Donald Trump will be booked, photographed at Fulton jail if indicted: sheriff

The eyes of the nation are on Fulton County ahead of DA Fani Willis’ expected indictments of the nation’s 45th president.
“If an indictment came today, we would be ready.”
Published: Aug. 2, 2023 at 10:26 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 2, 2023 at 10:28 AM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat said Tuesday if former President Donald Trump is indicted by District Attorney Fani Willis, he will be booked, photographed and processed at the county jail on Rice Street.

Labat made the comments during a Tuesday afternoon news conference, in which he highlighted his department’s preparations ahead of the expected - and unprecedented in American history - indictments.

“We are following our normal practices, so it doesn’t matter your status, we have a mug shot ready for you,” Labat told media. “We’ll follow our normal practices and those who take mug shots will subsequent to open records requests like everyone else.”

Fulton County Sheriff says preparations underway for possible Trump indictment, community response

The Fulton County jail has come under intense scrutiny over the last several months because of its allegedly deplorable conditions. It is also the target of a U.S. Department of Justice civil investigation.

Security barriers have been set up around the Fulton County courthouse ahead of what Willis has promised to be an “historical decision” coming perhaps this month regarding her investigation into Trump’s alleged attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Tuesday’s news conference came one day after Willis shared an email with Atlanta News First on a racist, threatening email that she said was only an example of other correspondences she has received.

Also on Tuesday, Trump was indicted again by the federal government he once oversaw, this time, on allegations he attempted to overturn his legally certified defeat to Democrat Joe Biden in 2020. The indictment is the third criminal case brought against the nation’s 45th president.

Two years ago, Willis opened a criminal investigation “into attempts to influence the administration of the 2020 Georgia General Election.”

A special grand jury with subpoena power was seated in May 2022. In court filings, she alleged “a multi-state, coordinated plan by the Trump campaign to influence the results of the November 2020 election in Georgia and elsewhere,” a contest that eventually saw Joe Biden become the first Democrat to win Georgia since Bill Clinton in 1992.

Trump had zeroed in on the county after he lost Georgia by a slim margin in the November 2020 general election. In phone calls to state election officials and in public comments, Trump made claims of widespread election fraud in Fulton.

Actions he took as he tried to overturn his election loss, including a phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, led Willis to open an ongoing investigation into whether Trump and others illegally meddled in the state’s election.

In a late April letter, Willis warned Labat of “charging decisions” coming this summer in connection with her investigation. In that same letter, she notified Fulton County deputies she will announce charges from her investigation sometime between July 11 and Sept. 1.

On May 2, Willis said she is planning to make a “historical decision” this summer regarding her investigation. Later that month, she sent a letter to the Fulton County Superior Court, in which the DA notified Glanville her office plans to work remotely during the first three weeks of August and asking no trials be scheduled during that time.

“If an indictment came today, we would be ready,” Labat said Tuesday. “We look forward to an opportunity to show the world that we are ready.”

Fulton County law enforcement officials also were present in New York City and Miami when Trump’s other indictments were announced.

In March, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg charged Trump with alleged hush money payments made to porn actress Stephanie Clifford and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, whom he feared would go public with claims that they had extramarital sexual encounters with him.

One day before his 77th birthday, Trump appeared in Miami at the Wilkie D. Ferguson federal courthouse for his arraignment after an indictment listed 37 charges alleging the mishandling of classified documents. Trump’s arraignment made him the first ex-president in American history to be indicted on criminal charges by the federal government he once oversaw.

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