If Donald Trump is indicted for his role in a hush money payment to a porn star, the former president will be treated like any other suspect – he will be read his Miranda rights, fingerprinted, and pose for a mug shot.
He may even be handcuffed.
But Trump will likely be spared the indignity of a perp walk in which a suspect is led out of the police station or the Manhattan District Attorney’s office in handcuffs in front of the cameras for the world to see.
Instead, he will likely walk in, wearing a suit and tie, surrounded by aides and Secret Service agents. And he could even make a deal with prosecutors to come in via a back entrance, skipping the growing media frenzy.
If Donald Trump is arrested, he will face a typical booking procedure – fingerprints and mugshot
Trump faces criminal charges for $130,000 in payments his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, sent to porn star Stormy Daniels toward the end of his 2016 campaign. Prosecutors say the payment violated campaign finance laws, and was made to silence Daniels about an affair with the business titan.
Trump denied he ever had an affair. And, on March 18, the former president declared that he would be arrested on the 21st. He issued a rallying call for his supporters to protest the matter.
He would be the first president arrested since Ulysses S. Grant was pulled over for speeding in his horse and buggy at the corner of 13th and M streets in Washington, D.C – in 1872 – but police let him go with a fine.
Local, state and federal law enforcement and security agencies are preparing for an expected frenzy of media, protestors and onlookers even though New York prosecutors haven’t confirmed an arrest is coming.
DailyMail.com looks at what may happen should an indictment comes down.
Any indictment would require Trump, who lives at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., to surrender to an NYC police precinct or the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
He would have to fly to his former home state, likely on his campaign jet, which is known as Trump Force One.
Since a financial crime is considered a ‘white-collar crime’ and considered non-violent, Trump is expected to be allowed to self-surrender, skipping the perp walk.
In white-collar cases, the defendant’s lawyers and the prosecutors typically agree on a date and time for the person to surrender rather than arrest the person at home.
The booking procedure typically takes four to six hours and includes being fingerprinted and photographed. The former president could be released on a Desk Appearance Ticket (DAT), meaning he has to appear at the courthouse later for the arraignment of charges.
Trump would have to travel from his Mar-a-Lago estate (above) to New York
Trump would likely make the trip on his campaign plane, know as Trump Force One
IF TRUMP DOESN’T SELF-SURRENDER
If Trump refused to surrender voluntarily, prosecutors could seek to have him extradited from Florida.
Ironically, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican and former ally of Trump, would have to formally approve extradition.
Technically, it would be a strictly administrative move, carried out in his capacity as governor of the state.
Politically, it’s an entirely different story. DeSantis has all but declared he’ll run for president next year – making him a rival to Trump for the GOP nomination.
Even though DeSantis has few legal options other than to approve extradition, it will likely infuriate the conservative MAGA base he is trying to win over. If DeSantis didn’t approve an extradition, New York would probably sue, setting up a long legal battle.
Some lawyers working for Trump have said the former president will surrender.
‘There won’t be a standoff at Mar-a-Lago with Secret Service and the Manhattan DA’s office,’ Trump attorney Joe Tacopina told the New York Daily News.
The timing remains unclear despite Trump’s proclamation on the date. Once Trump has been formally indicted, prosecutors would contact his lawyers to negotiate his surrender, which could take several days.
If Donald Trump refuses to surrender, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis would have to sign an extradition order – the two men above in June 2019 for a Trump campaign rally
HANDCUFFS AND MUGSHOT
Trump would face a typical booking procedure like any other defendant. He would be told he has the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney.
He could be handcuffed and have his mugshot taken. Most defendants have their hands cuffed behind their backs, but some white-collar defendants – usually deemed non-violent – have their hands cuffed in front of them.
Or his lawyers could make a deal with prosecutors to allow the former president to escape the indignity of handcuffs and walk inside unincumbered. His Secret Service detail – which is legally bound to protect all former presidents – would be at his side.
In New York, mugshots are not typically released to the public, although they’re occasionally leaked to the media.
Trump would then appear for arraignment in Manhattan district court.
He would likely be released on his own recognizance and allowed to head home.
Given Trump’s substantial ties to the community and his ongoing 2024 presidential campaign, the judge likely wouldn’t deem him a flight risk and would probably immediately release him on bond, former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti told Time magazine.
Trump has a campaign rally scheduled in Waco, Texas, on March 25th and is expected to keep his normal campaign schedule.
PREPARATIONS BEING MADE
The New York Police Department, New York State Court Officers, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, the Secret Service, and the FBI are reportedly preparing for an arrest.
That includes preparing for possible protests.
Security barriers were now around the Manhattan courthouse and the district attorney’s office.
Additionally, more than a dozen senior officials in the police department and two of Mayor Eric Adams’ top public safety aides held a virtual meeting on March 19th to discuss security, staffing and contingency plans in the event of any protests, the New York Times reported.
The White House is also monitoring the situation.
‘We’re always monitoring the situation here, as best we can,’ National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby said during an interview on Fox News Sunday.
‘And we obviously don’t want to see any activity go violent – certainly nothing to the extent that we saw on January 6,’ he added. ‘But we’re watching this. We’re watching it, of course, closely.’
Additionally, Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg could see his security detail expanded.
Bragg, a Democrat who is the first black person to lead the New York City office, has become a target of Trump’s ire. The former president claims his investigation is politically motivated.
A New York Police Department vehicle sits in front of Trump Tower in New York City
New York Police Officers move barricades near the courthouse ahead of former President Donald Trump’s anticipated indictment
Any trial would still be more than a year away, which would put it during the 2024 presidential election in which Trump is a candidate.
The average criminal case in New York takes more than a year to move from indictment to trial, said Karen Friedman Agnifilo, former Manhattan chief assistant district attorney, told Reuters.
Meanwhile, the specter of the trial would allow Trump to use it as a political issue, which he has made clear he will do.
The former president is expected to target Bragg and President Joe Biden, even though the Stormy Daniels case is a local New York case and not a federal matter.
Trump will also be watching to see what Republicans defend him, particularly his 2024 rivals.
A trial has other complications, such as a jury selection process.
Trump is obviously well-known, and a majority of people have an opinion about him – one way or another.
Both the prosecution and the defense will use the questioning process to try and ensure fair and impartial jurors.
The judge could also issue jurors a ‘gag order’ to keep them from talking to the media. The jurors also could be sequestered.
Former President Trump is also facing other investigations – two federal and one state probe in Georgia.
The Justice Department is investigating two separate matters: Trump’s possession of hundreds of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago and his efforts to remain in power after losing the 2020 election, including his role in the January 6th insurrection at the Capitol.
Additionally, a special grand jury in Georgia has been convened to hear evidence of whether or not Trump and his allies tried to pressure officials to overturn Biden’s 2020 victory in the state. The district attorney will decide whether or not to bring charges this spring.