Trump Has a Very Specific Plan for His Court Appearance if He's Indicted: Report
According to a new report, former President Donald Trump has told those in his inner circle that if he is to be indicted in New York, as has been reported, he wants to be handcuffed and perp-walked.
Trump first divulged over the weekend that he expected to be indicted and arrested this week over an alleged $130,000 “hush money” payment to former adult film star Stormy Daniels — whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.
Clifford claimed the pair had an affair in 2006, which is something Trump has denied ever occurred.
He has claimed the money she received was part of a settlement after an effort to extort him, and she was paid from his own pocket just before voters went to the polls in 2016.
A federal investigation in 2019 looked into the matter, and officials opted not to file charges on alleged campaign finance violations.
However, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg reportedly intends to indict Trump this week following the recommendation of a New York grand jury.
That will mean Trump will be fingerprinted and will have to take a mugshot.
The logistics of surrender are complicated, given Trump is a high-profile person and former president with 24-hour Secret Service protection.
According to a Wednesday report from The Guardian that cited what was called a source close to Trump, if Bragg intends to indict him, the country’s former president intends to make the event one to remember.
The outlet reported Trump “has told advisers that he wants to be handcuffed when he makes an appearance in court” — if and when an arrest happens.
“The former president has reasoned that since he would need to go to the courthouse and surrender himself to authorities for fingerprinting and a mug shot anyway, the sources said, he might as well turn everything into a ‘spectacle,’” the report added.
Much of Trump’s preference to be seen handcuffed is reportedly motivated by a desire to not be viewed as weak.
The Guardian reported, “Trump’s increasing insistence that he wants to be handcuffed behind his back for a perp walk appears to come from various motivations, including that he wants to project defiance in the face of what he sees as an unfair prosecution and that it would galvanize his base for his 2024 presidential campaign.”
Trump’s attorneys are reportedly against the idea of a so-called “perp walk” and wish for him to either quietly appear in New York or make a remote video appearance from his home.
As The Washington Post noted, an American president has never been indicted for a serious crime, although former President Ulysses S. Grant was arrested in 1872 for speeding in Washington, D.C., in a horse-drawn carriage.
Trump’s potential indictment and arrest are unprecedented in the country’s history.
But the 45th president has maintained for years that he has been treated unfairly for challenging the system in Washington. He was impeached in the House but not convicted in the Senate twice while he was serving in office.
The second impeachment was confounding to many due to the fact that it came with only one week left in his term just over two years ago.
But the arrest of the former president, if it occurs, is sure to shock the public.
Images of such a moment could help Trump take advantage of the spectacle as a way to demonstrate his claims that he has been unfairly targeted, it has been argued.
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