Live coverage from Fulton County: Trump, allies surrender in election interference case

By: - August 23, 2023 2:24 pm
Former President Donald Trumps descends a set of steps from an airplane after arriving at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on August, 24, 2023. He is expected to surrender at the Fulton County Jail in Georgia, where he will be booked on 13 charges.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump arrives at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on August 24, 2023. Trump is expected to surrender at the Fulton County jail, where he will be booked on 13 charges related to an alleged plan to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump and his 18 co-defendants have until noon Friday to voluntarily surrender after a Fulton County grand jury handed up indictments last week alleging a multistate plot to overturn the 2020 presidential election results. The indictment in Georgia represents the fourth time Trump has been indicted this year. The Georgia Recorder staff will provide live updates here throughout the rest of the week.

4 months ago

It’s official: Former President Donald J. Trump booked at Fulton jail on 13 charges related to 2020 election

By: - Thursday August 24, 2023 7:39 pm

Former President Donald Trump, who is accused of trying to overturn Georgia’s election results, has been booked at the Fulton County Jail, according to the county jail website. 

Trump, who was indicted by a grand jury last week, arrived at the Rice Street jail in a sprawling motorcade at 7:34 p.m. Thursday.  

Outside the jail, his fans outnumbered his critics as his most ardent backers traveled from all over the country to line up along Rice Street in a show of support. A throng of reporters from all over the world gathered outside the county jail to observe the historic moment.

He had approved a $200,000 bond agreement, which bars him from threatening or intimidating anyone involved in the case – including on social media where the former president is prolific. 

The Fulton County indictment represents Trump’s fourth this year. He is charged with violating Georgia’s RICO Act and litany of other charges tied to efforts to overturn the election in a state where he lost by nearly 12,000 votes.

District Attorney Fani Willis requested a special purpose grand jury in early 2022 to investigate whether Trump and his allies illegally interfered in the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. She pursued the probe after Trump pressed Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to reverse his loss to Joe Biden.

A grand jury handed up a 41-count indictment against 19 defendants, alleging they were part of a “criminal organization” bent on overturning the 2020 election results by convincing state lawmakers in key states to tap fake electors. 

Read the 98-page indictment here

Last updated: 7:40 pm

4 months ago

Former Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows released from Fulton jail on $100,000 bond

By: - 3:29 pm

Mark Meadows, who served as chief of staff for former President Donald Trump, has turned himself in at the Fulton County Jail.

Meadows, who has been pushing to move his case to federal court, is marked as booked and released on the Fulton County Jail website. He was released on a $100,000 bond.

He is charged with violation of the Georgia RICO Act and solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer in an indictment handed up by a grand jury last Monday

Meadows has a Monday, Aug. 28 court date in federal court where he will argue for his case to be removed from Fulton County Superior Court. 

Harrison Floyd has also surrendered at the jail, where he remained in custody as of 3 p.m. Floyd is accused of violation of the Georgia RICO Act, and he also faces charges of conspiracy to commit solicitation of false statements and writings and for influencing witnesses for allegedly trying to influence Fulton County poll worker Ruby Freeman’s testimony.

A Washington Post story this week also reported that Floyd is accused of assaulting an FBI agent in connection to Special Counsel Jack Smith’s probe into efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.  

The remaining eight defendants, including Trump, have until noon Friday to surrender. Trump posted to social media he intends to turn himself in at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. 

Mark Meadows

Harrison Floyd

Last updated: 5:33 pm

4 months ago

Trump supporters face off outside jail with people who want him prosecuted for 2020 Georgia election actions

Former President Donald Trump stands accused in Georgia of being a ringleader in a multistate scheme to overturn his stinging 2020 election defeat. 

But his most diehard supporters aren’t buying it, and some of them were willing to tough it out in the searing heat Thursday in a show of support to Trump when he is booked later today. Trump has agreed to a $200,000 bond. 

Trump and 18 of his allies are all charged with violating Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, which is modeled after a federal law designed to target mafia leaders and those engaged in organized crime.

The former president is also charged with a dozen other crimes, including solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer and conspiracy to commit forgery in the first degree, for an alleged scheme to convince lawmakers in key states like Georgia to substitute lawfully elected electors with GOP alternates.

West Cobb County resident Jerry Ramsey. Ross Williams/Georgia Recorder

“Racketeering is about stealing money and stuff like that. That makes no sense,” said west Cobb County resident Jerry Ramsey, citing legal experts who have appeared on Fox News. “If you show me that some real crime was committed, then I might change my mind. But I have seen no real crime.” 

