Trump will surrender if charged, defense attorney says

Former U.S. President Donald Trump gestures during an event at a fire station following the recent derailment of a hazardous waste train in eastern Palestine, Ohio, February 22, 2023.

Alan Freed | Reuters

Former President Donald Trump will follow normal procedure to face indictment if indicted by a Manhattan grand jury, his attorney said Friday night.

The lawyer, Joseph Tacopinaspoke following a report by WNBC that federal, state and local law enforcement agencies are preparing safeguards against the possibility that Trump will be indicted as soon as next week.

“Will follow normal procedures if that happens,” Tacopina told CNBC when asked what Trump would do if that possibility materialized.

Trump is being investigated by the Manhattan Attorney’s office in connection with a hush money payment made by his former personal attorney Michael Cohen to porn star Stormy Daniels shortly before the 2016 presidential election.

Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 to buy her silence on her report of a one-time sexual tryst with Trump. The former president denies having sex with Daniels, but his company compensated Cohen, who later went to federal prison on a campaign finance felony related to the payout and other charges.

The prosecution’s investigation focuses on the Trump Organization recording the payment as legal expenses.

In this March 17, 2011 file photo, Attorney Joseph Tacopina speaks to the media in Superior Court in New Haven, Connecticut.

Jessica Hill | AP

As the grand jury was assembled in recent months and the perceived likelihood of an indictment 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 state governor is responsible for arresting and extraditing a person in the state if that person is charged with a felony.

However, Florida law also gives the governor the power to request a further investigation before extraditing a defendant if that defendant refuses to comply with extradition.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is currently positioning himself as a likely contender for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

Trump declared himself a candidate for the GOP nomination last fall.

Trump and his allies have previously fretted over DeSantis’ popularity with other Republicans.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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