A police escort leads a motorcade away from the Fulton County Jail on Thursday, August 24, 2023. Donald J. Trump was booked on thirteen felony charges related to his alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 Presidential Election in Georgia. (Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice)

Former President Donald J. Trump surrendered to authorities at the Fulton County Jail upon his arrival at 7:35 PM on Thursday evening. When he was remanded into custody, Trump was booked, fingerprinted and took his mug shot. He had a scowl and furled his eyebrows. He posted his $200,000 bond and within twenty minutes, Trump returned to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and flew to Bedminster. 

Trump is charged with thirteen felonies, including one count of racketeering, related to his alleged effort to overturn the results of the 2020 Presidential Election in Georgia. Trump has been painted as “the boss” of a criminal enterprise. RICO statutes typically require 2-3 “predicate acts” be committed by each of the charged defendants. That is no different for the Georgia version of the law.

Trump will return to Atlanta on the week of September 5 for a formal arraignment. At that moment, Trump will formally enter his plea. 

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“It’s a sad day,” Trump said before departing Atlanta. “We did nothing wrong at all. And we have every right,  every single right, to challenge an election that we think is dishonest. And we think it’s very dishonest.”

Trump quickly began fundraising with his headshot, claiming legal persecution.

Throughout the day, supporters of the former president made their voices heard on Marietta Boulevard and Rice Street.

Before leaving Bedmister, Trump fired Drew Findling and chose Steve Sadow to lead his Atlanta legal team. Sadow previously represented T.I., Gucci Mane, Rick Ross, Usher, Nicki Minaj and many celebrities that were embroiled in legal troubles. Recently, Sadow negotiated a plea deal with College Park, Ga. rapper Gunna, real name Sergio Kitchens, that allowed him to suspend jail time while pleading guilty to violating Georgia’s RICO Statute. 

A Co-Conspirator remains in custody

Earlier in the day, Harrison Floyd, the former executive director of the Black Voices for Trump organization, surrendered to authorities at the Fulton County Jail. He arrived at 901 Rice Street without a bond agreement and he is still being held at the jail. It could be days before Floyd could be released from custody. Floyd is also dealing with federal simple assault charges after he allegedly shoved an FBI agent while being served a subpoena related to the January 6th investigation. 

To this point, Scott Hall, John Eastman, Jenna Ellis, Kenneth Cheesbro, Cathay Latham, Sidney Powell, David Shafer, Mark Meadows, Rudy Giuliani, and Ray Smith have surrendered and were released on bond. 

Bob Cheeley, Stephen Lee, Misty Hampton, Trevian Kutti, Mike Roman, Jeffrey Clark and Shawn Still are still waiting to surrender at the Fulton County Jail. Those individuals have to surrender before 12 noon tomorrow. 

Cheesbro attempted to call Fani Willis’s bluff and failed

Before Trump’s arrival, Fulton County Judge Scott McAfee, who was randomly assigned the case, agreed to co-conspirator Cheesbro’s request to expedite the start of his trial to October 23rd. Wednesday, Cheesbro filed a motion challenging Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s original request to begin the trial on March 4, 2024. But the DA was ready and asserted she’s ready to go.

“Due to the defendant’s timely demand for speedy trial … scheduling will occur on an expedited timeline,” McAfee wrote. “At this time, these deadlines do not apply to any co-defendant.” 

However, under Georgia law, the speedy trial demand filed by Cheesbro does apply to all co-conspirators. It was not a motion to sever. However, Willis’s filing suggests she is ready to go as soon as possible. It also does not mean jury selection does not have to be completed by October 23rd because this trial will be held in a deeply polarized battleground state. 

Itoro Umontuen currently serves as Managing Editor of The Atlanta Voice. Upon his arrival to the historic publication, he served as their Director of Photography. As a mixed-media journalist, Umontuen...