Trump lawyer Giuliani surrenders, booked in Georgia election case

Prosecutors say the former New York City mayor sought to subvert state election results along with Trump and 17 others.

Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City and personal lawyer to ex-United States President Donald Trump, has been booked at a Georgia jail on charges related to efforts to overturn the state’s 2020 election results.

A mugshot of Rudy Giuliani with a seal for Fulton County's Sheriff in the background.
A mugshot was taken of Rudy Giuliani as he was booked in Fulton County, Georgia, on Wednesday [Fulton County Sheriff’s Office]

Giuliani flew from his home in New York City to Atlanta, Georgia, on Wednesday afternoon to surrender to authorities at a Fulton County jail.

He, Trump and 17 other co-conspirators were indicted last week on charges they conspired to subvert the 2020 presidential election by pressuring local officials, making false statements and seeking to defraud the state, including by tampering with voting machines.

But Giuliani struck a defiant note before as he prepared to turn himself in on Wednesday morning.

“I’m going to Georgia and I’m feeling very, very good about it, because I feel like I’m defending the rights of all Americans,” Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor, told reporters. “I’m telling the truth. They’re lying.”

Once at Fulton County, authorities prepared an arrest record for Giuliani, taking his fingerprints and mugshots. After being booked, Giuliani was released on a $150,000 bond — the second highest set for a defendant in the case, behind Trump’s.

All the defendants in the Georgia indictment face a deadline of Friday at noon local time to surrender to authorities. Trump is set to turn himself in on Thursday at the same facility.

Lawyers Kenneth Chesebro, Sidney Powell and Ray Smith also surrendered on Wednesday, while former Georgia Republican Party leaders Cathy Latham and David Shafer were booked overnight, according to authorities.

Trump’s former lawyer John Eastman and Republican poll watcher Scott Hall were the first to surrender to authorities, arriving at the jail on Tuesday.

‘A mugshot for the mayor’

Giuliani was one of the most prominent public figures to push false claims that the 2020 presidential election was marred by malfeasance.

Trump lost the election to Democrat Joe Biden. But the Republican president and his allies nevertheless claimed fraud had robbed them of victory, particularly in states like Georgia, where the race was tight.

Giuliani pushed the “rigged election” narrative in public appearances across the country, famously holding a shambolic press conference at the Four Seasons Total Landscaping company outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, after the vote.

In the sweeping 98-page indictment in Georgia, Giuliani was accused of making false statements about election fraud, in a failed bid to convince state officials to approve an alternative slate of electors who would undermine the Electoral College certification process and keep Trump in power.

In addition, Giuliani is accused of making false claims in legal filings and pushing lies about voting machines in the state.

As with all the defendants in the case, Giuliani was also charged under the state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organisations law, also known as RICO. The law, usually used against criminal organisations and corruption, allows prosecutors to charge multiple people who commit separate crimes while working towards a common goal.

As a prosecutor early in his career, Giuliani relied heavily on the federal version of the RICO law to aggressively pursue New York City’s infamous crime families.

He hinted at the irony as he left his home on Wednesday to travel to Atlanta.

“I get photographed, isn’t that nice? A mugshot for the mayor who probably put the worst criminal of the 20th century in jail,” he told reporters, without specifying to whom he referred.

He has claimed the Georgia election indictment “violated people’s First Amendment right” to free speech, claiming he and his co-defendants were simply airing grievances about an election they believed to be “poorly conducted or falsely conducted”.

Ongoing legal troubles for Trump

Trump is also the subject of three other indictments, becoming the first US president, current or former, to face criminal charges.

The first came in April when Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg filed state-level charges against Trump for allegedly falsifying business records in a hush-money scheme as he ran for president in 2016.

Then, in June, Trump faced his first federal indictment, related to classified documents he had allegedly taken from the White House after his presidency and refused to return.

A second federal indictment came earlier this month, also relating to his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential race. Federal prosecutors filed four felony charges in that case, including conspiracy to defraud the US and conspiracy against rights.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing in all the cases and has claimed the indictments are part of an effort to derail his 2024 presidential campaign. He is currently the Republican frontrunner.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies