OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Former President Donald Trump’s mugshot set off a firestorm of support that extends beyond the traditional Republican Party voter base and has led to a fundraising haul in the millions of dollars.
According to figures first provided to POLITICO by the former president’s campaign, the former president has raised $7.1 million since he was booked at an Atlanta jail late last month. The merchandise that has been sold through his online store has been the campaign’s main source of funding.
Following Trump’s arrest, the campaign started selling t-shirts, posters, bumper stickers, and drink coolers featuring his scowling mugshot. The items cost between $12 and $34 and have the slogan “NEVER SURRENDER!”
In the past month, during which time Trump was indicted on charges relating to his participation in the Capitol riot on January 6 and his attempt to have the Georgia vote count in the 2020 election thrown out, the Trump campaign claims to have raised close to $20 million. That sum is more than half of what Trump raised for the 2024 election during his first seven months of campaigning.
Earlier this month, Karoline Leavitt, a spokeswoman for the MAGA Inc. PAC, told Breitbart News over the weekend that the mugshot taken and released by the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department after Trump was arrested and booked over “racketeering” charges related to the 2020 election, has “rallied the American people across the political spectrum.”
“You could absolutely see the defiance in President Trump’s eyes and in his face in that mug shot, and it really has rallied the American people across the political spectrum now,” Leavitt told Breitbart News Saturday host Matthew Boyle on SiriusXM.
We are now seeing a seismic shift in disapproval for Joe Biden and support for President Trump. There was a new poll released yesterday that shows Donald Trump dominating Joe Biden in the general election,” Leavitt added.
“And there’s been a bunch of polls that show the same thing. And I think that the Democrats have overplayed their hands with all of these witch hunts and indictments of Donald Trump,” she added.
The judge in the Georgia election interference case decided on Thursday that Kenneth Chesebro and Sidney Powell will not be tried alongside Trump and the other 16 co-defendants in the case.
“Defendants Chesebro and Powell will join each other at trial, however, the other 17 defendants are severed from these two. Additional severances may follow. All pretrial deadlines will proceed as scheduled without a stay of proceedings,” Judge Scott McAfee at the Superior Court of Fulton County wrote in a ruling issued on Thursday.
The judge noted that the action was taken as a result of Chesebro and Powell exercising their right to a speedy trial.
The 18 other defendants in the case with Trump are also pursuing early defense strategies, which is quickly complicating the prosecution’s plan to hold a trial the following month.
District Attorney Fani Willis attempted to keep all of the co-defendants together for a single trial starting on October 23, but a number of ongoing legal maneuvers pose significant obstacles to Willis’s goal, which legal experts have referred to as extraordinarily ambitious.
Five defendants have so far sought to have their cases transferred to federal court, two have asked for a speedy trial, and the majority have sought to have their cases separated from those of co-defendants.
Last week, Judge McAfee made light of the challenges of trying so many people simultaneously, The Washington Post reported.
“It just seems a bit unrealistic to think that we can handle all 19 in 40-something days,” he said.
In all four of his criminal cases, Trump has attempted to push back the trial dates. The recent maneuvering raises the possibility that a trial won’t be held until after the November 2024 election, despite the fact that the Georgia charges are not subject to a presidential pardon.
Considering that McAfee is anticipated to announce a trial date for Trump in Georgia soon, the following is how the defense tactics are influencing that timetable.
Five of the 19 co-defendants have filed motions to remove the case from state court to federal court, which could prolong the proceedings for months.