Trump surrenders at Fulton County Jail in Georgia election indictment, has mug shot taken

It was a historic day in Georgia as a former President Donald Trump surrenders at the Fulton County Jail on RICO and 11 others charges stemming from accusations he illegally attempted to overturn the 2020 election in the Peach State.

Trump’s scowling mug shot was released within an hour of his bonding out on $200,000 cash.

The former president was on the ground in Atlanta for just over an hour and appeared to have only been inside the jail for about 15 minutes, where he was fingerprinted and had his mug shot taken.


Trump arrives in Atlanta to surrender on RICO charges

Roads between the Atlanta airport and the Fulton County Jail were blocked off as former President Donald Trump arrived in a motorcade to turn himself in on charges related to his efforts to remain in power after his 2020 election loss, giving the scene something of a presidential aura. 

But Trump was going to do something no other president has ever done - surrender for booking on criminal charges and have a mug shot taken.


As word spread that Trump was on his way, demonstrators near the main entrance on the Rice Street side of the jail lined security barricades two to three deep. There were more Trump supporters than opponents braving the intense Georgia summer heat, but both groups were outnumbered by media. The crowd, which began gathering in the morning, had grown as the hour of Trump's booking approached.

Trump entered on the opposite side, along Jefferson Street, where police had blocked off the entrance. Fulton County sheriff's deputies blocked one end of the block with an empty prisoner bus, while a county dump truck blocked the other end.


Rep. Greene, supporters surround Fulton County Jail

Many in the crowd wore pro-Trump T-shirts and waved large flags, including one that proclaimed "TRUMP WON." Shortly after 6 p.m., U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia Republican and a staunch Trump defender, spoke briefly to the crowd.

"I'm telling you right now, regular Americans are watching this, and they are disgusted and they're outraged," she told reporters shortly before Trump's arrival.

It was the fourth time this year that Trump, the early front-runner in the 2024 Republican presidential primary, was booked on criminal charges. But unlike his previous arrests, which happened in courthouses just before initial appearances before a judge, this time he had to turn himself in at a notoriously troubled jail. In another departure, he had a booking photo taken. 


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Authorities guard the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta, Georgia, US, on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023. Donald Trump said he will surrender to authorities in Atlanta today to be booked on state charges that he led a criminal conspiracy to overturn the results of the 2020 election, appearing in state jail just one day after the first Republican debate, which he did not attend. Photographer: Alyssa Pointer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Trump and 18 others were indicted last week, accused by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis of participating in a sprawling scheme to undermine the will of Georgia voters, who had narrowly rejected the Republican incumbent in favor of Democrat Joe Biden. Many of the others charged turned themselves in at the jail earlier this week, including Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell and Jenna Ellis on Wednesday and John Eastman on Tuesday. 

Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat had said Trump, and the others in this case, would be treated like anyone else - notably saying at a news conference earlier this month: "Unless somebody tells me differently, we are following our normal practices, and so it doesn't matter your status, we'll have a mugshot ready for you."

But the scene outside the jail was anything but normal Thursday. 


It included supporters of the former president such as Cliff MacMorris, 66, from Naples, Florida, who held a flag that read, "Trump Won Save America." 

He and his wife, Georgine, spent the night in Atlanta. 

"You don't have the right to persecute somebody unjustly," Cliff MacMorris said. 

His wife said the indictments against the former president were politically motivated because of the four years of "prosperity, safety, freedom" that Trump achieved in the White House. 

"They must be worried about him for some reason," she said.

Sharon Anderson, 67, from east Tennessee, was outside the jail for a second straight day. She had spent the night in a car with the air conditioning running. 

"I'm here to support Donald J. Trump. I want him to see some of the millions that show up at the polls for him." 

She said the indictments against Trump had only strengthened her support for him. The former president questioned the election results, which isn't a crime, she said.

Trump detractors watch Trump surrender in Georgia

While the crowd was mostly made up of Trump supporters, 64-year-old Laurie Arbeiter, who is from New York City, wore a shirt that said "Arrest Trump" and carried more than 50 black-and-white signs with her, including ones that read "Convict Trump" and "Trump is a Traitor." She said she'd also traveled to other places where Trump was indicted.

