Patrick Labat, a sheriff in Fulton County, gave details about former President Donald Trump’s behavior when he surrendered at Fulton County Jail last month.
“He came out, he was very stoic, really in a space that he was able to really lean on what we were doing, what we planned, and so we took his mug shot, took his fingerprints, as we would anybody else,” Labat told CNN late last week.
Labat added that he was upset when he saw the former president surrender at the jail because, according to him, he didn’t want to see someone of the former president’s stature having to go through the booking process at the jail, which included President Trump’s now-viral mugshot being taken.
“It was heartbreaking to see someone of that statute, and who represents our country in that fashion, having to go through this,” Labat said on Sept. 8.
Trump, as well as 18 other co-defendants, surrendered in a major case brought by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis under Georgia’s racketeering statute. All have pleaded not guilty, while some have attempted to move their cases to a federal court.
The district attorney’s office alleged that Trump, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, prominent attorney Sidney Powell, former campaign lawyer Jena Ellis and more conspired to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
Several other defendants have requested a separate trial, or one in small groups, and Trump himself, the front-runner in the 2024 Republican presidential primary, has asked to be tried apart from anyone who files a speedy trial request.
Several days prior to Labat’s comments, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee said the trial for Powell and attorney Kenneth Chesebro would begin on Oct. 23. He was, however, highly skeptical of prosecutors’ arguments that all 19 defendants could be tried together that soon.
“It just seems a bit unrealistic to think we can handle all 19 in 40 days. That’s my initial reaction,” he said, responding to prosecutors claims.
When she announced the indictment last month, Willis added that she intended to try all 19 defendants together. However, the sprawling indictment with so many defendants makes it extremely complicated to try the full group together.
McAfee also raised concerns about what the effort by some defendants to have their cases moved to federal court could mean for the rest of the case, saying appeals and final decisions in the case could take months.
On Sept. 8, a judge denied Meadows’ bid to move his Georgia case to a federal court, stating that his involvement in the alleged efforts to overturn the election was not a part of his duties as a White House official.
U.S. District Judge Steve C. Jones, in his ruling, found that Meadows “has not shown that the actions that triggered the State’s prosecution related to his federal office,” adding that his “alleged association with post-election activities was not related to his role as White House Chief of Staff or his executive branch authority.”
“In light of the State’s evidence that Meadows undertook actions on behalf of the campaign during the time period of the alleged conspiracy, Meadows was required to come forward with competent proof of his factual contention that his actions involving challenges to the outcome of the Georgia’s Presidential election results were within his role as Chief of Staff. His efforts fall short,” the judge also wrote.
Additionally, the full Fulton County grand jury report has been released, which recommended that others be charged in connection with the case, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), retired Lt. Gen Michael Flynn, former Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) and former Sen. David Perdue (R-GA). Willis opted not to charge them.
Graham has denied any wrongdoing and said that a phone call he had with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger after the 2020 election was appropriate and within his duties as a senator in charge of the committee.
“It should never be a crime for a federal elected official, particularly the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who will have to vote to certify a presidential election, to question and ensure the integrity of that election,” he told reporters on Sept. 8.
Additionally, Loeffler wrote on Twitter, that she was merely speaking for people who felt that the 2020 election was conducted in an unfair manner.
“Trying to jail your party’s leading political opponent ahead of 2024 is election interference. Speaking out in defense of election integrity is not,” she wrote last week.
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