Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump’s former lawyer, surrendered to authorities at the Fulton county jail on Wednesday on charges that he helped lead a racketeering enterprise and conspired to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in the state of Georgia.
The surrender in Atlanta marks a jarring moment for Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor who made his name with aggressive racketeering cases, now facing a racketeering charge himself.
Speaking to reporters after his surrender, Giuliani said, while laughing, that he was “very, very honored to be involved in this case because this case is a fight for our way of life”.
“This indictment is a travesty,” he continued. “It’s an attack on – not just me, not just President Trump … this is an attack on the American people. If this could happen to me, who is probably the most prolific prosecutor maybe in American history and the most effective mayor for sure, it can happen to you.”
Alongside Trump, Giuliani faces the most charges in the sprawling 41-count indictment handed up by a grand jury last week that described how he played a principal role in marshalling fake slates of electors among other schemes to reverse Trump’s defeat in the 2020 election.
The bond for Giuliani was set at $150,000 after his lawyers met with the Fulton county district attorney Fani Willis earlier in the day. The amount was slightly less than the $200,000 bond for Trump but more than the $100,000 bond for another former Trump lawyer, Sidney Powell.
Trump is expected to turn himself in for booking on Thursday evening, the Guardian has previously reported, during the prime viewing hours for the cable news networks as he seeks to distract from the indignity of surrendering by turning things into a made-for-television spectacle.
Giuliani left Manhattan in the morning to travel to Atlanta with his lead lawyer, John Esposito, on a private jet, though the source of the funding for the plane remains uncertain given Giuliani has struggled financially in the wake of mounting legal bills.
Giuliani’s financial trouble stemming from having to retain lawyers for the congressional and federal criminal investigations into efforts to subvert the 2020 election results have become particularly acute in recent weeks, according to two people familiar with the matter.
The money problems have been exacerbated by Giuliani’s recent setbacks in court – including in a defamation case against two Georgia election workers he falsely accused of stealing ballots – and the suspension of his law license over his election subversion efforts means he has few income streams.
The situation has led to Giuliani listing his Manhattan apartment for sale for more than $6m. He also travelled to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in April to ask the former president to help pay his legal bills after Trump rejected his earlier entreaties for support, the people said.
When that trip failed to convince Trump to have his Save America political action committee pay for Giuliani’s legal bills, in the way that Trump has doled out $21m for aides’ legal bills tied up in the criminal investigations, Giuliani’s son Andrew made his own trip to see Trump.
Trump has never explained why he has consistently refused to help Giuliani, but people in his orbit point to Trump’s complaints that Giuliani was defeated in almost every 2020 election lawsuit that he brought.
But the meeting with Andrew Giuliani appears to have helped, and Trump agreed to attend two fundraisers, the people said. Trump will host a $100,000-per-person fundraiser at his Bedminster club in New Jersey next month, according to an invitation reviewed by the New York Times.