorded pressuring his collegue to find “11,780 votes" during the ballot count.

“So what are we going to do here folks? I only need 11,000 votes,” he said. “Fellas, I need 11,000 votes. Give me a break. You know, we have that in spades already. Or we can keep it going but that’s not fair to the voters of Georgia because they’re going to see what happened and they’re going to see what happened…”

Mr Raffensperger responded: “Mr President, you have people that submit information and we have our people that submit information. And then it comes before the court and the court then has to make a determination. We have to stand by our numbers. We believe our numbers are right.”

Attorneys for the former president have insisted in recent days that this was an “aspirational” request for the Georgia elections agency to magically procure more than 11,000 votes. But Mr Raffensperger made clear on 10 January that he didn’t see it that way.

Additional reporting by agencies

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