Advertisement

Georgia election case updates: Giuliani booked and released

The 19 defendants charged by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis for their alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia are in the process of negotiating their bond terms and surrendering to be processed and released from the Fulton County Jail prior to the Friday deadline set by the district attorney.

Former President Donald Trump, whose bail was set by a judge at $200,000, is expected to surrender to authorities on Thursday.


Latest Developments


Aug 23, 7:06 PM

Willis says she had 'a duty and a responsibility to bring charges'


Speaking on a local Atlanta radio show, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis defended her decision to bring the sprawling racketeering case, arguing that the case is an even-handed application of the law.

"There's really nothing sexy about this," Willis told Atlanta Up Close's Maria Boynton. "There's allegations of a crime, and then to look at the law and if the facts bear out that the law has been broken, then we have a duty and a responsibility to bring charges."

The DA also said that recent threats made against her will not deter her from pursuing her case against the former president and his co-defendants.

"In the words of Jay-Z, brush my shoulders off and we just keep pushing," Willis said. "That is not going to deter me from doing my job."

PHOTO: FILE - Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, talks with a member of her team in Fulton County, Ga., May 2, 2022. (Ben Gray/AP, FILE)
PHOTO: FILE - Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, talks with a member of her team in Fulton County, Ga., May 2, 2022. (Ben Gray/AP, FILE)

Willis described the process of determining defendants' bond amounts as "literally just plugging things in" to a formula based on factors related to a defendant's flight risk. She also reiterated her past statement about the requirement for all defendants to surrender for processing by Friday at noon.

"Should people fail to turn themselves in, then a warrant will be filed on the system, and they'll have to be arrested," she said.

Of the 19 defendants, 15 have negotiated their bond packages and nine have subsequently been booked and released.


Aug 23, 6:12 PM

Judge denies Meadows' motion to move case to federal court

A federal judge has denied former Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows' emergency motion seeking removal of his Fulton County case to federal court.

The judge also denied Meadows' bid to prevent his arrest.

"While Meadows' imminent arrest may present an actual injury, there are strong countervailing reasons to not enjoin the state criminal proceedings," the judge said in the ruling.

Meadows last week filed a motion to move his case on the basis of a federal law that he argued requires the removal of criminal proceedings brought in state court to the federal court system when someone is charged for actions they allegedly took as a federal official acting "under color" of their office.

"The Court determines that, the clear statutory language for removing a criminal prosecution, does not support an injunction or temporary stay prohibiting District Attorney Willis' enforcement or execution of the arrest warrant against Meadows," the judge said in denying the motion.

Former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark and former Georgia GOP chair David Shafer have also filed motions seeking to move their cases into federal court.


Aug 23, 6:03 PM

Chesebro files request for a speedy trial


Attorney Kenneth Chesebro, one of the 19 defendants charged in the DA's indictment, has filed a request for a speedy trial -- a development that a RICO expert says could have a "massive" impact on the case.

Chris Timmons, a former Georgia prosecutor who is an expert on Georgia racketeering laws -- which are known as RICO for short -- tells ABC News that when a defendant files a speedy trial demand, they have to be tried within a certain amount of time, or they are acquitted by law.

Though it's not immediately clear what the exact effect will be in this case, Timmons said that many of the defendants won't be ready for trial that quickly, meaning the case could end up having multiple trials.

"That completely changes the strategy of this trial," Timmons said.

Referring to his time as a prosecutor, Timmons said, "We used to view [speedy trial requests] as a declaration of war. It means you are ready to go now."

Cheseboro, a former Trump-aligned attorney, faces seven counts in the indictment, which alleges that he outlined "multiple strategies for disrupting and delaying the joint session of Congress on January 6, 2021."


Aug 23, 5:40 PM

Judge denies Clark's motion for emergency stay

United States District Court Judge Steve Jones has denied Jeffrey Clark's motion for an emergency stay in his case.

