If the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office proceeds with an indictment and arrest of former President Donald Trump, it will put in motion a sequence of judicial processes that might extend until the 2024 presidential election.
On Friday, NBC News reported that Trump might be indicted this week for payments paid to porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016, when she claimed to have had an affair with Trump, something he has always denied. On Saturday, Trump tweeted two all-caps messages urging action on his Truth Social platform.
“THE FAR & AWAY LEADING REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE & FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, WILL BE ARRESTED ON TUESDAY OF NEXT WEEK,” he wrote, adding, ”PROTEST, TAKE OUR NATION BACK!”.
According to The New York Times, if Trump is indicted, he may surrender to the Manhattan Criminal Court.
After the charge, fingerprints and a photograph would be taken. The Times said that criminal suspects are often restrained, but this may not be the case for Trump.
The Times said that he may not be placed in a cell for security concerns.
The Times expected that following his court appearances, Trump will be released on his own recognizance.
Karen Friedman Agnifilo, a former top assistant district attorney in Manhattan, told Reuters that, on average, it takes more than a year for criminal cases in New York to reach trial.
“This is a huge development.” Final preparations being made to arrest Donald Trump next week. Trump will “be fingerprinted and processed like every other defendant”. The Secret Service will make the decision whether to handcuff the former president or not. (Video: Fox News) pic.twitter.com/u36MW0680U
— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) March 17, 2023
This implies that Trump, who is seeking the Republican nominee for president in 2024, may be on trial during the final months of the campaign.
“This is so unprecedented that it’s hard for me to say,” Agnifilo told Reuters. “I think it’s tricky.”
The central claim against Trump is that the Trump Organization recorded the payments to Daniels as legal services, which prosecutors believe might constitute falsification of business records, which is typically a misdemeanor.
The designation of this conduct as a criminal under California election law would provide Trump with grounds to challenge the politically explosive claim.
Reuters stated that Trump could possibly contest the indictment by saying that the five-year statute of limitations had lapsed.
“There’s a whole host of possibilities,” David Shapiro, a former FBI agent and prosecutor and a lecturer at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, told Reuters.
“This is a dream case for defense attorneys.”
According to Insider, Trump’s forecast of a Tuesday arrest may not occur.
The website said, citing unnamed sources, that the final witness slated to appear before a grand jury on Monday would no longer do so, casting doubt on any prospective indictment timeline.