Ramsey argues that Trump did what anyone else would do after coming up short in an election.

“Here in Georgia, he just called and said ‘Would y’all recount the vote?’ If I lost an election, I’d do the same thing,” he said.

Georgia’s election results were confirmed three times, including one recount that was done by hand. A state-led investigation and multiple lawsuits also failed to turn up the widespread fraud Trump has long falsely claimed thwarted his bid for a second term. Trump’s own Attorney General in 2020 told the former president that he’d lost Georgia’s election and there was no evidence of fraud.

And other legal experts take a much different view about RICO’s applicability to the fake elector strategy.

“This case is essentially a candidate of why the RICO statute was invented,” former Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter told the Georgia Recorder in an earlier interview.

But Trump’s supporters argue his actions in the wake of the 2020 election amount to protected speech.

Ray Worth, who lives in Carroll County, said he came out Thursday to “support freedom, the ability for us to speak freely.” He called Trump “an advocate for free speech.”

Worth said he doesn’t expect any evidence to come out that will convince him that Trump ran afoul of the law, and two impeachment proceedings and a total of four indictments have only made Worth more skeptical.

He argues Trump was simply questioning the election results.

“You’re allowed to do that. This is a free country. It’s called freedom. You’re allowed to say what you feel is actually true. I believe what I feel is true, and he does too,” Worth said. 

Dion Cini, who traveled from New York for Trump’s surrender, said he considers the Fulton County’s indictment to be more egregious than the federal charges accusing him of inciting the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

“This is much worse than Jan. 6th,” he said while holding a banner emblazoned with “Trump or Death” around a rendering of Trump’s face. “When you look up the definition of insurrection, that’s what’s happening today.”

But it’s not all Trump supporters outside the county jail on Rice Street.

One anti-Trump group outside the jail on Thursday was the Republicans Against Trump, also known as RAT. Its members wore black and white striped prison jumpsuits and full rat costumes. Their leader, Domenic Santana, said they want to see Trump held accountable for attempting to disrupt Georgia’s election process. 

Meanwhile, Nadine Seiler flew down this week from Maryland to witness the historic arrest of Trump.

One of the few anti-Trump demonstrators to show up Thursday led to testy verbal confrontations with Trump supporters as she carried a banner proclaiming “Finally, Trump Arrested.”

“He tried to steal the vote of Black and brown people,” Seiler said. “That’s why he’s here because he tried to disenfranchise Black and brown voters.” 

4 months ago

Raffensperger subpoenaed as Fulton DA fights Mark Meadows’ bid to move case from her jurisdiction

By: - 1:34 pm

Mark Meadows, former White House Chief of Staff under then-President Donald Trump, lost his bid to avoid turning himself in at the Fulton County jail in connection to his role in alleged interference with Georgia’s 2020 election.

Mark Meadows speaks to reporters in Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol in 2019. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

But Meadows still has a chance to argue in federal court that his case should be moved from the jurisdiction of Fulton District Attorney Fani Willis, who led a grand jury probe that delivered indictments against Trump and 18 of his allies. A federal judge is scheduled to consider Meadows’ arguments Monday, Aug. 28.

The grand jury indicted Meadows for alleged election interference during a December 2020 trip to Georgia to monitor an audit of the state’s election results and for his involvement in the now  infamous phone conversation with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which Trump pressured Raffensperger to “find” enough ballots to overturn President Joe Biden’s win by of nearly 12,000 votes.

On Thursday, Willis served Raffensperger with a subpoena to testify in the federal court case in her fight to maintain jurisdiction over Meadows’ prosecution.

Meadows has argued that his case should be heard in federal court because he acted or worked as a White House official at the time of his alleged crimes.

By any fair assessment, the past decade has been a remarkable period in the life of Mark Randall Meadows. States Newsroom outlet NC Newsline traces his rise from obscure congressman a decade ago to the right hand man to the most powerful man in the world.

Last updated: 7:11 pm

4 months ago

Crowd grows outside Fulton jail in anticipation of Trump’s Georgia surrender

By: - 11:38 am

A large crowd of reporters and demonstrators was amassing around the Fulton County Jail Thursday morning in anticipation of the arrival of former President Donald Trump, who is expected to turn himself in this afternoon.

