From the Politics Desk: Here’s what you missed, August 29

Trump surrenders to Fulton County Jail, the first GOP primary debate, Mayor Bass to increase LAPD starting salaries and Russian mercenary chief confirmed dead in plane crash.

Photo of 7 people lined up for political debate. Republican Presidential candidates line up for the first debate.

The first week of fall semester was busy. Here’s what you missed:

Photo of Blonde man arrested. President Trump lined up for mugshot.

Trump surrenders in Georgia.

Former President Donald Trump surrendered to authorities at the Fulton County Jail on 13 felony charges of attempting to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in Georgia. Trump was booked, fingerprinted and photographed at the Atlanta jail on Thursday evening.

He was released on a $200,000 bond, set by a Georgia judge. Trump’s bond amount was the highest of all defendants, with Trump’s former lawyer Rudy Giuliani trailing in second place at $150,000.

Trump and 18 other named co-defendants were indicted on a total 41 felony charges on August 14. Trump is connected to over a dozen of the felony charges, including racketeering, false statements and conspiracy to commit impersonating a public officer, according to the indictment.

Some of the other major names indicted in the Georgia case include Giuliani, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

The court is also limiting his social media use, a rule set to keep Trump from intimidating witnesses or other defendants in the case, according to Axios.

All 19 co-defendants surrendered to Fulton County Jail by the 12 p.m. deadline set by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.

The Georgia case marks Trump’s fourth criminal indictment this year. Judge Tanya Chutkan set March 4, 2024 as a trial date for the charges related to the interference of the 2020 presidential election in Washington, D.C. The trial date was set despite the request from Trump’s lawyers for a two-year delay, according to NPR.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis continues to poll second after the first GOP primary debate.

Republican primary voters expected candidates Vivek Ramaswamy and Ron DeSantis to fare the best at the first Republican primary debate in Milwaukee on Wednesday. A poll shows former Governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley is also considered a high performer. Former President Donald Trump was not present.

Eight presidential candidates faced off for the first 2024 Republican primary debate in Milwaukee on Wednesday. A live audience of about 4,000 people gathered in the Fiserv Forum as the candidates attempted to win over support from the swing state.

A poll conducted by FiveThirtyEight surveyed Republicans likely to vote in the Republican primary or caucus ahead of the Milwaukee debate and after it concluded. DeSantis gained over four percentage points after the debate, and businessman Ramaswamy gained over five percentage points. Support for Haley jumped — she garnered over 16 percentage points from Republican voters.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was identified as the weakest debater in the survey, as 22% of respondents said he performed the worst.

“Bidenonmics” was a major focus of the debate. The Biden Administration’s recent government policies — pandemic relief spending, Build Back Better Plan and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal — were used as blame for high inflation that has negatively affected working class America.

Republican candidates had no definite agreement on the climate crisis except that China and India were to blame for the issue. Vivek Ramaswamy said climate change caused by human activity was a “hoax” and that his stance is to burn more fossil fuels and engage in more fracking.

The Department of Education took heat throughout the debate, with multiple candidates arguing to close the department. Former Vice President Mike Pence reintroduced the idea of closing the department as a response to combat “rampant” crime — a major goal for improving big cities.

The next Republican debate is set for Sept. 27, hosted by Fox News.

Watch the first Republican Primary debate here.

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L.A. Mayor Karen Bass agrees to give LAPD recruits more money

Mayor Karen Bass agreed to hike starting pay for officers by 13%, while also promising four year-to-year raises of 3% to the base wage of each officer. This comes with improved benefits for officers’ health insurance by increasing subsidies by 5%.

The agreement, made with the Los Angeles Police Protective League union, is tentative for four years, meaning that these added benefits expire in 2027.

Bass acted amid a hiring and retention “crisis” in the LAPD, where 1,000 officers have quit over the past four years. The mayor argued that officers are leaving the LAPD to be better compensated at other police departments and in response, the city must become more competitive.

In total, the new contract with the police union would increase the LAPD budget by $400 million annually by 2027. Activists argue the budget is already big enough at $1.1 billion — the city’s largest expense. City Controller Kenneth Mejia said the “generous” police union contracts are already crowding out other city expenditures, and increasing the budget will only continue to strain other public services.

The opposition argues that increases in pay will not add to the ranks of the police. Instead, they believe the reason the LAPD is in a “hiring and retention crisis” is because of an image issue for officers in the LAPD.

The L.A. City Council voted 12 to 3 on Aug. 23 with progressives Eunisses Hernandez, Hugo Soto-Martinez and Nithya Raman objecting to the LAPD budget increase.

Russian mercenary chief Prigozhin dead in plane crash.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, chief of The Wagner Group, was confirmed dead by Russian authorities on Sunday. All 10 passengers aboard a private jet were killed when the plane crashed near the village of Kuzhenkino on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press.

On board the aircraft were six other passengers, including the mercenary group’s first commander Dmitri Utkin, and three crew members.

The Russian Investigative Committee did not state the cause of the crash, yet a U.S. preliminary intelligence assessment cites an intentional explosion as the likely cause, according to the New York Times. The Kremlin denies having any involvement in the fatal crash.

Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned Prigozhin for an armed rebellion on June 23 to 24 that posed a threat against the Kremlin. But, Prigozhin was promised to not be prosecuted for what he deemed an act of “treason.”

Prigozhin, who was allied with Vladimir Putin, founded The Wagner Group in 2014 where it first fought alongside Russian troops for the annexation of Crimea. The group is a private military organization, but it operates as a mercenary group with tens of thousands of fighters aiding Russian forces in Ukraine, according to ABC News. The Wagner Group had also previously operated in Africa and the Middle East.