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    Donald Trump surrenders in Georgia election interference case

    BEDMINSTER, New Jersey — Donald Trump is back in Bedminster, New Jersey, just one day after making history as the first former U.S. president to have his mugshot taken.

    The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office released Trump’s mugshot shortly after his surrender at the county jail on charges that he conspired with others to overturn the 2020 election in that state.

    His aides swiftly seized on the image, fundraising off the first mug shot in American history of a former president as representative of the persecution they contend Trump is encountering. His opponents, meanwhile, are likely to use it to remind voters of dangers in electing a president facing dozens of felony charges.

    The roughly 20-minute arrest and booking saw Trump fingerprinted, assigned an inmate number and later released on $200,000 bond. He headed back to the airport for his return flight home to New Jersey.

    Before boarding his plane, Trump insisted he had a right to challenge to the 2020 election, defending himself and the 18 indicted co-defendants.

    “We did nothing wrong at all. And you have every right, every single right to challenge an election that we think is dishonest,” he told reporters.

    Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is requesting an October 23 trial start date for all 19 co-defendants.

    This fast timeline comes after co-defendant Kenneth Chesboro made a formal demand for a speedy trial, which a judge granted. Trump’s team, however, has indicated that they’ll ask for a separate trial – at a later date.

    Prosecutors are also aiming for Trump to enter a plea at an arraignment in early September.

    It’s unclear if Trump would have to attend this in person.

    Shortly after the ordeal, the former president returned to X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter, firing off his first message in more than 2 1/2 years.

    He posted a photo of his mug shot and the words “Election interference. Never surrender!” along with a link to his website, which directs to a fundraising page.

    It was Trump’s first post since Jan. 8, 2021, when Twitter suspended his account indefinitely, citing fears he would incite additional violence following the deadly storming of the U.S. Capitol building. His account was reinstated last November shortly after Elon Musk took over the company. But Trump had refrained from tweeting, insisting that he was happier on his own Truth Social site, which he launched during the ban.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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