KC NEWS DESK
A historic Donald Trump’s criminal mug shot was released on Thursday evening after he was booked at an Atlanta jail on charges that he conspired to overturn the result of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. Like the other defendants in the case who have surrendered so far, the 77-year-old Trump had his mug shot taken during the booking process — a first for any serving or former US president.
An unsmiling Donald Trump – inmate no. P01135809, according to Fulton County Jail records – was captured glaring at the camera in the mug shot, news agency Reuters reported. The image represented yet another extraordinary moment for Trump, who did not have to submit to a photograph when making appearances in his three other criminal cases.
Trump, who had over 88 million followers when Twitter banned him, posted a photo on Thursday of the mug shot with the words: “ELECTION INTERFERENCE! NEVER SURRENDER!”
Twitter permanently suspended Trump’s account in January 2021, citing the risk of further incitement of violence following the storming of the US Capitol.
Trump spent only about 20 minutes at the jail before heading back to his New Jersey golf club. Before boarding his private plane at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport, he repeated his claim that the prosecution – along with the others he faces – is politically motivated.
Trump faces 13 felony counts in the Georgia case, including racketeering, which is typically used to target organised crime, for pressuring state officials to reverse his election loss and setting up an illegitimate slate of electors to undermine the formal congressional certification of Biden’s 2020 victory.
In the photograph released by the sheriff’s office, Trump scowled at the camera while dressed in a dark blue suit, white shirt and red tie.
Speaking to reporters after his arrest, Trump, the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, said it was a “very sad day for America”.
“What has taken place here is a travesty of justice,” Trump said. “I did nothing wrong.”
Trump posted the mug shot on his own Truth Social platform with the caption “Election Interference” and a link to his campaign website.
The Fulton County Jail listed his height as six foot three inches (1.9 meters), his weight as 215 pounds (97 kilograms) and his hair colour as “Blond or Strawberry.”
The billionaire has been criminally indicted four times since April, setting the stage for a year of unprecedented drama as he tries to juggle multiple court appearances and another White House campaign.
Trump was able to dodge having a mug shot taken during his previous arrests this year: in New York on charges of paying hush money to a porn star, in Florida for mishandling top secret government documents, and in Washington on charges of conspiring to upend his 2020 election loss to Democrat Joe Biden.
His arrest came one day after Trump spurned a televised debate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, featuring eight of his rivals for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination — all of whom lag well behind him in the polls.
He still stole the spotlight, though, with all but two of the candidates saying they would support him as the party’s nominee even if he were a convicted felon.
(With inputs from agencies)