(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – Former United States President Donald Trump has surrendered himself to authorities in the state of Georgia, where he faces criminal charges related to efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
The Republican leader flew down from his residence in Bedminster, New Jersey, to appear at the Fulton County jail on Thursday afternoon, less than a day ahead of his deadline to surrender.
Once inside, he was swiftly booked, a process that required Trump to have his mugshot taken, a first in US presidential history.
The process took approximately 20 minutes. Afterwards, Trump quickly disappeared into a motorcade waiting outside the jail. He had been released on a $200,000 bond agreement, the highest of all his co-defendants.
As he left the airport in Atlanta, Georgia, Trump issued a brief statement to reporters, denying wrongdoing and reiterating that he had the right to challenge his defeat in the 2020 election.
“We have every right – every single right – to challenge an election that we think is dishonest,” Trump said, offering a preview of his defence strategy.
He also turned the allegation of election meddling against the prosecutors, accusing them of trying to derail his 2024 bid for the presidency: “What they’re doing is election interference. They’re trying to interfere with an election.”
Trump is just one of 19 people charged in the Georgia election case, which alleges the existence of a criminal enterprise to override his defeat in the 2020 presidential race.
The former president is believed to be the 12th among the defendants to surrender to authorities.
All 19 defendants faced a deadline of Friday at noon local time (16:00 GMT) to turn themselves in. Since Tuesday, high-profile Trump allies have trickled into the Fulton County jail, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and lawyer Sidney Powell.