Former President Donald Trump’s mug shot and booking at the Fulton County Jail helped drive a $US7.1 million ($11 million) fundraising bonanza, a source claims.
The Trump campaign wasted no time capitalising off the unprecedented mug shot featuring former president scowling into the camera. It sold merchandise and stressed that he will “never surrender” as the picture quickly went viral, the New York Post reports.
Merchandise emblazoned with his historic mug shot includes shirts, bumper stickers, and more that went for between $US12 ($18.70) and $US34 ($53).
On Friday alone, the campaign pulled in $US4.18 million ($6.5 million), marking its most lucrative day so far. Politico was the first to report on the record-breaking haul.
Mr Trump also made his long-awaited return from exile to X, formerly known as Twitter, posting the historic image to help turbocharge his appeal to voters as a martyr.
Mr Trump was booked in the notoriously filthy and insect-ridden Fulton County Jail in Atlanta, Georgia on Thursday, local time.
That came after he was slapped with 13 counts by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis for alleged 2020 Georgia election tampering earlier this month.
He has vehemently denied wrongdoing and decried the ordeal as “election interference”.
Mr Trump described the highly publicised booking as a “terrible experience” during an interview with Newsmax last Thursday.
“I came in, I was treated very nicely but it is what it is,” Mr Trump said. “I took a mug shot, I’d never heard the words mug shot, they didn’t teach me that at the Wharton School of Finance.”
This is not the first time Mr Trump has managed to convert his legal woes into campaign gold.
Following his first indictment, which came out of Manhattan over alleged hush money payments, the campaign touted a $US5 million ($7.8 million) haul in the first 48 hours.
Moreover, the mounting legal woes against the former president appear to be solidifying his standing in the 2024 GOP primary.
Mr Trump currently holds a 41 point lead in the primary, up from around 15 points prior to his first indictment, according to the latest RealClearPolitics aggregate.
In total, he is facing 91 counts, including the 34-count indictment out of Manhattan, a 40-count indictment for alleged hoarding of classified documents, and a four-count indictment for alleged 2020 election subversion.
He has pleaded not guilty in the first three cases and professed his innocence in the Fulton County matter.
Mr Trump is the first current or former US president to get hit with a criminal indictment, though Ulysses S. Grant was briefly apprehended for speeding in his horse and buggy.
Many voters appear uneasy over the prospect of his various legal foibles looming over the election.
Some 61 per cent of voters want the federal 2020 election subversion case to take place before the 2024 election and 62 per cent want the document case to take place before then, according to a recent Politico Magazine/Ipsos poll.
This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission