Trump will surrender to face charges if indicted, defense lawyer says
Former U.S. President Donald Trump gestures during an event at a fire station following the recent derailment of a train carrying hazardous waste, in East Palestine, Ohio, February 22, 2023.
Alan Freed | Reuters
Former President Donald Trump will follow the normal procedure of surrendering to face criminal charges if indicted by a Manhattan grand jury, his lawyer said Friday evening.
The lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, spoke on the heels of a report by WNBC that federal, state and local law enforcement agencies are preparing security arrangements for the possibility that Trump will be indicted as early as next week.
“Will follow normal procedures if it gets to that point,” Tacopina told CNBC when asked what Trump would do if that possibility becomes reality.
Trump is under criminal investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office in connection to a hush money payment his former personal attorney Michael Cohen made to porn star Stormy Daniels shortly before the 2016 presidential election.
Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 to buy her silence about her account of having a one-time sexual tryst with Trump. The former president denies having sex with Daniels, but his company reimbursed Cohen, he later went to federal prison for a campaign finance crime connected to the payoff and other charges.
The DA’s investigation is focused on the Trump Organization recording the payment as legal expenses.
In this March 17, 2011 file photo, attorney Joseph Tacopina speaks to the media outside Superior Court in New Haven, Conn.
Jessica Hill | AP
Ever since the grand jury was empaneled in recent months, and the perceived likelihood of an indictment grew, questions have been raised about whether Trump would resist surrendering if charged, and what would happen if he did so.
Trump, who has 24-hour protection by the U.S. Secret Service, currently resides at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, which he rarely leaves.
Under Florida law, the state’s governor is responsible for making sure a person in the state is arrested and delivered to another state if that person is indicted on a felony charge.
However, Florida law also gives the governor the power to call for a further investigation before a defendant is extradited if that defendant refuses to comply with extradition.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis currently is positioning himself as a likely contender for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
Trump declared himself as a candidate for the GOP nomination last fall.
Even before that Trump and his allies have chafed at DeSantis’ popularity among fellow Republicans.
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