A scowling Donald Trump posed for a mug shot Thursday as he surrendered inside a jail in Atlanta on charges that he illegally schemed to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia, creating a historic and humbling visual underscoring the former president’s escalating legal troubles.
Fulton County Jail
The booking photo instantly becomes part of the former president’s legacy as he confronts criminal charges in four American cities while seeking to reclaim the White House. His aides swiftly seized on the image, fundraising off the first mug shot in American history of a former president as representative of the unfair 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.
Trump was released on $200,000 bond and headed back to the airport for his return flight home to New Jersey, flashing a thumbs-up through the window of his sport utility vehicle as his motorcade left. Unrepentant but subdued after the brief jail visit, he again insisted that he “did nothing wrong” and called the case accusing him of subverting election results a “travesty of justice.”
“If you challenge an election, you should be able to challenge an election,” he told reporters on the airport tarmac before boarding his plane.
Trump’s surrender to law enforcement authorities, the fourth time this year, has become by now a familiar election-season routine in a way that belies the unprecedented spectacle of a former president, and current candidate, being booked on criminal charges. But his visit to Atlanta was notably different from the three past surrenders, unfolding at night and requiring him to visit a problem-plagued jail — rather than a courthouse.
And unlike in other cities that did not require him to pose for a mug shot, a booking photo of him was taken. It depicts Trump, wearing a navy suit and red tie, angrily scowling at the camera, his brows furrowed as he stares into the lens.
Before Trumps plane had crossed North Carolina, his campaign was already using the image to solicit contributions on a fundraising site. And for the first time since Jan. 8, 2021, he made a post on X, the website formerly known as Twitter, making a fundraising plea on the platform that prevented him from using his account after he helped spark the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
“This mugshot will forever go down in history as a symbol of America’s defiance of tyranny,” said a Trump campaign fundraising email.
He also called into conservative TV channel Newsmax to talk about what he said had been “a very sad day for our country.”