After Trump indictment, some normalcy returns to Fulton courthouse

News crews and barricades still stationed outside
Television news crews line up outside the Fulton County Courthouse on Tuesday in the aftermath of a sweeping criminal indictment that brought charges against former President Donald Trump and 18 others.

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Television news crews line up outside the Fulton County Courthouse on Tuesday in the aftermath of a sweeping criminal indictment that brought charges against former President Donald Trump and 18 others.

Security checks were done as normal. Judges were holding court proceedings in-person in different courtrooms throughout the Fulton County Courthouse.

After a hectic night, which saw former President Donald Trump and 18 co-defendants indicted by a Fulton County grand jury, it was by all accounts business as usual Tuesday morning inside the downtown Atlanta courthouse, even as news crews and barricades remained outside. An Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter walked around the courthouse without any problems.

On the first floor, a group of lawyers waited to be allowed into the courtroom to continue jury selection in the sweeping RICO case against Young Thug and his alleged associates.

Vending machines throughout the courthouse were still fairly full, despite a run on snacks by the dozens of reporters who waited late into the night for the grand jury’s charging decision, not signed by a judge until 9 p.m. News trucks preparing for the day’s live shots were still stationed along Pryor Street, which had been designated as the media staging area in the days leading up to Monday’s proceedings.

John Huddy with Newsmax reports outside of the Fulton County Courthouse on Tuesday, the day after a grand jury indicted former President Donald Trump and 18 others in an election interference case.

Credit: Steve Schaefer

icon to expand image

Credit: Steve Schaefer

With the indictment filed, the attention now shifts to what happens when Trump and his allies report to Atlanta to surrender on their charges. District Attorney Fani Willis announced she is giving those indicted until noon Friday, Aug. 25, to turn themselves in, but exactly where that will take place is unclear.

“Subsequent to the indictment, as is the normal process in Georgia law, the grand jury issued arrest warrants for those that are charged,” Willis said at a Monday night press conference. ”I am giving the defendants the opportunity to voluntarily surrender.”

Tuesday evening, the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office announced all 19 defendants, including Trump, are expected to be booked at the Fulton County Jail on Rice Street.

“At this point, based on guidance received from the district attorney’s office and presiding judge, it is expected that all 19 defendants named in the indictment will be booked at the Rice Street Jail,” a sheriff’s office statement said.

In the statement, the sheriff’s office noted the booking process and arraignment and appearance process are two separate things, with some arraignments and court appearances taking place virtually as dictated by the presiding judge. At the courthouse, one lane of Pryor Street has been opened for vehicle traffic.

Two weeks ago, Fulton County Sheriff Patrick Labat said if the former president was charged, he’d likely be booked and photographed just like any other detainee — regardless of his status.

“Unless someone tells me differently, we are following our normal practices,” he said at the time. Labat declined to comment further when asked again Monday night.

The case in Fulton is unprecedented, but for Trump, the criminal process has become somewhat routine. When Trump was indicted in New York earlier this year, he was fingerprinted and processed at a Manhattan courthouse, where he was also arraigned. He was released hours later and did not have a mug shot taken.

Similar processes followed in the federal classified documents case in Miami, and for a third time earlier this month in Washington, D.C., where Trump also pleaded not guilty to federal charges accusing him of plotting to overturn the 2020 election results. He surrendered at courthouses in both cases.

In all three former indictments, crowds gathered outside the courthouses to get a glimpse of the former president as he arrived and left after making appearances. Fulton authorities have not detailed their plans for such an event.

Trial dates are set by judges, but Willis said her office will be submitting a proposed timetable to the judge asking for a trial date within the next six months.

— The Associated Press contributed to this article.