Clark, a former Justice Department official, had sought an emergency stay of the Fulton County proceedings, including his arrest warrant, until after Labor Day, so a judge could rule on his motion to remove his case to federal court.

Clark, in a separate motion, is seeking to remove his case to federal court on the basis that he was serving as a high-ranking DOJ official during the timeframe alleged in the DA's indictment. Former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows and former Georgia GOP chair David Shafer have also filed similar motions.

Clark is accused in the indictment of urging senior DOJ officials to falsely tell Georgia state officials that the DOJ had "identified significant concerns" about the tabulation of election returns in the state.


Aug 23, 6:18 PM

Mug shots released of Giuliani, Powell, Ellis


The Fulton County Sheriff's Office has released mug shots of three of the attorneys who prosecutors say helped lead the efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia.

Authorities released mug shots taken of former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Trump campaign lawyers Sydney Powell and Jenna Ellis.

All three were processed at the Fulton County Jail and released on bail.

PHOTO: Rudy Giuliani is seen in a mugshot provided by the Fulton County Sheriff's Office in Georgia, Aug. 23, 2023. (Fulton County Sheriff's Office via Reuters)
PHOTO: Rudy Giuliani is seen in a mugshot provided by the Fulton County Sheriff's Office in Georgia, Aug. 23, 2023. (Fulton County Sheriff's Office via Reuters)
PHOTO: Sydney Powell is seen in a mugshot provided by the Fulton County Sheriff's Office in Georgia, Aug. 23, 2023. (Fulton County Sheriff's Office via Reuters)
PHOTO: Sydney Powell is seen in a mugshot provided by the Fulton County Sheriff's Office in Georgia, Aug. 23, 2023. (Fulton County Sheriff's Office via Reuters)
PHOTO: Jenna Ellis is seen in a mugshot provided by the Fulton County Sheriff's Office in Georgia, Aug. 23, 2023. (Fulton County Sheriff's Office)
PHOTO: Jenna Ellis is seen in a mugshot provided by the Fulton County Sheriff's Office in Georgia, Aug. 23, 2023. (Fulton County Sheriff's Office)


Aug 23, 4:38 PM

Mug shots released of first 6 defendants processed

Authorities have released mug shots of the first six defendants to surrender in the election interference case.

The Fulton County Sheriff's Office released mug shots taken of attorneys John Eastman and Kenneth Chesebro, former Georgia GOP chair David Shafer, former Coffee County GOP chair Cathy Latham, Georgia lawyer Ray Smith III and Georgia bail bondsman Scott Hall.

All six have been processed at the Fulton County Jail and released on bail.

PHOTO: John Eastman is seen in a mugshot provided by the Fulton County Sheriff's Office in Georgia, Aug. 22, 2023. (Fulton County Sheriff's Office)
PHOTO: John Eastman is seen in a mugshot provided by the Fulton County Sheriff's Office in Georgia, Aug. 22, 2023. (Fulton County Sheriff's Office)
PHOTO: Kenneth Chesebro is seen in a mugshot provided by the Fulton County Sheriff's Office in Georgia, Aug. 23, 2023. (Fulton County Sheriff's Office)
PHOTO: Kenneth Chesebro is seen in a mugshot provided by the Fulton County Sheriff's Office in Georgia, Aug. 23, 2023. (Fulton County Sheriff's Office)
PHOTO: Cathleen Latham is seen in a mugshot provided by the Fulton County Sheriff's Office in Georgia, Aug. 23, 2023. (Fulton County Sheriff's Office)
PHOTO: Cathleen Latham is seen in a mugshot provided by the Fulton County Sheriff's Office in Georgia, Aug. 23, 2023. (Fulton County Sheriff's Office)
PHOTO: Cathy Latham is seen in a mugshot provided by the Fulton County Sheriff's Office in Georgia, Aug. 23, 2023. (Fulton County Sheriff's Office)
PHOTO: Cathy Latham is seen in a mugshot provided by the Fulton County Sheriff's Office in Georgia, Aug. 23, 2023. (Fulton County Sheriff's Office)
PHOTO: Ray Smith is seen in a mugshot provided by the Fulton County Sheriff's Office in Georgia, Aug. 23, 2023. (Fulton County Sheriff's Office)
PHOTO: Ray Smith is seen in a mugshot provided by the Fulton County Sheriff's Office in Georgia, Aug. 23, 2023. (Fulton County Sheriff's Office)
PHOTO: Scott Hall is seen in a mugshot provided by the Fulton County Sheriff's Office in Georgia, Aug. 22, 2023. (Fulton County Sheriff's Office)
PHOTO: Scott Hall is seen in a mugshot provided by the Fulton County Sheriff's Office in Georgia, Aug. 22, 2023. (Fulton County Sheriff's Office)


