Former President Donald Trump’s bail was set at $200,000 on Monday in a sprawling racketeering case charging Trump and 18 associates with election interference in Georgia.
The move came as it became clear that Trump and the other defendants will be required to pay cash upon being booked in Atlanta, which was not the case in the three other criminal cases involving the former president.
While defendants have to come up with only 10% of the bail amount, even that could prove difficult for some, including Rudy Giuliani, the former personal lawyer for Trump, who is running out of money because of an array of legal entanglements he faces.
Racketeering cases can be particularly long and costly for defendants – jury selection in another racketeering case in the same court, involving a number of high-profile rappers, has gone on for seven months.
The costs clearly worry some of the defendants in the Trump case; one of them, Cathy Latham, a Republican Party official in Georgia who acted as a fake elector for 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 Trump in power after he lost the 2020 election, expressed frustration after her indictment in the case at the looming legal costs.
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 Trump narrowly lost to Joe Biden.
Prosecutors and law enforcement officials in Atlanta 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.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.