Donald Trump Says He Will Turn Himself In For Booking On Attempted Election Fraud Charges.

Photo credit: Alex Wong. President Donald Trump delivers his inaugural address on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017, in Washington, D.C.
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Former President Donald Trump says he will voluntarily surrender on Thursday at the notorios Fulton County Jail in Atlanta, Georgia. Trump has to answer to 13 state felony counts in Georgia related to alleged efforts to wrongfully overturn that state’s 2020 presidential election result. If that state had reversed its result, Trump might perhaps now be president of the United States.

Trump’s court appearance in Georgia would come just one day after the first Republican primary debate, which he says he will not take part in. Trump is currently the Republican Party’s front-runner for the 2024 presidential nomination.

The 18 other defendants in Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ wide-reaching criminal case have until Friday at noon to turn themselves in for booking.

“It doesn’t matter your status,” Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat recently told reporters. “We will have a mug shot ready for you.”

In Fulton County, a booking appearance is separate from an arraignment, where a defendant issues a plea on their charges.

For most of the case’s 19 defendants, bond terms will have been negotiated in advance so they don’t have to spend long in jail awaiting a hearing, says Bob Rubin, a criminal defense attorney in Decatur, Georgia.

On Monday, a judge signed off on an agreement between prosecutors and Trump’s lawyers to set bond at $200,000.

Rubin says bond conditions consider factors like a defendant’s flight risk, danger to the community and likelihood of intimidating witnesses or committing another felony.

Trump’s bond agreement requires that he refrain from intimidating co-defendants or witnesses, including through social media. And he is not allowed to communicate with any co-defendants about the facts of the case, except through his lawyer.

“Despite saying they’re going to treat them the same as everybody else, they’re going to make sure no one’s going to get hurt in this jail,” Rubin says. “It would look really bad, so I’m sure the sheriff’s office is going to make every effort to segregate them from other inmates who may be dangerous.”

The Fulton County Jail, also known as the Rice Street Jail, is currently under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for potential civil rights violations.

Seven people have died in custody there since the start of this year.

Labat, the Fulton County sheriff, has pledged to cooperate with the federal investigation and says it reinforces his calls for a new jail.

“I have publicly, privately and repeatedly raised concerns about the dangerous overcrowding, dilapidated infrastructure and critical staffing shortages of the jail,” he said in July.

This month, the county reached a settlement with the family of Lashawn Thompson, who died in the jail’s psychiatric wing last year and was found covered in bedbugs. An independent autopsy commissioned by the family found he died from neglect.

“It is Third World in many parts of the Fulton County Jail,” says Rubin, who has two clients who have been detained in the jail for more than two years awaiting trial.

“They have no opportunities to go outside. There’s no sunlight. There’s no yard,” Rubin says. “The jail is cold. The jail is smelly, as you can imagine. There’s water issues. There’s space issues. There’s dangerous people in the jail. It’s a pretty horrific place, such that sometimes I have nightmares.”

Eighty-seven percent of the jail population is Black and the vast majority have not been convicted, according to the Justice Department. Most are waiting for bail hearings or competency evaluations or are denied release awaiting trial because they cannot post bail.

Source: NPR
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