Former President Donald Trump says he will present himself to Georgia authorities Thursday to face indictment in a case alleging he illegally plotted to reverse his 2020 election defeat in the state.
“Can you believe that? I will be traveling to Atlanta, Georgia on Thursday to be arrested,” Trump wrote on his social network Monday night, hours after his bail was set at $200,000.
It is Trump's fourth arrest since April, when he became the first former president in US history to be impeached. Since then, Trump, who remains the front runner for the Republican presidential nomination, has endured a seemingly endless series of allegations and indictments in judicial districts across the country. His performances in New York, Florida and Washington, DC drew tremendous media attention, with news helicopters following his every move.
Trump's announcement came hours after his attorneys met with prosecutors in Atlanta to discuss the details of his release on bail. According to the bail agreement signed by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, Trump's defense attorneys and the judge, the former president is barred from intimidating any co-defendants, witnesses or victims in the case — including on social media. This expressly includes “posts on social media or reposts of posts” created by others.
Trump has repeatedly used social media to attack those involved in the criminal proceedings against him during his campaign to retake the White House in 2024. He has lashed out at Willis even before his indictment, highlighting Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp as a Republican who rebuffed his efforts to overturn the election — notably in a social media post Monday morning.
The agreement also prohibits the former president from making “direct or indirect threats of any kind” against witnesses or co-defendants and from communicating with them about the facts in any way, except through attorneys.
The order sets Trump's bail for the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) charge at $80,000 and adds $10,000 for each of the 12 other charges he faces. Bail is the amount that defendants are required to pay as security to ensure they appear at the required court dates.
Willis gave Trump and his 18 co-defendants until noon on Friday to face charges. The prosecutor has proposed that the indictment of the defendants should follow in the week of September 5th. She has said she wants to try the accused together and bring the case to trial in March next year, which would bring him into debate around the presidential nomination season.
A Trump spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the filing. A phone message was also left for comment to an attorney for the former President.
Trump's appearance in Georgia will come a day after the first Republican primary debate, which he missed.
He is expected to appear in the Fulton County Jail, which has been troubled for a long time. The Justice Department last month launched a civil rights inquiry into prison conditions, citing dirty cells, violence and the death last year of a man whose body was found covered in insects in the psychiatric wing of the main prison. Three people have died in Fulton County custody in the past month.
The Fulton County Sheriff's Office said in a press release Monday afternoon that if Trump surrenders, there will be a “hard lockdown” around the jail area.
However, Trump is not expected to spend much time there.
When suspects arrive at the building, they usually go through security before checking in in the lobby for formal booking. During the booking process, suspects are typically photographed, fingerprinted and asked to provide certain personal information. With Trump's bail already set, he will be released from custody once the booking process is complete.
Unlike other jurisdictions, arraignments in Fulton County—when a defendant first appears in court—are typically determined after the defendant's booking process is complete and do not occur on the same day.
Booking a former president who is still under 24/7 protection by Secret Service has created myriad security and logistical problems in other jurisdictions.
In his previous appearances in New York state court and federal courts in Miami and Washington, Trump was not handcuffed during his incarceration. He also didn't have to pose for a mugshot, instead officials used existing photos of the former president.
Georgia officials said Trump is treated like other people accused of crimes in their state.
“Unless someone tells me otherwise, we are following our normal practices and regardless of your status, we have a mug shot ready for you,” Fulton County Sheriff Patrick Labat said at a news conference earlier this month.
Trump was indicted last week in the case along with a number of allies who prosecutors said were conspiring to undermine the will of voters in a desperate attempt to keep the Republican in the White House after beating the Democrat Joe Biden had lost.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing, describing the case – and the three others he faces – as attempts to harm his 2024 presidential campaign. He has regularly used his Truth Social platform to single out prosecutors and others involved in his cases and continued to spread the falsehood that the 2020 election was stolen from him.
In a post Monday, Trump called the Fulton County District Attorney “crooked, incompetent and extremely partisan.” He also attacked Kemp, whom he had long targeted over the governor's refusal to intervene after the 2020 election. Kemp staunchly opposed Trump, writing on social media last week: “The 2020 Georgia election was not stolen.”
Bond was also charged on Monday with three lawyers charged alongside Trump. Bail for the RICO charges has been set at $20,000 for each of them, with varying amounts for the other charges they face. John Eastman and Kenneth Chesebro each had bail of $100,000, while Ray Smith's bail is $50,000.
Bail bondsman Scott Hall, who was accused of involvement in a theft of voting equipment in rural Coffee County, had bail set at $10,000.
Other defendants include former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows; Trump's attorney and former Mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani, and a Trump administration Justice Department official, Jeffrey Clark, who supported the then-president's efforts to make amends for his Georgia election defeat.
The indictment against Georgia came just two weeks after the Justice Department's special counsel indicted Trump in another count of a grand conspiracy to overthrow the election. In addition to the two election-related cases, Trump faces a federal indictment alleging that he illegally hoarded classified documents and a case in New York state alleging that he falsified business records.
Associated Press reporters Kate Brumback, Jeff Amy, and Russ Bynum contributed.