Georgia Recorder reporter and photographer Ross Williams estimated there to be hundreds of journalists, demonstrators, and curiosity seekers outside the jail on Rice Street as the August heat intensified.

Some of them were supporters of the former president who gathered for a planned rally that was more of a show of support. When police erected additional security barricades Thursday morning, the crowd started chanting “build the wall.”

But Trump’s scheduled jailhouse appearance also attracted critics of the former GOP president who want to see him held accountable for his alleged actions in the wake of the 2020 presidential election.

Trump has been charged with 13 counts – including a racketeering and corruption offense – in what prosecutors say was a plot to overturn the election in Georgia and other key states. In Georgia, he lost by nearly 12,000 votes, making him the first Republican presidential candidate to lose here in three decades. 

He posted on Truth Social Wednesday that he “will proudly be arrested” Thursday afternoon. 

Last updated: 11:43 am

4 months ago

All eyes on Fulton County Thursday as Trump is set to surrender on RICO charges at Fulton jail

By: - Wednesday August 23, 2023 8:02 pm

Ten defendants in the Fulton County election interference case are still due at the county jail this week, but Thursday will be all about one of them: former President Donald Trump.

Trump, who has agreed to a $200,000 bond, posted on Truth Social that he “will proudly be arrested” Thursday afternoon.

A rally is planned for him outside the jail Thursday morning, and some supporters – as well as his critics – were already standing alongside the road Wednesday despite the withering heat.

Sharon Anderson, an east Tennessee resident who says she sells eggs, canned goods and her own folk art to fund her Trump-related travel, stood at the entrance of the jail all day Wednesday to wave a “Trump 2024” flag she had tied to a fishing pole.

Sharon Anderson of Etowah, Tennessee (right) and Mike Boatman of Evansville, Indiana traveled to Atlanta this week to support former President Donald Trump as he turns himself in at the Fulton County Jail. Jill Nolin/Georgia Recorder

“Donald J. Trump fights every day. Fights endlessly, tirelessly, relentlessly for our country’s best benefit,” Anderson said. “This is the least I can do. As hot as it is out here, I can stand more. If he does what he does, I can be his cheerleader.”

Anderson, who is part of a group of supporters who normally travels together to attend rallies, said she plans to be there Thursday when Trump turns himself in, waving her flag.

As of Wednesday afternoon, a total of nine defendants had turned themselves in at the county jail this week. Trump’s former personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, was booked and released Wednesday afternoon after agreeing to a $150,000 bond.

Giuliani, who faces 13 counts, spoke briefly to a swarm of reporters gathered on Rice Street who shouted questions at the former New York City mayor in a frenzied rush that hinted at the circus to come Thursday.

Giuliani told reporters he spoke with Trump Wednesday.

“I have every confidence in him. What they are doing to him is an assault on the American constitution, and I say to my American citizens, this could happen to you if you don’t stop this,” he said before getting into a black SUV.

Two of Trump’s other attorneys, Sidney Powell and Jenna Ellis, were also booked and released Wednesday. Powell, who faces seven charges, agreed to a $100,000 bond. Ellis faces two charges and agreed to a $100,000 bond. All told, seven defendants were booked Wednesday, and two surrendered Tuesday.

Sidney Powell

Jenna Ellis

Last updated: 11:25 pm

4 months ago

Federal judge rejects bid by Trump White House Chief of Staff, lawyer behind elector plan to avoid Fulton jail

By: - 7:43 pm

A former U.S. Department of Justice official and another high-ranking aide to former President Donald Trump suffered legal setbacks in their challenges to the Fulton County 2020 presidential election interference case Wednesday.

Jeffrey Clark, Trump’s top environmental lawyer who provided advice that encouraged states to appoint an alternate slate of 2020 electors, and Mark Meadows, Trump’s chief of staff, both fought to stave off their Fulton County prosecution on Wednesday. 

Mark Meadows speaks to reporters in Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol in 2019. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Trump is scheduled to turn himself into the Fulton County jail on Thursday on charges that he was one of the ringleaders in alleged criminal racketeering and conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia and several other states.

The deadline for the remaining defendants to turn themselves in is noon Friday. 

Clark will be required to turn himself in at the Fulton County jail after a judge denied his motion to halt the county proceedings. The indictment alleges that Clark solicited a U.S. attorney general and deputy attorney general to make false statements about significant concerns about the election’s outcome in December 2020. That was after Georgia election officials certified the presidential victory for President Joe Biden. 

