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  • Writer's pictureSoren Miles Fesel

A Psychological Analysis of Trump’s Mugshot

On August 14th, 2023, former president Donald Trump was indicted by a grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia.


Trump has been indicted three times in the past. The first indictment related to business and financial fraud charges. The second indictment covered Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified documents. And the third and second-most recent set of charges were about Trump’s alleged election interference.


This most recent indictment stemmed from alleged racketeering charges (a crime used to describe an illegal, unethical, coercive, or otherwise problematic scheme) and illegal interference in the state of Georgia during the 2020 presidential election.


This series of charges is only the most recent in a flurry of previous charges and indictments that the former president has faced.


On August 24, 2023, Trump voluntarily turned himself in at the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta, Georgia and a mugshot was subsequently taken.


In the mugshot, you can see an angry, frustrated expression on Donald’s face. His head is tilted slightly downwards, but his eyes are pointed directly at the camera, almost staring it down. He is frowning in a very peculiar manner, and the creases and wrinkles throughout his face could further display his frustration and anger at the situation he finds himself in.


It is possible that before surrendering at Fulton County Jail, the former president likely thought extensively about what facial expression he should make, as the mugshot would be widely circulated across the country and the world.


Donald undoubtedly created this particular expression intentionally to spread some kind of message.


This reality is even more obvious when you consider that Trump’s mugshot is already on his campaign merchandise.


Donald’s mugshot, in his mind, is supposed to represent the political oppression an innocent man like him has gone through. His specific facial expression is intended to signify how a corrupt justice system goes after its political opponents unfairly.

If these were Trump’s intentions for his mugshot, he and his supporters would view this photo as a positive image; a visual representation of an oppressed man standing up against a tyrannical government.


Trump probably does not believe this narrative himself, but nonetheless spreads it to make his supporters feel special and persecuted.


It is also a possibility that Trump genuinely believes he is the target of an unfair, politically motivated attack.


Donald might think that he did not do anything wrong legally speaking. This might explain his endless insistence that the 2020 election was rigged. However, this scenario is less likely, as it takes an exceptional amount of cognitive dissonance to believe this. A level of stupidity that Donald is probably not capable of.


Trump is a very egotistical and narcissistic man. Although other presidents, incredibly wealthy people, or powerful politicians also display high levels of arrogance, narcissistic personality traits seem to be especially prevalent in Trump.


Constantly, he brags about his supposed achievements at rallies, denigrates anybody who even offers the mildest criticism of him, and constructs grand narratives about how everyone is out to get him. After every indictment, Donald Trump has made numerous extremely angry public statements regarding his legal status and insulted people who were involved with the indictments. He has had countless personal quarrels with former staffers, lawyers, and employees who have worked for him, and he does not seem to engage civilly with anyone who disagrees with his narrow perception of the world.


This narcissism might be a good explanation for Donald’s expression on his mugshot, and his overall demeanor regarding the indictments that he has faced.


Deep down, the former president probably knows that these charges are mostly valid and that there is not a grand, politically motivated conspiracy to lock him up. However, due to his massively inflated ego, the narrative about the corrupt justice system targeting its political enemies will persist.


Perhaps Donald knows he is guilty, but due to his ego, simultaneously believes that the laws should not apply to him; he is too great of a human being to be prosecuted for crimes.


Despite my best attempts at analyzing the situation, it is ultimately hard to draw any definitive conclusion about what Trump believes, and how he feels about the mugshot, indictments, and his loss of the 2020 presidential election. Although he most definitely feels strong animosity, it is hard to be any more specific than that.


And as many are speculating about the former president’s psychology, the legal processes and the indictments will continue. The future of Donald Trump is unclear, but will certainly remain one of the most interesting lives to ever be lived in history.


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