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 surrender to face criminal charges if indicted by a Manhattan grand jury, his attorney said Friday night.
the lawyer, Joseph Tacopinaspoke on the heels of a WNBC report that federal, state and local law enforcement agencies are preparing security arrangements for the possibility of Trump being indicted as soon as next week.
“Will follow normal procedures if it gets to this point,” Tacopina told CNBC when asked what Trump would do if that possibility becomes a reality.
Trump is being investigated by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office for having his company record as legal fees a reimbursement to his former personal attorney Michael Cohen for $130,000 he gave to porn star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election to keep her quiet about an alleged sexual date with Trump.
Trump denies having sex with Daniels and has condemned the investigation and other criminal investigations he faces as partisan witch hunts.
In this March 17, 2011, file photo, Attorney Joseph Tacopina speaks to the media outside Superior Court in New Haven, Connecticut.
Jessica Hill | PA
Since the grand jury was assembled in recent months and the perceived likelihood of an indictment has increased, questions have been raised about whether Trump would resist surrender if indicted and what would happen. if he did.
Trump, who has round-the-clock protection from the US Secret Service, currently resides at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, which he rarely leaves.
Under Florida law, the governor of the state is responsible for ensuring that a person in the state is arrested and delivered to another state if that person is charged with a felony charge.
However, Florida law also gives the governor the power to request further investigation before a defendant is extradited if that defendant refuses to comply with the extradition.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is currently positioning himself as a likely candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
Trump declared himself a candidate for the GOP nomination last fall.
Even before that, Trump and his allies chafed at DeSantis’ popularity among his fellow Republicans.
Cohen, who has met with investigators 20 times over several years, testified for two days earlier this week before the grand jury. Daniels spoke with prosecutors via Zoom on Wednesday.
Cohen previously pleaded guilty to a federal criminal campaign charge related to the payment to Daniels, which he said Trump ordered him to do to avoid hurting his chances of winning the White House in 2016.
This crime is the hinge of what could be the prosecution of Trump in Manhattan State Criminal Court.
New York state law prohibits companies from misclassifying the nature of expenses, such as, in theory, calling reimbursement to Cohen for paying Daniels “legal fees.”
Violation of this law may result in a misdemeanor charge. But it can qualify as a crime if the misrepresentation is made to cover up another crime.