Sunday, 1 October, 2023

First Trump co-defendants booked in Georgia election case

The first co-defendants in the election racketeering case targeting former US president Donald Trump surrendered to the authorities in Georgia on Tuesday.

John Eastman, a former campaign attorney for Trump, and Scott Hall, a bail bondsman, were booked at the Fulton County Jail, according to jail records.

Trump is expected to turn himself in at the same Atlanta jail on Thursday to face charges of seeking to overturn the 2020 presidential election won by Democrat Joe Biden.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee set bond for the 77-year-old former president at $200,000 on Monday.

Trump, the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, and the 18 other co-defendants in the landmark case have until noon (1600 GMT) on Friday to turn themselves in to the authorities in Georgia.

Eastman, a conservative constitutional law scholar, is accused of drawing up a scheme to submit a false slate of Trump electors to Congress from Georgia instead of the legitimate Biden electors.

Hall is charged with racketeering and conspiracy to commit election fraud in connection with tampering with voting machines in Georgia.

Eastman's bond was set at $100,000 and Hall's at $10,000.

Bond has also been set for seven other co-defendants including Jenna Ellis, a former Trump campaign attorney. Her bond was set at $100,000. A public crowdfunding appeal for Ellis had raised nearly $95,000 as of Tuesday to help defray her legal expenses.

Trump was indicted in Georgia last week on charges of racketeering and a string of election crimes after a sprawling, two-year probe into his efforts to overturn his election defeat to Biden in the Peach State.

In his previous indictments, Trump has not been required to take a mugshot.