ATLANTA — It took more than 73 hours stretched over four days, but by Friday all 19 defendants charged with trying to overthrow the 2020 election in Georgia had been booked and processed at the Fulton County Jail.
Some arrived under cover of darkness. Others strode out and spoke to reporters. Only one touched down in Atlanta on a plane emblazoned with his own name and was granted a formidable police escort to the jail on Rice Street. It took authorities less than 30 minutes to book Donald Trump. But what resulted was a mug shot bound for the history books — the first ever snapped of a former U.S. president.
The image of Trump, scowling at the camera, was beamed around the world and already T-shirts, bobblehead dolls and other merchandise with the likeness are flying off the shelves.
Only one of the defendants, Harrison Floyd, remained in jail. Late Friday afternoon he was denied bond by a Fulton County judge. Floyd is facing separate federal charges in Maryland.
After Trump’s surrender Thursday night, the remaining seven defendants waited until after midnight to follow him and surrender ahead of Friday’s noon deadline, which was set by Fulton District Attorney Fani Willis.
State Sen. Shawn Still, former Department of Justice official Jeffrey Clark, ex-Trump campaign official Michael Roman, onetime Coffee County election supervisor Misty Hampton and Alpharetta attorney Bob Cheeley were booked in the early morning hours of Friday and released on bond.
Later Friday morning came the last two, Trevian Kutti and Stephen Cliffgard Lee. Kutti, the former publicist of rapper Kanye West, was booked just before 10 a.m. and smiled in her mug shot.
Lee was the last defendant to surrender, arriving at the jail around 10:30 a.m. In his booking photo, the pastor wore a clerical collar. Floyd, Kutti and Lee were all involved the alleged intimidation of Fulton County election worker Ruby Freeman.
Lee paid a surprise visit to Freeman’s home in mid-December 2020. In police body cam footage, Lee is heard acknowledging he had knocked on Freeman’s door and offered to provide “pro bono service” to her.
Speaking to reporters outside the jail, his attorney David Shestokas said his client should be considered an American hero, not a criminal. Lee, he said, served as a chaplain in a series of tragedies including the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and Hurricane Katrina.
“You have a pastor being indicted for knocking on a door,” Shestokas added.
Asked if Lee knocking on Freeman’s door had anything to do with the subversion of the election, Shestokas said “absolutely not.”
Following the spectacle of Trump’s surrender Thursday night, things calmed down significantly at the jail. By Friday morning, most of the onlookers who had gathered in the blazing heat the day before were nowhere to be found.
Piles of trash, empty news tents and two overflowing portable toilets remained. Gone were the Trump supporters with massive flags and homemade signs or the counterprotesters wearing full animal suits and signs of their own.
Fulton County deputies removed barricades placed around the jail on Thursday ahead of Trump’s arrival. By 5 p.m. Friday, the sheriff’s office said all media crews needed to clear the area.
Now the focus shifts to two courthouses in downtown Atlanta — the U.S. federal courthouse on Ted Turner Drive and the Fulton County Courthouse on Pryor Street . Already, defendants have filed a flurry of motions some seeking a speedy trial and others asking to move their cases to federal court.