Former New York City Mayor and personal lawyer for Donald Trump, Rudolph W. Giuliani, turned himself in at an Atlanta jail on Wednesday as part of a racketeering case against Trump and his allies. Giuliani’s bond was set at $150,000, and he arrived in Atlanta alongside lawyer Kenneth Chesebro, who filed a motion seeking a speedy trial for all 19 defendants in the case. Giuliani, who faces the most charges among those indicted, called the case “an attack on the American people,” and was accompanied to the jail by Bernard Kerik, New York City’s former police commissioner. Trump, who plans to turn himself in on Thursday, also faces charges in the case, with his bond set at $200,000.
The case against Giuliani marks an extraordinary turn of events for the former federal prosecutor, who is now facing a racketeering charge himself. Nearly half of the defendants in the case, including Chesebro and John Eastman, the architects of a plan to use fake electors to keep Trump in power after losing the election, have already been fingerprinted and had mug shots taken at the Fulton County jail. Trump, who is running for office again and skipping his party’s first debate, expressed defiance ahead of his upcoming visit to the jail, stating that he would “proudly be arrested.” Giuliani, who has faced financial struggles due to mounting legal expenses, will receive support from Trump in the form of a fundraising event at Trump’s club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Chesebro’s filing for a speedy trial is a significant development in the case, as defendants in Georgia have a statutory right to a speedy trial. While some defendants are seeking to move their case to federal court or separate their case from the other defendants’, the timing of a trial or trials remains uncertain. The defendants seeking removal to federal court include Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department official, Mark Meadows, Trump’s former White House chief of staff, and Robert G. Rubin, a veteran Atlanta-area defense lawyer. The defense lawyers believe Chesebro’s move is tactical, but it is unclear what advantage he may gain from it. Despite their attempts, Clark and Meadows’ bid to block their arrest was rejected by federal judge Steve C. Jones, who said the case would proceed while he considered the removal question.