For the fourth time this year, Donald Trump turned himself in to authorities after being indicted on criminal charges — but it was the first time the former president was required to pose for a mug shot.
Fulton County authorities publicly released Trump’s booking photo Thursday night after Trump voluntarily surrendered at an Atlanta jail Thursday on charges he broke state laws with his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia.
Wearing a navy suit and red tie, Trump displayed a scowl in the widely shared photo.
Trump had arrived at the Fulton County Jail around 7:30 p.m. Thursday, hours before the Friday deadline to voluntarily surrender that had been set by Fulton County District Attorney Fani T. Willis (D). Since early Thursday morning, a few dozen Trump supporters had been milling about outside the jail, waving pro-Trump flags and signs, just outside an entrance where officers had placed several metal barricades.
Security was tight: Fulton County Sheriff Patrick Labat had announced this week there would be a “hard lockdown” around the jail during Trump’s surrender, and the airspace above the jail was closed for more than two hours Thursday while the former president was being booked.
While he was inside the jail, away from cameras, Trump went through the same process as any other person would when surrendering: being fingerprinted and having his mug shot taken. Afterward, his booking photo was publicly released, just as any mug shots for criminal defendants in the state would be, when requested.
On Aug. 24, former president Donald Trump surrendered at Fulton County Jail in Atlanta for charges connected to 2020 election interference in Georgia. (Video: Blair Guild/The Washington Post)
The prospect of a former president’s booking photo leading newscasts was unprecedented. After each of Trump’s three previous indictments, authorities had not taken or released a mug shot, in part to avoid a spectacle and also because they acknowledged that there was little need for formal photo identification of the former president.
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After a New York grand jury indicted Trump in April, in a case stemming from alleged hush money payments to former adult-film actress Stormy Daniels, Trump’s campaign began selling T-shirts with a fake mug shot for $47, emblazoned with the words “NOT GUILTY.” The pretend mug shot showed Trump’s height on the lineup as 6-foot-5, two inches taller than Trump is in real life.
Even before Trump was arraigned, a former Trump White House spokesman declared that the booking photo would be the “most manly, most masculine, most handsome mug shot of all time.” However, Trump did not ultimately have a mug shot taken when he was arraigned in Manhattan.
In June, when Trump appeared in a federal courthouse in Miami to be arraigned on charges of mishandling classified documents, Trump was once again fingerprinted but did not get a mug shot. Alina Habba, an attorney and spokeswoman for Trump, said at the time that Trump “obviously” didn’t need to have a mug shot taken because he was not a flight risk and was the leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination.
When Trump appeared in a federal courthouse earlier this month in Washington to plead not guilty to charges that he plotted to overturn the 2020 election, Trump was again spared a mug shot, though he was fingerprinted for the third time.
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