Mr Trump was handed a 98-page, 41-count grand jury indictment last week accusing him and 18 co-defendants – including lawyers Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, Jenna Ellis and John Eastman and ex-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows – of engaging in a “criminal enterprise” to overturn the result of the 2020 presidential election after the all-important swing state turned blue for Joe Biden.
Fulton County district attorney Fani Willis opened a two-year investigation into the former president after audio of him imploring Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger to help him “find” the 11,780 votes he needed to alter the outcome on an official call was leaked to The Washington Post and published on 2 January 2021.
Mr Trump’s attorneys Jennifer Little, Drew Findling and Marissa Goldberg met with Ms Willis on Monday to agree to the terms of his arraignment and it is understood he will appear for booking on Thursday evening in order to coincide with primetime for the conservative cable news channels, according to The Guardian, ensuring his appearance receives the maximum amount of publicity possible.
In a Thursday afternoon post on Truth Social, Mr Trump said he would surrender at 7.30pm ET. But first he bragged about his interview with Tucker Carlson a day earlier.
“231,000,000 Views, and still counting. The Biggest Video on Social Media, EVER, more than double the Super Bowl! But 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, for A PERFECT PHONE CALL, and having the audacity to challenge a RIGGED & STOLLEN ELECTION. THE EVIDENCE IS IRREFUTABLE! ARREST TIME: 7:30,” Mr Trump wrote.
When he arrives, he will be formally arrested, fingerprinted and, intriguingly, photographed for a mugshot for the first time.
The Georgia election subversion case also marks the first time Mr Trump’s release conditions have included a cash bond ($200,000) and a prohibition on his engaging in intimidation through social media, taking into account his habit of badmouthing judges and prosecutors with baseless smears on his Truth Social platform.
Always inclined to keep one eye on television ratings, and measure success accordingly, the Republican is likely to speak to reporters outside of the court on his way out and is likely to once more insist that he is the victim of political persecution by his enemies, having repeatedly accused the Biden administration of “weaponising” the justice system against him to prevent his mounting a political comeback.
Still the front-runner to be the Republican Party’s nominee for president in 2024, despite declining to take part in Wednesday evening’s debate from Milwaukee, Mr Trump – already twice impeached as commander-in-chief – became the first American leader to face criminal charges when he was indicted in New York City earlier this year.
In that case, brought by Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg, he was accused of falsifying business records to conceal hush money payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016 to stay quiet about their alleged extramarital affair a decade earlier.
He has since received two further federal indictments from Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith, the first accusing him of mishandling government documents by hoarding them at his Mar-a-Lago mansion in Florida after leaving Washington, the second over his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 result and his role in instigating the deadly Capitol riot of 6 January 2021.
Ms Willis’s is his second state indictment of the year and his fourth in total in as many months.
In addition, he has also been found liable for the historic sexual assault of magazine columnist E Jean Carroll in a civil case in New York.
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