Donald Trump could have his first ever mugshot taken as he is arrested in Atlanta, Georgia, on Thursday (US time).
The arrest will be his fourth this year.
Mr Trump was able to dodge the humiliation of having a mugshot taken during his previous arrests this year: in New York on charges of paying hush money to a porn star, in Florida for mishandling top secret government documents, and in Washington on charges of conspiring to up-end his 2020 election loss.
This time he may not be so lucky.
After flying down from his residence in Bedminster, New Jersey, Mr Trump will be formally arrested at Atlanta’s notorious Fulton County Jail on racketeering charges.
Earlier his month, Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat said “unless someone tells me differently, we are following our normal practices. And so it doesn’t matter your status. We’ll have mug shots ready for you”.
Given mug shots of his co-accused, including former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani and lawyer Sidney Powell, have been taken in recent days, there is strong reason to believe Mr Trump will have to do the same.
If it is taken, the snap will almost certainly become one of the most iconic of Mr Trump’s long period in the public spotlight.
The 77-year-old Republican presidential candidate is accused of conspiring with 18 co-defendants to try to overturn the 2020 election result in the key southern state of Georgia.
That Georgia swung to Joe Biden was a key stepping stone to him taking the White House.
The booking of the billionaire real estate tycoon in his final indictment sets up a year of unprecedented courtroom drama as he tries to balance appearing in the dock with hitting the campaign trail.
The arrest comes just hours after Mr Trump spurned a Fox News televised primary debate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, featuring eight of his rivals for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination — all of whom lag well behind him in the polls.
He managed to steal the spotlight though as the focus of questions, with all but two of the candidates saying they would support Mr Trump as the party’s nominee even if he were convicted in any of the cases.
During a rambling prerecorded interview with former Fox News talk show host Tucker Carlson – which aired on X, formerly known as Twitter, at the same time as the debate — Mr Trump dismissed the four criminal indictments filed against him as “nonsense”.
He said the Justice Department had been “weaponised” under Democratic President Joe Biden to hamstring his White House bid.
A tight security perimeter has been set up ahead of Mr Trump’s arrival at the Fulton County Jail, an overcrowded facility that is under investigation by the Justice Department for a slew of inmate deaths and deplorable living conditions.
Fans Willis, the Fulton County district attorney who brought the sweeping racketeering case, set a deadline of noon on Friday local time (2am Saturday AEST) for the 19 defendants to surrender.
‘Proudly be arrested’
An exact time has not been given for Mr Trump’s arrival, but the former president said in a post on his Truth Social platform it would be Thursday afternoon.
‘Nobody ash ever fought for election integrity like President Donald J Trump,” he wrote in all capitals.
He added he would “proudly be arrested”.
Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, who served as Mr Trump’s personal lawyer when he was in the White House and vigorously pushed the false claims that Mr Trump had won the 2020 election, was booked in the case on Wednesday.
Also facing charges in Georgia are Mark Meadows, Mr Trump’s White House chief of staff, and John Eastman, a conservative lawyer who is accused of drawing up a scheme to submit a false slate of Trump electors to Congress from Georgia instead of the legitimate Biden ones.
Mr Trump is the first US president in history to face criminal charges. The four trials will come during the Republican primary season, which begins in January, and at the height of the campaign for the November 2024 presidential vote.
Special counsel Jack Smith has proposed a January 2024 start date for Mr Trump’s trial in Washington on charges of conspiring to overturn the 2020 election, a campaign of lies that culminated in the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol by his supporters.
Mr Trump’s lawyers have countered with an April 2026 start date – well after the 2024 election.
Georgia prosecutors want the racketeering case to begin in March 2024, the same month Mr Trump is scheduled to go on trial in New York on charges of paying hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels on the eve of the 2016 election.
The Florida case, in which Trump is accused of taking secret government documents as he left the White House and refusing to return them, is scheduled to begin in May.