• Thursday, May 23, 2024

NEWS

Trump arrested in election case, mug shot released

By: Pramod Thomas

FORMER US president Donald Trump was arrested at a Georgia jail Thursday (24) on racketeering and conspiracy charges and released on a $200,000 bond after having a historic mug shot taken.

Trump, who is accused of colluding with 18 other defendants to overturn the 2020 election result in the southern state, spent less than 30 minutes inside Atlanta’s Fulton County Jail before leaving in a motorcade for the airport.

Like the other defendants in the case who have surrendered so far, the 77-year-old Trump had his mug shot taken during the booking process — a first for any serving or former US president.

In the photograph released by the sheriff’s office, he scowled at the camera while dressed in a dark blue suit, white shirt and red tie.

Speaking to reporters after his arrest, Trump, the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, said it was a “very sad day for America.”

“What has taken place here is a travesty of justice,” he said. “I did nothing wrong.”

Trump posted the mug shot on his own Truth Social platform with the caption “Election Interference” and a link to his campaign website.

A short while later, he also posted it on X — formerly Twitter, which was Trump’s favorite bullhorn until he was banned from it after the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the US Capitol by a mob of his supporters.

New owner Elon Musk reinstated Trump on X in November of last year, but Trump stayed away and posted instead on Truth Social. This was Trump’s first post since 2021 on what had been Twitter.

Trump was given the inmate number “PO1135809” by the Fulton County Jail, which listed his height as six foot three inches (1.9 meters), his weight as 215 pounds (97 kilograms) and his hair color as “Blond or Strawberry.”

The billionaire has been criminally indicted four times since April, setting the stage for a year of unprecedented drama as he tries to juggle multiple court appearances and another White House campaign.

Trump was able to dodge having a mugshot taken during his previous arrests this year: in New York on charges of paying hush money to a porn star, in Florida for mishandling top secret government documents, and in Washington on charges of conspiring to upend his 2020 election loss to Democrat Joe Biden.

His arrest came one day after Trump spurned a televised debate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, featuring eight of his rivals for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination — all of whom lag well behind him in the polls.

He still stole the spotlight, though, with all but two of the candidates saying they would support him as the party’s nominee even if he were a convicted felon.

A tight security perimeter was set up for Trump’s booking at the Fulton County Jail, which is under investigation for a slew of inmate deaths and deplorable conditions.

Fani Willis, the Fulton County district attorney who filed the sweeping racketeering case, had set a deadline of noon on Friday for Trump and the other 18 defendants to surrender.

Trump and 11 others have turned themselves in so far.

Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows surrendered on Thursday and was released on $100,000 bond.

(AFP)

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