The Fulton County Superior Court's bond order is online here.
with consent of counsel for the State of Georgia and for the Defendant, the Court hereby GRANTS and ORDERS that bond is set in this matter as follows.
(Emphasis by me.)
It ends with
Consented to by:
followed by the signatures of the District Attorney Fanni T. Willis as well as representatives for the defendant: Drew Findling, in what was probably one of the last legal services rendered to Trump in this case, Marissa Goldberg and Jennifer Little.
The decision lists the various charges and their respective bond amounts as listed in another answer here, resulting in a total of $200,000, and then states:
Defendant may post bond as cash, through commercial surety, or through the Fulton
County Jail 10% program.
I read this thus:
- Whether bond is granted, and which amount is set, is at the discretion of the court.
- This specific decision involved consultation with the prosecution and the defense who both agreed.
- The "County Jail 10% program" is distinct from letting a bondsman pay the bond against a fee, but I was not able to locate online documentation about it.
CNN provides more detail:
The approval process
The approval process for consent bond orders involves prosecutors with Willis’ office and defense lawyers meeting and agreeing on the terms of the order. They then share the agreed upon order electronically with court staff of the judge assigned to the case.
The judge will look over the terms and if they agree with the framework, the judge will sign it and send the bond agreement to the clerk’s office before it is published publicly online.
If either prosecutors or defense lawyers cannot agree on a bond, a bond hearing with the judge would be scheduled.
CNN also states that
Trump election attorney John Eastman, who also surrendered on Tuesday, went with the 10% option, as did Hall.
Trump may have simply paid the bail in cash, avoiding additional fees.
Considering this information, I assume the following regarding your actual question:
- The amount of bail is in the usual ballpark for the respective charges. Bail is typically not income dependent, which is a common criticism of the bail system: Poor people cannot afford bond and stay in prison, lose their jobs and their kids and their homes, while rich people stay out of prison and continue to live their normal lives. Some consider that unjust.
- The judge could have released Trump "on own cognizance", without cash bond. But that would have been highly unusual for felonies. It might also not have found the consent of the prosecution. The court likely wanted to avoid any appearance of special treatment.
- The court could have imposed a substantially higher bond. That would likely not have met the approval of the defense and roused the suspicion of special treatment, this time from the other side of the aisle.
- The court could in theory have refused bail and kept Trump in prison. This would have been highly unusual unless there is a substantial flight risk or danger to the community. Given that Trump intends to run for President, the flight risk seems small, and because his crimes are not violent, the risk to the community is not immediate. It is noteworthy though that the court's bond order imposed restrictions on Trump's communication both on social media and with witnesses. Violating those may very well make the court revoke bail.
Bottom line: The court did the usual thing, surely in part exactly to do that. It also imposed a few restrictions specific to the case, with the implicit threat to revoke bail.
And I agree: The bail amount is an utterly ineffective flight deterrent for a defendant as resourceful as Trump. Setting bail is rather a ceremonial motion performed to create the appearance of a nominal procedure. By contrast, the restrictions regarding Trump's communication have teeth because violating them can get him in prison. Given Trump's refusal to let other people mediate his social media activity even as President, this will be hard for him, and my prediction is that conflict with the court over these provisions is likely.