Former President Donald Trump said Monday that he is planning to surrender himself to arrest in Fulton County, Georgia, on Thursday, as part of his indictment regarding his attempts to overturn the 2020 election in the state.
“Can you believe it? I’ll be going to Atlanta, Georgia, on Thursday to be ARRESTED by a Radical Left District Attorney, Fani Willis,” Trump wrote on his social media network, Truth Social. The prosecutor in the case, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, has given Trump and his codefendants until Friday to turn themselves in.
Trump’s announcement came hours after a Fulton County judge set a $200,000 bond for Trump, with a large portion of the bond coming from Trump’s Georgia Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) charge.
As part of Trump’s bond order, the judge ordered the former president not to make direct or indirect threats against any of his 18 codefendants or any of the witnesses in the case. “The Defendant shall perform no act to intimidate any person known to him or her to be a codefendant or witness in this case,” the order read, including “posts on social media or reposts of posts made by another individual on social media.”
The order seems to be a response to posts that Trump has made on Truth Social following his indictments. After his indictment in Department of Justice Special Counsel Jack Smith’s case regarding Trump’s January 6 case, the former president wrote: “IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!” Commentators noted the post was clearly an intimidation attempt.
Smith requested a protective order in response to the post, which would bar Trump and his legal team from disclosing evidence to intimidate witnesses. But Trump told supporters during a campaign event that he would defy the protective order, which was partly granted by a U.S. district judge.
Last week, Trump made a post that raised eyebrows again — this time in relation to the Georgia case. On August 14, Trump wrote that former Georgia Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan shouldn’t testify in the Georgia case as planned. “I am reading reports that failed former Lt. Governor of Georgia, Jeff [sic] Duncan, will be testifying before the Fulton County Grand Jury. He shouldn’t,” Trump said.
Legal experts noted that this post was blatant witness tampering; Georgia State University law professor Anthony Michael Kreis described the post as “blatantly unlawful” and “exceptionally bad even for Donald Trump.”
The Georgia case contains some of the most serious charges against Trump of his four indictments so far. As legal scholar Marjorie Cohn wrote for Truthout this week, the RICO charges alleging that Trump spearheaded a wide-reaching criminal conspiracy in the state could be particularly consequential — potentially more so than Smith’s January 6 charges.
Some commentators have also pointed out the significance of the $200,000 bond, which they say underlines the severity of the charges. Legal experts, however, have pointed out that Trump will easily be able to afford his bond — unlike the actual victims of the two-tiered justice system.
Two of Trump’s codefendants have already surrendered to jail. Bail bond business owner Scott Hall, who had ties to the Republican Party’s search for election fraud, and former Trump lawyer John Eastman, turned themselves in Tuesday morning.
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