Friday, March 31, 2023

What is next for Donald Trump?

He will be fingerprinted. He will be photographed. He may even be handcuffed.

If he surrenders Tuesday, Donald J. Trump is expected to walk through the routine steps of felony arrest processing in New York now that a grand jury has indicted him in connection with his role in a hush-money payment to a porn star, reported The New York Times. But the unprecedented arrest of a former commander in chief will be anything but routine.

Accommodations may be made for Mr. Trump. While it is standard for defendants arrested on felony charges to be handcuffed, it is unclear whether an exception will be made for a former president. Most defendants are cuffed behind their backs, but some white-collar defendants deemed to pose less danger have their hands secured in front of them.

Mr. Trump will almost certainly be accompanied at every step — from the moment he is taken into custody until his appearance before a judge in Lower Manhattan’s imposing Criminal Courts Building — by armed agents of the U.S. Secret Service. They are required by law to protect him at all times.

Security in the courthouse is provided by state court officers, with whom the Secret Service has worked in the past. But the chief spokesman for the federal agency, Anthony J. Guglielmi, said he could not comment on measures that would be put in place for Mr. Trump.

It may take several days for Mr. Trump to appear at the courthouse. Now that the grand jury has voted to indict him — meaning to charge him with felony crimes — the indictment will remain sealed until his expected arraignment on Tuesday, when the charges will be formally revealed.

After the indictment, prosecutors contacted Mr. Trump’s defense lawyers and negotiated the terms of his surrender, a common practice in white-collar investigations.

Lawyers for Mr. Trump, who is running for president a third time, said late Thursday that he will surrender and he is expected to be arraigned on Tuesday.

After he is arraigned, he is almost certain to be released on his own recognizance, because the indictment will likely contain only nonviolent felony charges; under New York law, prosecutors cannot request that a defendant be held on bail in such cases.

The former president is already using the charges as part of a campaign strategy to energize his base.

Surrender is not in the confrontational former president’s DNA, and he often seems to relish antagonizing and attacking prosecutors who have investigated him, such as Alvin L. Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney who secured Thursday’s indictment. He has called Mr. Bragg, who is Black, “a racist” and an “animal” and said that his investigation was politically motivated.

In the unlikely event that the former president refuses to surrender, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida has already said that his state “will not assist in an extradition request,” should one come from New York authorities. Still, if the New York prosecutors were to actually seek Mr. Trump’s extradition, and Mr. DeSantis attempted to protect his Republican rival, he could possibly face legal action himself.

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