Bail for Trump Set at $200,000 in Georgia Election Interference Case

Mr. Trump was told not to communicate with any of his 18 co-defendants in the case except through his lawyers, nor to intimidate or threaten them.

Former President Donald J. Trump’s bail was set at $200,000 on Monday in a sprawling racketeering case charging Mr. Trump and 18 associates with election interference in Georgia.

The move came as it became clear that Mr. Trump and the other defendants will be required to pay cash upon being booked in Atlanta, unlike in the three other criminal cases involving the former president.

Under the conditions of his bond agreement, Mr. Trump cannot violate state or federal laws or communicate with any co-defendants in the case except through his lawyers. He was told not to intimidate witnesses or co-defendants, or “otherwise obstruct the administration of justice,” by threatening them or 30 unindicted co-conspirators in the case.

He was also directed to “make no direct or indirect threat of any nature against the community or to any property in the community” including “posts on social media or reposts of posts made by another individual on social media,” the bond sheet states.

Mr. Trump in the past has made inflammatory and sometimes false personal attacks online against Fani T. Willis, the district attorney of Fulton County, who is leading the case.

While the defendants have to come up with only 10 percent of the bail amount, even that could prove difficult for some, including Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former personal lawyer for Mr. Trump, who is running out of money because of an array of legal entanglements.

Racketeering cases can be particularly long and costly for defendants — in another racketeering case in the same court, involving a number of high-profile rappers, jury selection alone has gone on for seven months.

The costs clearly worry some of the defendants in the Trump case; one of them, Cathy Latham, a former Republican Party official in Georgia who acted as a fake elector for Mr. Trump in 2020, has set up a legal-defense fund, describing herself as “a retired public-school teacher living on a teacher’s pension.” The $3,645 she has initially raised is well short of a $500,000 goal.

Jenna Ellis, a lawyer who played a central role in efforts to keep Mr. Trump in power after he lost in 2020, expressed frustration a few days after her indictment in the case at the looming legal costs. “Why isn’t MAGA, Inc. funding everyone’s defense?” she asked last week on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Mr. Trump and the other defendants were indicted last week on charges that they were part of a conspiracy to subvert the election results in Georgia, where Mr. Trump narrowly lost to Joseph R. Biden Jr.

The indictment laid out eight ways the defendants were accused of obstructing the election: by lying to the Georgia legislature, lying to state officials, creating fake pro-Trump electors, harassing election workers, soliciting Justice Department officials, soliciting Vice President Mike Pence, breaching voting machines and engaging in a cover-up.

Mr. Trump has not been required to pay cash bail in the three other criminal cases he has been charged in this year — one in Manhattan and two federal cases brought by the special counsel, Jack Smith, in Miami and Washington, D.C.

In Atlanta, prosecutors and law enforcement officials have emphasized a desire to treat the defendants as other accused felons would typically be treated in the city’s criminal justice system, with mug shots, fingerprinting and cash bails. But the Secret Service is sure to have security demands regarding the booking of a former president, expected for later this week.

On Monday, lawyers for a number of the defendants were seen walking in and out of a complex of connected government buildings, including the Fulton County courthouse and a government office building, where they met with representatives from the district attorney’s office. The lawyers had little to say, including about when Mr. Trump might surrender.

“You’ll find out everything soon enough,” Drew Findling, Mr. Trump’s lead local lawyer, told reporters. “Patience is a virtue.”

Scott Grubman, a lawyer for Kenneth Chesebro, said outside the courthouse that “we hope and expect the D.A.’s office to be fair,” adding, “I don’t think that these folks should be treated differently than anyone else. I think that the D.A. should offer a fair bond.”

Mr. Chesebro and another defendant, John Eastman, were the main architects of a plan to use fake electors to keep Mr. Trump in power. Bond was set at $100,000 for Mr. Eastman, according to court filings, and Mr. Grubman said the same amount was set for Mr. Chesebro.

Ms. Ellis worked with Mr. Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, in the weeks after Mr. Trump lost the election, traveling with him to various states to push claims of widespread fraud that were quickly debunked. But she has been a target of online attacks by allies of Mr. Trump for months, as she has been critical of the former president and has made supportive statements about his closest competitor in the Republican presidential primary, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida.

“I was reliably informed Trump isn’t funding any of us who are indicted,” Ms. Ellis posted on X last week. “Would this change if he becomes the nominee? Why then, not now?”

Asked about her post, Ms. Ellis replied in a text message, “Mounting a defense in these circumstances is exorbitantly expensive. I don’t have great personal wealth and am doing this on my own. I have been overwhelmed and blessed with the generosity and support of Christians and conservatives across the nation who want to help me.”

A person briefed on the matter said that Ms. Ellis had not asked for help from a legal-defense fund formed recently by Mr. Trump’s advisers but that she had sought help earlier and had been denied.

Mr. Trump has used a political action committee that is aligned with him, and that is replete with money he raised in small-dollar donations as he falsely claimed he was fighting widespread fraud after the 2020 election, to pay the legal bills of a number of allies, as well as his own.

But other defendants have been denied help with mounting legal bills long before they were charged. That includes Mr. Giuliani, who was also charged last week and whose lawyer and son have implored Mr. Trump to provide help with his mounting legal costs.

The defendants are required to turn themselves in by noon on Friday.

“The order said it had to be by Friday, I believe, and he plans to follow the order,” Mr. Grubman said of Mr. Chesebro.

Sean Keenan contributed reporting from Atlanta.


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