Trump is charged with 13 felonies, including racketeering, which is generally used to target organized crime, for allegedly influencing state authorities to change his election loss in Georgia to Democratic President Joe Biden.
Donald Trump is due to report to an Atlanta jail to face charges stemming from his actions following the 2020 election, in the fourth criminal case brought against the Republican former US president this year.
Like other criminal defendants in Atlanta, Trump will have to appear at the Fulton County Jail on Thursday evening to be fingerprinted and photographed as he campaigns to win back the presidency in the November 2024 election.
The Federal Aviation Administration ordered that the airspace over the jail be closed beginning around 2245 GMT, citing “VIP movement.” The jail has a reputation for grim conditions that have inspired rap songs and prompted an investigation by the US Justice Department.
About a dozen Trump supporters, some holding flags, gathered outside the jail awaiting his arrival.
“I’m here because I’m appalled at what’s happening,” said Bob Kunst, 81, a retiree who said he had driven from Miami Beach and stood outside the jailhouse with a homemade sign that read “Lock Biden Up.”
13 felony crimes
Trump faces 13 felony counts including racketeering, which is typically used to target organised crime, for pressuring state officials to reverse his election loss in Georgia to Democratic President Joe Biden. He was charged after an investigation led by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.
Nine of Trump’s 18 co-defendants in the Georgia case, including his former lawyer Rudolph Giuliani, have surrendered to authorities. The remaining eight face a Friday deadline to comply or face arrest.
Trump, 77, has denied wrongdoing and has called this criminal case as well as the other three politically motivated. He is due to enter a plea in the Georgia case on Sept. 5 and has pleaded not guilty in the other three other cases.
He has agreed to post $200,000 bond and accepted bail conditions that would bar him from threatening witnesses or his 18 co-defendants in the case. Trump on Wednesday added Atlanta criminal defense attorney Steve Sadow to his legal team, a court filing showed.
Trump called upon his supporters for nationwide protests after his first criminal indictment in New York in March. Authorities have reported no violent incidents outside the courthouses in Manhattan, Miami and Washington where he has been arraigned this year.
Lead in opinion polls
Trump’s planned jailhouse visit comes a day after his rivals in the race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination met in Milwaukee for their initial debate. Trump skipped that event, instead sitting for a pre-taped interview with Tucker Carlson on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
“I’ve been indicted four times – all trivial nonsense,” Trump said.
Trump, the first former US president to be charged with any crime, faces 91 separate criminal counts overall. He was charged in Washington, DC, after an investigation by Special Counsel Jack Smith into his efforts to overturn the election, in Florida over his handling of classified documents upon leaving office also in a case pursued by Smith, and in New York over hush money paid to an adult movie actress before the 2016 election in a case led by the Manhattan district attorney.
Trump’s advantage in the Republican primary has grown since his initial indictment, and his supporters agree with his view that the accusations are politically motivated.
Analysts say Trump’s legal problems might alienate the independent voters he needs to win a general election rematch with Biden, who defeated him by 7 million votes in the 2020 popular vote.
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