Aug 23, 4:12 PM

Willis opposes Meadows' motion to move case to federal court


Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has responded to Mark Meadows' emergency motion to prevent his arrest and remove his case to federal court, arguing that the former Trump chief of staff's arguments are "baseless and in direct contravention with the requirements of the law."

"In essence, the defendant's emergency motion is a plea to this Court to prevent the defendant from being arrested on the charges lawfully brought by the State of Georgia," the response said, highlighting that Meadows had previously requested additional time to surrender on two occasions.

Willis argued that Meadows' removal motion only entitles him to an evidentiary hearing, which is already set for August 28; otherwise, criminal proceedings in the case, including his surrender, can continue as planned, the response said.

Meadows last week filed a motion to move his case on the basis of a federal law that he argued requires the removal of criminal proceedings brought in state court to the federal court system when someone is charged for actions they allegedly took as a federal official acting "under color" of their office.

Among other allegations, the DA's indictment says Meadows traveled to Cobb County Center and "attempted to observe the signature match audit being performed by law enforcement officers and officials from the Georgia Secretary of State despite the fact that the process was not open to the public" and that he sent a text message to a state investigator on Dec. 27, 2020, asking if there was a way to "speed up" results ahead of Jan. 6, "in furtherance of the conspiracy."


Aug 23, 3:35 PM

DA opposes Jeffrey Clark's motion for emergency stay

District Attorney Fani Willis is contesting former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark's request for an emergency stay of the Fulton County proceedings.

Clark had filed a motion in federal court Tuesday seeking an emergency stay of the proceedings, including his arrest warrant, until after Labor Day, so a judge could rule on his motion to remove his case to federal court.

In a filing today, Willis wrote that Clark "seeks to avoid the inconvenience and unpleasantness of being arrested ... but provides this court with no legal basis to justify those ends."

Clark has filed a separate motion seeking to remove his case to federal court on the basis that he was serving as a high-ranking DOJ official during the timeframe alleged in the DA's indictment. Former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows and former Georgia GOP chair David Shafer have also filed similar motions.

Clark is accused in the indictment of making false statements to senior DOJ officials "urging the officials to let him convey the false information to Georgia State Officials" that the DOJ had "identified significant concerns that may have impacted the outcome of the election in multiple states, including the State of Georgia."


Aug 23, 3:13 PM

Giuliani surrenders for processing

Former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani has surrendered at the Fulton County Jail for processing, according to online records.

Bail for the former New York City mayor was set at $150,000 earlier Wednesday.

He faces 13 counts related to efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia.


Aug 23, 3:01 PM

Trump attorney Sidney Powell surrenders to authorities

Trump attorney Sidney Powell has surrendered to authorities at the Fulton County Jail for processing, according to the jail's official website.

Powell faces 16 counts in the DA's indictment, including two counts of conspiracy to commit election fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit computer theft.

She is accused of conspiring with other co-defendants to commit election fraud by allegedly encouraging and helping people tamper with ballot markers and machines inside an elections office in Coffee County.

Powell's bail was set at $100,000 Wednesday morning.

Click here to read the rest of the blog.