Former President Donald Trump’s bond set at $200,000 in Fulton County

The former president and 18 other defendants have until Friday to surrender to Fulton County authorities.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis had set a deadline of Friday for all 19 defendants in the Georgia election case to turn themselves in.
Published: Aug. 21, 2023 at 2:09 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 21, 2023 at 11:12 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - A $200,000 bond agreement was reached Monday for former President Donald Trump as part of last week’s sweeping Fulton County indictment.

On Monday afternoon, Drew Findling, one of Trump’s Atlanta-based attorneys, was seen walking into the Fulton County courthouse. A CBS news correspondent also reported Findling and Trump’s two other local attorneys — Jennifer Little and Marissa Goldberg — entered Fulton County DA Fani Willis’ office around 2:15 pm.

Trump’s bond includes an $80,000 charge for allegedly violating Georgia’s Racketeering and Organized Crime Act, and $10,000 each for 12 additional charges.

Also on Monday, a $100,000 bond agreement was reached for John Eastman, one of Trump’s attorneys, and Kenneth Chesebro, whose bond agreement was also set at $100,000.

“It was a pretty good process, and we look forward to moving forward past all of this,” Chesebro’s attorney told reporters Monday afternoon.

A former dean of Chapman University law school in Southern California, Eastman was deeply involved in some of his efforts to remain in power after the 2020 election. He wrote a memo arguing that Trump could remain in power if then-Vice President Mike Pence overturned the results of the election during a joint session of Congress where electoral votes would be counted. That plan included putting in place a slate of “alternate” electors in seven battleground states, including Georgia, who would falsely certify that Trump had won their states.

Prosecutors have said Chesebro, also an attorney, worked with Georgia Republicans in the weeks after the November 2020 election at the direction of Trump’s campaign. Chesebro, they say, worked on the coordination and execution of a plan to have 16 Georgia Republicans sign a certificate declaring falsely that Trump won and declaring themselves the state’s “duly elected and qualified” electors.

“It was a pretty good process and we look forward to moving forward past all this, you know, turning in, bond, etc. etc., getting to trial and laying out our defenses,” Scott Grubman, Chesebro’s attorney, said outside the courthouse on Monday. “I would expect a lot of defendants would waive arraignment. We haven’t had that exact talk with our client so I can’t tell you what we’ll do. but I would expect that probably most if not even all the defendants will waive arraignment. Obviously, I can’t speak for them.”

A $10,000 bond agreement was also reached Monday for Scott Graham Hall, the Atlanta-area bail bondsman who was allegedly involved in commandeering voting information that was the property of Dominion Voting Systems from Coffee County in south Georgia.

Ray Smith III, another defendant in the case, also reached a bond agreement of $50,000. A Georgia-based lawyer, Smith was involved in multiple lawsuits challenging the results of the 2020 election in Georgia. He also gathered witnesses to provide testimony before Georgia legislative subcommittee hearings held in December 2020 on alleged issues with the state’s election.

These are the first reported bond agreements that have been reached in the case. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee, who has been assigned the cases, has signed both bond agreements.

All of the bond agreements reached so far include RICO charges, and those bond fees are higher than any of the other charges.

Associate Visiting Professor at Emory Law School, John Acevedo, says the bond agreements will help streamline the booking process.

“So almost everyone who’s going to surrender here in Georgia will have a bond agreement in place, if possible. And the reason for that is that they don’t have to wait to go before a Magistrate judge to have their bail bond set. So here it’s pre-set. It’s a preset amount. But the defense will still have to show up in Atlanta, in Fulton County, to go through the booking process,” Acevedo said.

In a consent bond process, attorneys on behalf of their clients tell the state why they believe their defendant is eligible for bond. Those factors include the type of charges, whether the defendant is a flight risk and whether they’d intimidate any person or talk to any co-defendants.

If the judge decides to favor bond, the state and the defendant enter terms of agreement, which the judge must approve.

Trump and 18 others were charged last Monday with 41 counts tied to efforts to overturn Georgia’s 2020 election. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has given Trump and the others named in the indictment until Friday of this week to surrender.

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