Former President Donald Trump on Thursday turned himself in to Fulton County authorities to be arrested and booked following a criminal indictment issued by District Attorney Fani Willis, The Guardian reported.
Shortly afterward, and for the first time in the nation's history, a mugshot of the former president was publicly released.
That booking photo immediately became iconic and will undoubtedly be used for partisan purposes by both Trump and those who support him as well as by those who stand staunchly opposed to him.
The Guardian, like so many other media outlets, closely tracked the historic event on Thursday as the four-time criminally indicted former president who is seeking a second term in the White House turned himself in at the Fulton County Jail in Georgia in relation to the charges filed against him by an openly biased and politically motivated district attorney.
The charges stem from an alleged vast racketeering conspiracy by Trump and 18 other alleged co-conspirators for, essentially, exercising their First Amendment-protected rights to question and challenge the disputed 2020 election results in that and other states.
Unlike in the other three criminal indictments the former president has faced so far this year, Fulton County authorities deemed it necessary to take and publish a mugshot of Trump, and that photo was immediately spread far and wide via social media.
Former President Trump himself, in his first post to the platform since being temporarily suspended in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot in 2021, posted his own mugshot to his X-Twitter account, along with the phrases "Election Interference" and "Never Surrender!"
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 25, 2023
The post also included a link to a Trump 2024 campaign site that featured a note from the former president and an opportunity for supporters to make a financial contribution to his Save America Joint Fundraising Committee.
The Guardian made note of how the instantly iconic Trump mugshot, in which he aimed a scowling glare at the camera, was immediately embraced as emblematic of all things to all people.
For Trump's supporters, the mugshot signifies determined defiance in the face of concerted adversity and is being held up as a sort of badge of honor in the continued fight against the years-long effort of Trump's opposition to bring him down.
For his detractors, the photo is symbolic of their oft-repeated phrase that "no one is above the law" and that even somebody who was once the most powerful man in the world can and will be held accountable under this nation's system of justice.
At least part of that may be purposeful, too, as a CNN reporter, citing unnamed sources, said that Trump was deliberate in posing for the mugshot photo in the way that he did.
Political reporter Alayna Treene tweeted, "Trump's team had discussed the former president's mug shot prior to him taking it at the Fulton County jail Thursday evening, two sources familiar with the discussions tell me. Trump ultimately decided he wanted to appear 'defiant' in the shot, and purposefully chose not to smile."