As midday temperatures hovered near 90 degrees, sheriff's deputies in vests toweled off and sought shade under a tree.

The main Fulton County Jail, also known as the Rice Street Jail, is located in a traditionally industrial part of northwest Atlanta where warehouses are currently being redeveloped for retail and residential use. It's set back from the street by a long, tree-lined driveway that leads to a parking lot in front of the jail's imposing façade.


On most days, the public and news media are free to drive right up to the front of the jail, and news cameras have captured the arrivals and departures of many high-profile people who have been booked into the jail. But with the booking of a former president looming, the driveway off the main street in front of the jail had been closed off for days, with no reporters or cameras allowed within viewing distance of that entrance.

Security tightened further on Thursday. While cars had been allowed on the Rice Street side of the jail a day earlier, sheriff's deputies cut off vehicle traffic on Thursday. Some deputies wore vests and covered their faces with black masks. They formed a line along the street.

Members of a group called Blacks for Trump hurled racial slurs at Black sheriff's deputies. But the demonstration was otherwise peaceful.

While others who are booked there spend months or even years in the facility awaiting indictment or trial, Trump left the jail 20 minutes after surrendering. The jail is plagued by crumbling infrastructure and overcrowding. On Thursday morning, the jail housed 2,618 people, above its capacity of 2,254, according to data from the sheriff's office.

The U.S. Department of Justice last month announced a civil rights investigation into jail conditions in Fulton County, citing violence, filth and the death last year of a man whose body was found covered in insects.

Donald J. Trump (Fulton County Sheriff's Office)

Trump’s mug shot released

A scowling Donald Trump posed for a mug shot Thursday as he surrendered inside a jail in Atlanta on charges that he illegally schemed to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia, creating a historic and humbling visual underscoring the former president's escalating legal troubles. 

The booking photo instantly becomes part of the former president's legacy as he confronts criminal charges in four American cities while seeking to reclaim the White House. His aides swiftly seized on the image, fundraising off the first mug shot in American history of a former president as representative of the unfair persecution they contend Trump is encountering. His opponents, meanwhile, are likely to use it to remind voters of dangers in electing a president facing dozens of felony charges. 

Trump was released on $200,000 bond and headed back to the airport for his return flight home to New Jersey, flashing a thumbs-up through the window of his sport utility vehicle as his motorcade left. Unrepentant but subdued after the brief jail visit, he again insisted that he "did nothing wrong" and called the case accusing him of subverting election results a "travesty of justice."

"If you challenge an election, you should be able to challenge an election," he told reporters on the airport tarmac.


Trump's surrender to law enforcement authorities, the fourth time this year, has by now become a familiar election-season routine in a way that belies the unprecedented spectacle of a former president, and current candidate, being booked on criminal charges. But his visit to Atlanta was notably different from the three past surrenders, unfolding at night and requiring him to visit a problem-plagued jail - rather than a courthouse. 


And unlike in other cities that did not require he pose for a mug shot, a booking photo of him was taken. It depicts Trump, wearing a navy suit and red tie, angrily scowling at the camera, his brows furrowed as he stares into the lens.

Before Trump's plane had crossed North Carolina, his campaign was already using the image to solicit contributions on a fundraising site. And for the first time since Jan. 8, 2021, he made a post on X, the website formerly known as Twitter, issuing a fundraising plea on the platform that prevented him from using his account after he helped spark the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. 

"This mugshot will forever go down in history as a symbol of America's defiance of tyranny," said a Trump campaign fundraising email.


Trump describes visit to Fulton County Jail

Trump also called into conservative TV channel Newsmax to talk about what he said had been a "terrible experience."

"It's a very sad experience, and it's a very sad day for our country," he said.

His jail visit created a remarkable split-screen visual during a 2024 Republican primary contest in which he remains the leading candidate, swiping the spotlight at least temporarily from his opponents and coming one day after a debate in Milwaukee where eight of his leading rivals sought to exploit Trump's absence by trying to stand out from the pack. 

Trump landed in Atlanta around 7 p.m. and was driven to jail for the booking process. He offered a wave and thumbs-up as he descended the steps of his private plane.


He completed the process in a brisk 20 minutes, providing officials as is customary with his physical measurements: 6 foot 3 inches. 215 pounds. Blond or strawberry hair. And Trump, who for four years in the White House reveled in the title of "Mr. President," was given the inmate number of P01135809.

