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Donald Trump's Bond Is Set at $200,000 in Georgia Case Over Efforts to Overturn 2020 Election
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By Associated Press
Published 8 months ago on
August 21, 2023

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Donald Trump’s bond has been set at $200,000 ahead of his surrender to authorities in the Georgia case accusing the former president of illegally scheming to overturn his 2020 election loss, according to court papers filed Monday.

Trump, who is facing a Friday deadline to turn himself in, is also barred from intimidating co-defendants, witnesses or victims in the case — including on social media — according to the bond agreement signed by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, Trump’s defense attorneys and the judge. It explicitly includes “posts on social media or reposts of posts” made by others.

Trump has repeatedly used social media to attack people involved in the criminal cases against him as he campaigns to reclaim the White House in 2024. He has been railing against Willis since before he was indicted, and singled out Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp — a Republican who rebuffed his efforts to overturn the election — by name in a social media post Monday morning.

The Agreement

The agreement prohibits the former president from making any “direct or indirect threat of any nature” against witnesses or co-defendants, and from communicating in any way about the facts of the case with them, except through attorneys.

The order sets Trump’s bond for the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations — or RICO — charge at $80,000, and adds $10,000 for each of the 12 other counts he is facing. Bond is the amount defendants must pay as a form of collateral to ensure they show up in court ahead of trial.

Willis has set a deadline of noon Friday for Trump and his 18 co-defendants to turn themselves in to be booked. The prosecutor has proposed that arraignments for the defendants follow during the week of Sept. 5. She has said she wants to try the defendants collectively, and bring the case to trial in March of next year, which would put it in the heat of the presidential nominating season.

Booking Process

In Fulton County, when defendants are not in custody, their lawyers and the district attorney’s office will often work out a bond amount before arraignment and the judge will sign off on it. The defendants will generally be booked at the Fulton County jail. During the booking process, they are typically photographed and fingerprinted and then they provide certain personal information. Since Trump’s bond has already been set, he will be released from custody once the booking process is complete.

A Trump spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A phone message seeking comment was also left for an attorney for the former president.

Trump was charged last week in the case alongside a slew of allies, who prosecutors say conspired to subvert the will of voters in a desperate bid to keep the Republican in the White House after he lost to Democrat Joe Biden.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing, and he characterizes the case — and three others he is facing — as efforts to hurt his 2024 presidential campaign. He has regularly used his Truth Social platform to single out prosecutors and others involved in his cases, and to continue to spread falsehoods that the 2020 election was stolen from him.

In a post on Monday, Trump called the Fulton County district attorney “crooked, incompetent, & highly partisan.” He also attacked Kemp, whom he has long targeted for the governor’s refusal to intervene after the 2020 election. Kemp has been outspoken in pushing back against Trump, writing in social media last week: “The 2020 election in Georgia was not stolen.”

Bond for Other Defendants

Bond was also set Monday for three lawyers who were indicted along with Trump. For each of them, the bond for the RICO charge was set at $20,000, with varying amounts for the other charges they face. John Eastman and Kenneth Chesebro each had a bond set at $100,000.

Bail bondsman Scott Hall, who was accused of participating in a breach of election equipment in rural Coffee County, had his bond set at $10,000. Another defendant, Georgia-based attorney Ray Smith, has been assessed a $50,000 bond. Smith is charged with helping organize fake electors for Trump and trying to sway Georgia lawmakers with false statements alleging election fraud.

Other defendants include former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows; Trump attorney and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and a Trump administration Justice Department official, Jeffrey Clark, who aided the then-president’s efforts to undo his election loss in Georgia.

The Georgia indictment comes just two weeks after the Justice Department special counsel charged Trump in a separate case in a vast conspiracy to overturn the election. Besides the two election-related cases, Trump faces a federal indictment accusing him of illegally hoarding classified documents as well as a New York state case charging him with falsifying business records.

 

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