Detainee «P01135809», registered under number 2313827. And subjected to the mug shot, the humiliation of the so-called «mug shot» reserved for arrested people. For the first time in the history of the United States, a president or former president has been immortalized in an identification photo by a police body: Donald Trump was formally arrested and detained for a few minutes in the Fulton County jail, facing thirteen charges related to the attempt, in collaboration with eighteen other people, to subvert the 2020 presidential election result in Georgia.
Shortly before leaving Atlanta airport aboard his private plane, Trump spoke of a “parody of justice”. “I haven’t done anything wrong,” he said, addressing the reporters who were waiting for him on the tarmac, “we have every right to contest an election deemed dishonest, and we think it was very dishonest.” «It’s a very sad moment», he commented, «this is electoral interference», he reiterated, before walking towards the plane, without answering the questions shouted by journalists.
Less than half an hour earlier, the tycoon had left prison, after paying the $200,000 bail agreed by the lawyers: 80 thousand for the main charge, the violation of the Rico Act, the law created to combat criminal gangs, and 10 thousand dollars for each of the other twelve crimes for which he was indicted.
Trump’s name had appeared a few minutes earlier in the official records of the county sheriff’s department. Personal and physical data listed as any criminal: 1.92m tall, weight 97kg, «blonde or strawberry» hair, «blue eyes». When the card was published, one of CNN’s main anchors, Jake Tapper, reacted with a surprised “wait, wait, what?”, reading that Trump had declared his weight as “215 pounds”, ten kilos less than what is generally attributed to him. The host’s reaction, which went live, went viral on American social media, but it was the only light moment of a historic and dramatic day.
Once he left the Atlanta airport, the media’s anticipation focused on the most awaited moment: the publication of the mug shot. The first by a former president of the most powerful country in the world. As provided in this case, the sheriff had until 4pm tomorrow to make the former president’s “mug shot” public, but he brought it forward, as he had done with all the others indicted, from Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to his former chief of staff, Mark Meadows. In the mug shot, Trump appears with a frowning, hardened, menacing look, his jaw clenched, as he stares into the camera, his face tilted slightly downwards.
It ‘an unprecedented photo, which puts the seal on the fourth indictment of Trump in five months, while polls among Republican voters show him as the big favorite for the final nomination in view of next year’s presidential elections. But that image, which will appear on all American television for a long time, will return several times in the coming months. From tonight it is officially part of the history of the United States, and of the 2024 election campaign.