The Fulton County prosecution is the fourth criminal case against Trump since March, when he became the first former president in U.S. history to be indicted. Since then, he's faced federal charges in Florida and Washington , and this month he was indicted in Atlanta with 18 others - including his ex-chief of staff, Mark Meadows, and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani - under a racketeering statute normally associated with gang members and organized crime. 

District Attorney Fani Willis had given all the defendants until Friday afternoon to turn themselves in at the main Fulton County jail. 

Trump hires Georgia attorney

Just ahead of his surrender, Trump hired a new lead attorney for the Georgia case. 

Prominent Atlanta criminal defense attorney Steve Sadow replaced another high-profile criminal defense attorney, Drew Findling, who had represented Trump as recently as Monday when his bond terms were negotiated. But by Thursday Findling was no longer part of the team, according to a person with knowledge of the change who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

Sadow said in a statement that "the president should never have been indicted. He is innocent of all the charges brought against him."

Trump has repeatedly denied wrongdoing. He said in a social media post this week that he was being prosecuted for what he described in capital letters as a "perfect phone call" in which he asked the Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to help him "find 11,780 votes" for him to overturn his loss in the state to Democrat Joe Biden. 

The Fulton County jail where Trump surrendered has long been a troubled facility. The Justice Department last month opened a civil rights investigation into conditions, citing filthy cells, violence and the death last year of a man whose body was found covered in insects in the main jail's psychiatric wing. Three people have died in Fulton County custody in the past month. 


He did not spend much time there. His attorneys and prosecutors had already agreed to a $200,000 bond, plus conditions that include barring the former president from intimidating co-defendants, witnesses or victims in the case.

Charles Shaw, CEO of Foster Bail Bonds in metro Atlanta, said his company put up Trump's $200,000 bond. Shaw said Trump paid his company 10% - or $20,000 - which is customary for bail bondsmen to charge. Shaw said he doesn't know Trump, but that Trump's Atlanta defense attorneys have a close business relationship with his company.

Unlike in other jurisdictions, in Fulton County, arraignments - in which a defendant appears in court for the first time - generally happen after a defendant surrenders at the jail and completes the booking process, not on the same day. 

That means Trump may have to make another trip to Georgia in the coming weeks though the Fulton County Sheriff's Office has said some arraignments in the case may happen virtually if the judge permits. Or Trump's arraignment could be waived.

Who has not surrendered in the Georgia election indictment?

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis issued a deadline of Friday, August 25 for Trump and his 18 co-defendants to surrender to authorities. The indictment, comprising a staggering 41 counts, was unsealed late Monday evening.

Twelve of the 19 defendants indicted in Fulton County's investigation into possible interference in Georgia's 2020 presidential election have surrendered to authorities.

That number grew Thursday as former President Donald Trump touched down in Atlanta for an hour to turn himself in at the Fulton County Jail.

Wednesday, Trump's lawyer and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani was among the seven people who were processed at the jail and subsequently released on bond.

Bond for Giuliani was set at $150,000, second only to Trump’s $200,000.

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Donald J. Trump (Fulton County Sheriff's Office)

Giuliani, 79, is accused of spearheading Trump’s efforts to compel state lawmakers in Georgia and other closely contested states to ignore the will of voters and illegally appoint electoral college electors favorable to Trump.

Other high-profile defendants also surrendered Wednesday, including Jenna Ellis, an attorney who prosecutors say was involved in efforts to convince state lawmakers to unlawfully appoint presidential electors, and lawyer Sidney Powell, accused of making false statements about the election in Georgia and helping to organize a breach of voting equipment in rural Coffee County.

Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark both tried to have the case against them heard in federal court rather than in Fulton County Superior Court. Both argue the actions that gave rise to the charges in the indictment were related to their work as federal officials and that the case should be moved to federal court and the charges against them dismissed.

But on Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Steve Jones denied both Meadows and Clark's requests.

Outside of Meadows and Clark, former White House aide Michael Roman, former Georgia GOP finance chairman Shawn Still, pastor Stephen Cliffgard Lee, publicist Travian C. Kutti, and Coffee County elections director Misty Hampson are expected to turn themselves by Friday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report