Trump will give up if charged, protection lawyer 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 surrender to face an indictment if he is indicted by a Manhattan grand jury, his attorney said Friday night.

Attorney Joseph Tacopina spoke following a report by WNBC that law enforcement agencies at the federal, state and local levels are taking precautions against the possibility that Trump will be indicted as early 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 Manhattan Attorneys for his company recording a $130,000 reimbursement to his former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, as legal expenses he gave to porn star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election to help her over an alleged sexual to silence the rendezvous with Trump.

Trump denies having sex with Daniels and has condemned the inquest and other criminal investigations he faces as partisan witch hunts.

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.

Cohen, who has met with investigators 20 times over a number of years, testified for two days before the grand jury earlier this week. Daniels spoke to prosecutors via Zoom on Wednesday.

Cohen previously pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges related to the payment to Daniels, which Trump said he ordered so as not to hurt his chances of winning the White House in 2016.

This crime is the linchpin of what could be the prosecution of Trump in Manhattan State Criminal Court.

New York State law prohibits corporations from misclassifying the nature of expenses, such as: For example, the reimbursement to Cohen for the Daniels payment could theoretically be described as “legal expenses.”

Violation of this law may result in a misdemeanor charge. But that can be made a crime if the false statement is made to cover up another crime.

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