Former President Donald Trump's mug shot and booking at the Fulton County Jail has sparked a fundraising frenzy for his campaign, with a total of $7.1 million raised so far. The campaign wasted no time in capitalizing on the viral mug shot, selling merchandise emblazoned with the image and emphasizing that Trump will "never surrender." Items such as shirts and bumper stickers ranged in price from $12 to $34, and on Friday alone, the campaign pulled in a staggering $4.18 million.
Not only did Trump's mug shot generate a windfall for his campaign, but it also marked his highly anticipated return to X, formerly known as Twitter. The former president posted the historic image on his account, using it to further boost his appeal to voters as a martyr. Trump's tweet, which included the mug shot and the words "election interference" and "never surrender," was his first post since January 8, 2021, and his first since his account was reinstated by X owner Elon Musk in November 2022.
Trump's booking at the Fulton County Jail on Thursday came after he was hit with 13 counts by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis for alleged tampering in the 2020 Georgia election. The former president has vehemently denied any wrongdoing and described the booking as a "terrible experience" during an interview with Newsmax. Trump expressed his surprise at having to take a mug shot, jokingly remarking that they didn't teach him that at the Wharton School of Finance.
This is not the first time Trump has turned his legal troubles into a lucrative campaign opportunity. After his first indictment in Manhattan for alleged hush money payments, the campaign boasted a $5 million haul in just 48 hours. Interestingly, despite facing a mounting number of legal woes, Trump's popularity within the GOP appears to be solidifying. He currently holds a 41-point lead in the 2024 primary, up from around 15 points before his first indictment, according to the latest RealClearPolitics aggregate. In total, Trump is facing a staggering 91 counts, including a 34-count indictment in Manhattan, a 40-count indictment for hoarding classified documents, and a four-count indictment for alleged election subversion. He has pleaded not guilty in the first three cases and has maintained his innocence in the Fulton County matter.
Trump's booking photo, released by the Fulton County Sheriff's Office, made history as it was the first time a mug shot had been taken of a former president. The image showed Trump standing against a gray background, with his hair listed as "blond or strawberry," a height of 6 feet 3 inches, and a weight of 215 pounds. He was given the identification number P01135809. Trump turned himself in at the Fulton County jail in Atlanta on Thursday evening and was released on a $200,000 bond less than 30 minutes later. The bond, which required him to put up 10% or $20,000, was meant to ensure his appearance at court hearings.
The date of Trump's arraignment, where he will enter a plea, is yet to be determined. However, District Attorney Fani Willis has suggested that all 19 individuals charged in the case regarding the 2020 election be arraigned during the week of September. Trump, maintaining his innocence, stated that he and his team did nothing wrong and had every right to challenge what they believed to be a dishonest election.
While Trump is facing legal battles on multiple fronts, including federal and state charges, it appears that many voters are concerned about these legal issues overshadowing the 2024 election. A recent Politico Magazine/Ipsos poll revealed that 61% of voters want the federal election subversion case to take place before the 2024 election, and 62% want the document case to be resolved before then.
Despite the challenges and controversies surrounding him, Donald Trump continues to be a prominent figure within the Republican Party and a force to be reckoned with in the 2024 primary race. His ability to turn legal troubles into fundraising triumphs attests to his resilience and loyal base of supporters. As the legal battles unfold, the political landscape will undoubtedly be shaped by the outcome of these cases and the impact they have on Trump's future ambitions.
themes: Donald Trump Elon Musk Georgia