Donald Trump announced over the weekend that he expects to be “arrested” this week as a New York grand jury gets close to wrapping up its look into hush money the former president paid during his 2016 campaign.
Most experts agree that any arrest will not look like a typical Hollywood takedown. Trump will almost certainly be allowed to turn himself in before being quickly released.
But that doesn’t mean the event will be without drama. The sheer number of reporters and photographers on hand to cover the first-ever arrest of a former president will create havoc in Lower Manhattan.
“Look, they’re not gonna knock down his door and put handcuffs on him, but if he has to surrender and go before a court at 100 Center Street, the media – it will be insane on a level we’ve never even seen before,” offered Arthur Aidala, a criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor who has been involved with some of the city’s highest-profile cases.
Trump’s now-estranged lawyer, Michael Cohen, is at the center of the case against Trump. He told MSNBC on Sunday that he expects Trump will “absolutely” be fingerprinted and photographed if he’s arrested.
On Good Day New York, Aidala agreed.
“He won’t do a ‘perp walk’ in handcuffs, but he has to go into the building, go somewhere in the D.A.’s office, be fingerprinted, have a mug shot taken of him, stand in front of a Supreme Court judge, plead ‘not guilty’ to an indictment, and then walk out,” Aidala predicted.
"He will be photographed, he will be fingerprinted," says Fmr #2 in Manhattan DA office Karen Agnifilo @KFAlegal @fox5ny.
Handcuffed? "I think the police and the Secret Service are negotiating whether or not that would happen." pic.twitter.com/oWMlhum0D0
— Chris Welch (@thisiscwelch) March 20, 2023
“I think the police and Secret Service are negotiating whether or not that would happen, or the specifics,” former chief assistant district attorney Karen Agnifilo told FOX 5 NY. “He will, however, be processed. He’ll be read his Miranda rights, photographed, and fingerprinted.
Whether or not there is a quote-unquote perp walk, I believe Mr. Trump will use his arrest to have more media done, so I guess that it will be his perp walk.”
Why would Donald Trump be arrested?
The New York grand jury is investigating Trump’s role in a $130,000 payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016 to keep her from going public about a sexual encounter she claimed she had with Trump years earlier.
The money was paid from Cohen’s funds, which he later claimed were reimbursed by the Trump Organization, along with additional bonuses, for $420,000.
Cohen was one of several members of Trump’s former inner circle who testified to the grand jury.
Trump’s former spokesperson Hope Hicks, his onetime political adviser Kellyanne Conway, and Daniels were also known to be among the witnesses. Trump was also invited to testify, a move many legal experts said indicated an incoming indictment.
The office of District Attorney Alvin Bragg was investigating whether any state laws were broken in connection with the payment or how Trump’s company compensated Cohen for his work to keep the allegations quiet.
Trump, 76, has said he did nothing wrong and cast the investigation as a “witch hunt” by a Democratic prosecutor bent on sabotaging the Republican’s 2024 campaign.
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