Sarah May
August 20, 2023

Trump poised to surrender for arraignment this week in Fulton County, Georgia

In the wake of former President Donald Trump's latest criminal indictment – this time in Fulton County, Georgia – there has been much speculation about precisely when and how his surrender will occur, and according to recent reports, the high-profile event may happen toward the end of the week.

After announcing her 41-count indictment of Trump and 18 additional co-defendants, District Attorney Fani Willis issued an Aug. 25 deadline for surrender, a date which is now rapidly approaching.

Negotiations afoot?

Given Trump's extraordinarily high profile, his Secret Service protection, and international media interest, it is not surprising that the logistics of surrendering for processing in the case necessitate significant advance planning.

As such, Trump's attorney and Willis' staff have reportedly been negotiating in recent days, and those talks are likely to continue into the early days of the coming week, according to CNN.

Fox 5 in Atlanta reports that while Trump's team was eager to make concrete decisions in conjunction with Willis' representatives last week, the prosecutor was unwilling to participate in substantive talks until Monday at the earliest.

Potential for theatrics

Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat has already gone on record that Trump will be treated as ordinary defendants with regard to the booking process at the Rice Street jail.

The process – at least under routine circumstances – includes a pat-down search, full fingerprinting, the capturing of a mugshot, and a criminal history review.

Despite having been indicted on multiple occasions already, Trump has yet to be subjected to the taking and public release of a mugshot, but Labat recently declared, “It doesn't matter your status, we'll have a mugshot ready for you. Unless somebody tells me differently, we are following our normal practices.”

Controversial facility

Adding to the uncertainty surrounding what will happen when Trump surrenders is the fact that the facility at which the processing would occur is already under review by the Justice Department due to allegations of inhumane conditions.

According to reports, the jail has been the subject of complaints involving excessive violence, non-functional air conditioning, overflowing plumbing, crumbling walls, and infestations of bedbugs and lice.

Given Trump's entitlement to ongoing Secret Service protection, it may prove utterly impracticable for the former president to be treated – as Willis and the sheriff seem to desire – as if he were a garden variety criminal defendant or to be held in custody even for a moment in such a place.

Regardless of when and how Trump's appearance this week actually unfolds, it is clear that his foes in the media and in the offices of liberal prosecutors at the state and federal levels are determined to produce a series of spectacles designed not so much to facilitate justice, but instead to grandstand and humiliate.

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