Trump, Meadows surrender to arrest in Fulton County, Georgia

Shortly before 7:45 p.m. local time, ex-President Donald Trump surrendered to arrest at the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta, Georgia. Trump, booked as inmate No. P01135809, is facing 13 felony charges and is accused of engaging in a “criminal enterprise” to overturn the 2020 election, along with 18 other co-conspirators. Among his co-defendants are former White House Chief of Staff and congressman Mark Meadows and former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

Ex-President Donald Trump’s mugshot on August 24, 2023. [Photo: Fulton County sheriff's office]

As of this writing, 12 of the 19 defendants in the case brought by Georgia District Attorney Fani Willis have turned themselves in. Prior to Trump’s booking, Meadows turned himself in and was released on a $100,000 bond.

Mugshot of former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. [Photo: Fulton County sheriff's office]

The treatment of Meadows shows the strictly limited character of the Georgia investigation, as well as the federal investigation by Special Counsel Jack Smith in Washington, which indicted only Trump while naming Meadows as an unindicted co-conspirator. Neither in Atlanta nor in Washington was there any mention of a very prominent link between Meadows and the “fake elector” schemes run in Georgia and six other “battleground” states after the 2020 election.

It was Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who texted Meadows constantly over the scheme and implored state legislators in many states to appoint pro-Trump electors. Virginia Thomas sent out dozens of emails to these state legislators in an effort to overturn the results of the 2020 elections by inducing Republican-controlled legislatures to approve Trump electors and send their names to Washington, rather than the names of the Biden electors actually chosen by the voters.

Virginia Thomas was not mentioned in either indictment, nor is she one of the unnamed unindicted co-conspirators, since she does not fit the descriptions offered by the prosecutors. She also went unmentioned in the report of the House Select Committee into the January 6 attack. This silence is a demonstration of the efforts of the Democratic Party and the Biden administration to focus the investigation on Trump and his immediate circle, while protecting wider sections of the Republican Party and the military-intelligence apparatus.

On Thursday, Harrison Floyd, the former director of Black Voice for Trump, also surrendered at the jail. Floyd did not have a previous bond agreement and is still being held inside the jail. Floyd was charged earlier this year with assaulting an FBI agent. According to CNN this past May, Floyd shoved the agent as the FBI was attempting to serve him with a subpoena to appear before a federal grand jury in Washington D.C.

This is the fourth time this year that Trump, the Republican front-runner for president, has been indicted on criminal charges, although this is the first time a “mug shot” was taken. Within minutes of his mug shot being released, the Trump campaign blasted the image to his email list requesting donations.

Prior to Trump’s numerous indictments, no US president had ever been criminally charged. Of course, prior to Trump, no US president, with the support of his party and vast sections of the police-military-intelligence apparatus and US Supreme Court, had ever launched a coup that culminated in a fascist mob storming the US Capitol.

The Fulton County Jail, where Trump was briefly booked, is currently under a Justice Department investigation over its deplorable and inhumane conditions. A recent investigation by Business Insider found that in just over the past three years, “23 people died in custody at the jail, peaking at four deaths in one week and two deaths in one day.”

Last September, revolting images emerged from inside the jail showing the corpse of LaShawn Thompson riddled with bugs and lesions. Thompson, who had not been convicted of a crime when he was left to rot inside his cell last year, was one of 14 inmates who died inside of Fulton County jail in 2022.

Lashawn Thompson after spending three months in Fulton County Jail. [Photo: Michael D. Harper, Esq]

While Thompson, who was only accused of a misdemeanor, was left inside a bug-infested cell for months after he was arrested, Trump, facing multiple felonies that culminated in the deaths of several people on January 6, 2021, only spent approximately 22 minutes inside the jail. After getting his fingerprints and mug shot taken, Trump returned to his motorcade, which used a back entrance to enter and exit the facility, departing as quickly as it came.

By 8:30 p.m., Trump was already back on his plane heading home to his estate in New Jersey. In campaign rallies and on social media, Trump constantly complains about a “two-tiered” justice system. However, the lightning speed with which Trump was processed through the notorious Fulton County Jail is a testament to the real “two-tier” class-based justice system in the US.

Trump’s arrest was anything but the “normal” dehumanizing, degrading and deadly experience afforded to workers and their families. Seeking to maximize political publicity, Trump’s campaign coordinated with the Fulton County District Attorney’s office to ensure his booking took place during “prime time” television viewing. Throughout the afternoon and evening, the major television networks breathlessly reported Trump’s movements and social media posts. After Trump landed in Atlanta, reporters from the networks embedded themselves in Trump’s extensive motorcade, which featured dozens of police officers lining the street to the jail, along with a motorcycle and black SUV convoy/escort.

Despite Trump’s repeated calls for protests outside the jail, only a few dozen fanatical fascists braved the scorching Georgia sun for a glimpse of their leader. Among them were failed Florida congressional candidate Laura Loomer and current Georgia Representative and QAnon advocate Marjorie Taylor Greene.

Before departing for New Jersey after his booking, Trump gave a brief interview on the tarmac. While careful to avoid violating the conditions of his bond, Trump railed against the prosecution, claiming that it was a “travesty of justice” and “election interference.” As he does in every interview and campaign speech, Trump claimed that 2020 election was “rigged” and “stolen” and that he did “nothing wrong.”

Earlier Thursday it was revealed that Trump had hired a new local lawyer, Steve Sadow, to head his criminal defense in Atlanta. Sadow has previously defended high-profile rappers, such as Usher, Rick Ross, T.I. and Gunna, the latter of whom recently faced a RICO case in Fulton County. In a statement issued Thursday, Sadow said that Trump should have “never been indicted” and that he was “innocent against all the charges brought against him.”

Prior to his booking, Trump attacked “radical left, lowlife” District Attorney Willis and boasted of the claimed millions of views his pre-recorded interview with Tucker Carlson accumulated on Twitter/X. In his interview with the fascistic former Fox News commentator, Trump doubled down on his attacks against his political opponents, referring to the Democrats as “savage animals” that are “sick.”

Asked by Carlson if he thought America was “moving towards civil war?” Trump replied, “There is tremendous passion. There is tremendous love.” Defending the failed coup, Trump called January 6 “a very interesting day” that was “not reported properly.”

Trump mused, “There was love in that crowd. There was love! And unity. I have never seen such spirit and such passion and such love. And I have also never seen simultaneously and from the same people such hatred of what they have done to our country.”

Pressed by Carlson if he thought “open conflict” was possible, Trump added, “I don’t know. ... I can say this. There is a level of passion I have never seen, there is a level of hatred that I have never seen. And that is probably a bad combination.”