Former President Donald Trump has announced that he will surrender to authorities in Fulton County, Georgia, on Thursday after being indicted on charges related to his alleged efforts to overturn the outcome of the state's 2020 presidential election. In a post on his social media platform Truth Social, Trump criticized Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, calling the prosecution a "witch hunt" aimed at damaging his candidacy in the 2024 presidential election. He accused Willis of overseeing one of the greatest murder and violent crime disasters in American history. Trump is the leading Republican contender to challenge President Biden in 2024.
Trump and 18 others were indicted on state felony charges last week and have until noon on August 25 to turn themselves in to the Fulton County Jail. Trump's bond was set at $200,000, and he is prohibited from intimidating other defendants or witnesses in the case, including on social media. The Fulton County Sheriff's Office has announced that there will be a "hard lockdown" of the area around the jail when Trump surrenders.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who initiated the indictment after a two-year investigation into efforts to overturn Georgia's presidential election, has proposed that arraignments for all 19 defendants take place the week of September 5, with the trial starting in March 2024. Trump has denied any wrongdoing in the case and is facing charges including violating Georgia's racketeering law, making false statements and writings, and conspiring to commit forgery.
This is the fourth legal case that Trump is facing, with previous charges related to special counsel Jack Smith's investigations, his handling of sensitive government records in South Florida, and attempts to stop the transfer of presidential power in Washington, D.C. The Manhattan district attorney has also charged Trump with falsifying business records. Trump has pleaded not guilty in all three cases.
The Fulton County indictment differs slightly from the previous cases because cameras are allowed in Georgia courtrooms. State law permits proceedings to be photographed and televised if they're not disruptive, whereas electronic media coverage of criminal proceedings in federal courts is prohibited.
The Fulton County Sheriff's Office is currently investigating threats made against the grand jurors who returned the indictment against Trump and the 18 other defendants. The personal information of the grand jurors was shared online, leading to concerns for their safety. Law enforcement agencies are working together to track down the origins of the threats and ensure the safety of those involved in the case.
The indictment has sparked outrage on social media, with calls for violence against the grand jurors and District Attorney Fani Willis. Far-right platforms like 4chan have been particularly active in spreading these threats. It's worth noting that Georgia is an outlier when it comes to disclosing the names of grand jurors, as their names are typically kept secret in other states.
Trump's legal troubles continue to mount as he faces multiple charges at the state and federal levels. The former president has consistently denied any wrongdoing and has portrayed the cases as politically motivated attempts to undermine his future political ambitions.
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