Former President Donald Trump has written on Truth Social that he believes he will be arrested on Tuesday, March, 21, 2023, in the long-standing probe by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office into a payment to Stormy Daniels.
If Trump is, in fact, arrested, that raises a host of questions. Among them: Would Trump be handcuffed? Would the Secret Service allow a former President of the United States to be in handcuffs? Would his mugshot be taken?
Trump has declared his innocence on Truth Social, and he has railed at the Manhattan DA’s office, which is led by an elected Democrat, Alvin Bragg.
Of course, no one knows if Trump will really be arrested or what would happen for sure if he is; in fact, his attorney and spokesman told CNN he was basing his arrest comments on press reports and has not received any formal notification that he will be arrested.
That being said, there is some information that can be gleaned about the likely process if Trump is arrested. According to NBC News, Trump’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, told the network that, in NBC’s words, the former president will follow “normal procedures” if asked to surrender to the Manhattan DA.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Secret Service Will Take the Lead on Whether Donald Trump Would Be Handcuffed, But He Would Likely Be Fingerprinted, a Report Says
On air, Fox News anchor John Roberts reported that, according to an unnamed source, law enforcement held a meeting “to discuss logistics for some time next week, which would mean they are anticipating an indictment.”
He said they went “over security” preparations, and indicated that the Secret Service will take the lead “on what they will allow or will not allow.”
Roberts said that, according to the source, this includes the “decision to handcuff the former president or not,” adding that the Secret Service, which protects all former presidents, “will set the tone” and would escort Trump into the courtroom.
According to Roberts, the Secret Service will coordinate with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, but “they will defer to the Secret Service.” The source said the “battle will be between” the Secret Service and Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg as to how and when Trump would be in the building.
The source believes the former president “will still have to be fingerprinted and processed like every other defendant,” according to Roberts.
Business Insider reports that if Trump is arrested, there likely “will be a mugshot, and fingerprinting, and a mandatory DNA cheek-swabbing. And there will be an appearance before a judge, and a not-guilty plea — likely, though not necessarily, in open court.”
Typically, according to Business Insider, a white-collar surrenders “at the DA’s headquarters in Lower Manhattan at a set time on the agreed-upon date and is immediately handed over to the custody of DA investigators.”
If he were any other defendant, according to Business Insider, Trump “would be walked in handcuffs by DA investigators down a courthouse hallway — with the press shouting and filming from behind barricades — to the courtroom.”
However, Business Insider reports, although it’s possible a Trump arrest could be handled this way, a source told the publication it’s also possible that Trump would not be arrested at all and rather would be given a criminal summons to show up for his arraignment.
“He would appear in court and then get printed before or after. No cuffs,” in that scenario, the source told Business Insider. Another possibility, the publication reported, is that the arraignment could be handled virtually.
Bill Pickle, a former special agent with the Secret Service, told Business Insider that he doubted the Secret Service would allow Trump to be exposed to potential harm through a traditional “perp walk.”
Some Democrats Have Long Wanted to See Former President Donald Trump in Handcuffs, But Trump’s Spokesman Says He Is ‘Completely Innocent’
According to an excerpt aired on Fox News, in August, after Trump’s Florida residence was raided for classified documents, MSNBC host Tiffany Cross said on the air, “I think a lot of people do want to see Donald Trump handcuffed like an episode of COPS and walking out. We want to see them perp walk Donald Trump, and we may not see that.”
When it comes to the Stormy Daniels investigation, Fox News also reported on its website that Bragg’s office had asked for a meeting with law enforcement ahead of a “possible Trump indictment.”
Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung told Fox News, “President Donald J. Trump is completely innocent, he did nothing wrong, and even the biggest, most Radical Left Democrats are making that clear.”
He added, according to Fox, “From Russia, Russia, Russia, to the Mueller Hoax, to Impeachment Hoaxes 1 and 2, and even the Unlawful Mar-a-Lago Raid, Democrats have investigated and attacked President Trump since before he was elected – and they’ve failed every time.”
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