In response to Meadows’ request for removal, Judge Steve Jones of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia wrote that the state prosecutors can proceed with the case despite the request for removal.

Meadows is alleged to have set up a Jan. 2, 2021, phone conversation in which Trump asked Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to tilt Georgia’s election in the outgoing president’s favor. 

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, strongly rebuked Meadows’ request that the case be moved from state court. 

Willis argued in a legal filing on Wednesday that Meadows’ “baseless” request was an attempt to avoid arrest before the Friday deadline she set for the 19 defendants indicted last week. 

“Despite his determination to characterize the pending indictment against him as anything but criminal, the defendant has not directed this court’s attention to any statute, case law, or other authority for his ‘civil-criminal hybrid’ theory of the criminal charges pending against him,” Willis said. 

4 months ago

Rudy Giuliani surrenders at Fulton County Jail

By: and - 5:12 pm

Former U.S. Attorney and ex-New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani surrendered Wednesday afternoon to Fulton County authorities on criminal charges that he illegally conspired with Donald Trump and the former president’s other allies to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Giuliani, 79, on Wednesday agreed to pay a $150,000 bond to be set free on a 13 count indictment that includes charges he violated Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, committed criminal conspiracy, made false statements and writings, and solicited public officials to violate their oath.

Trump is scheduled to turn himself into the Fulton County jail on Thursday on charges related to being one of the ringleaders in alleged criminal racketeering and conspiring to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia and several other states.

Prior to arriving in Atlanta to meet with Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, Giuliani defended his involvement in attempting to persuade Georgia lawmakers to appoint an alternate slate of Republican electors to discredit Joe Biden’s close win over the former president in 2020.

Giuliani on Wednesday claimed that his support for Trump was about protecting American rights and compared his actions to his tenure as U.S. attorney in the 1980s, when he took down criminal mafia organizations in New York.

Giuliani also took aim at the indictment alleging that several of Trump’s former campaign and personal attorneys were involved in a criminal conspiracy, framing it as an attack on the First Amendment.

He spoke briefly to reporters gathered outside the county jail Wednesday afternoon, calling the Fulton County case a “ridiculous case in which I’m being prosecuted for defending an American citizen.”

“Five other lawyers are indicted. That should tell you right away that this is a an assault on our Constitution,” Giuliani said in Atlanta. “Fani Willis will go down in American history as having conducted one of the worst attacks on the American Constitution ever when this case is case is dismissed.”

“If they can do this to me, they can do this to you,” he also said.

Three other former Trump attorneys Kenneth Chesebro, Ray Smith and Sidney Powell also turned themselves into the Fulton authorities on Wednesday after negotiating bond agreements.

On Wednesday, Chesebro’s lawyers filed a petition for a speedy trial on charges of violating the state’s racketeering act and criminal conspiracy. The charging document against Chesebro alleges that the former Trump campaign lawyer provided an alternate slate of Republican electors with the documents that were intended to be considered as legitimate electoral votes for Trump.

Rudy Giuliani is surrounded by media outside the Fulton County jail as he surrendered Aug. 23, 2023 on criminal charges. Jill Nolin/Georgia Recorder

Last updated: 11:41 am

4 months ago

More defendants file into Fulton County jail as Giuliani arrives in Atlanta

By: - 2:24 pm

Another four defendants have turned themselves into the Fulton County Jail as attention turns to Rudy Giuliani, who is expected to surrender today.

David Shafer’s mugshot in Fulton County, which he posted to X Wednesday morning.

Trump campaign attorneys Kenneth Chesebro and Ray Smith were booked and released overnight or early Wednesday, as were former state GOP party chairman David Shafer and former Coffee County GOP chair Cathleen Latham.

Shafer posted his own mugshot to X at 7 a.m. Wednesday and said “Good morning! #NewProfilePic”

Giuliani, who served as former President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, did not have a bond agreement as of midday. His private jet reportedly touched down in Atlanta late Wednesday morning.

He told reporters as he left his apartment in New York Wednesday that he is “fighting for justice,” according to the Associated Press.

“I’m feeling very, very good about it because I feel like I am defending the rights of all Americans, as I did so many times as a United States attorney,” Giuliani said.

The focus will shift to Trump Thursday, when he has said he plans to turn himself in, take a booking photo and post a $200,000 bond. The Georgia case represents the former president’s fourth indictment, but this will be the first booking that will produce a mugshot.




Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.