UNITED STATES: Donald Trump, the former president, will not be handcuffed when he surrenders himself next week in New York to face criminal charges, said Joe Tacopina, his defence lawyer, on Friday.
Prosecutors “will try and get every ounce of publicity they can from this thing,” Tacopina said, adding that “the president will not be put in handcuffs.”
Trump has been indicted by a grand jury about a $130,000 (£105,000) payment made to porn actress Stormy Daniels. The allegations haven’t been made public yet, and Trump’s attorney claimed on Friday that he hasn’t yet read the indictment.
Trump is anticipated to take his private plane to New York on Monday before surrendering to authorities on Tuesday, a law enforcement official told the media. The procedure is likely to involve dozens or even hundreds of Secret Service agents, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
The official went on to say that Trump will not be handcuffed and that shackles are usually only used on suspects who are seen as a flight or safety risk.
“I don’t know how all this is going to go down. There’s no textbook to see how you arraign a former president of the United States in criminal court,” Tacopina, Trump’s defence lawyer, cautioned in an interview.
At 14:15 local time (19:15 GMT), the hearing is scheduled to take place. The FBI, NYPD, Secret Service, and court officials from New York City are coordinating security.
Sources told the media that they are preparing for situations that could involve assaulting Trump, the prosecution, the jury, or the general public. The sources added that the district attorney’s office had gotten “many threats.”
Politico says that the district attorney’s office first asked Trump to turn himself in on Friday, but the request was turned down because security measures needed more time.
Trump, 76, refutes wrongdoing. He is the first serving or former president of the US to face criminal charges. It is unknown how many accusations are contained in the indictment, which is still under seal.
According to media accounts, the former president is charged with more than 30 counts of business fraud, and Tacopina predicted there would be 34 counts when he spoke on Thursday. But he claimed on Friday that he was unsure of the number.
“We know what the subject matter is; we know the basis of the charges. We don’t know the exact counts or how they’re formulated,” he stated.
Republicans, including House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, have accused the Manhattan district attorney of using the criminal justice system as a weapon to sway the outcome of the presidential race in 2016.
Trump recently said that Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Green should run for Senate. Green told her supporters to hold a protest and said she would be in New York City the next week.
In response, Alvin Bragg, a Manhattan District Attorney, said that since the accusations were made by New Yorkers carrying out their civic duty, neither the former president nor Congress could intervene in the case.
In 2016, adult movie actress Stormy Daniels got in touch with media outlets and offered to sell her account of what she claimed to be an adulterous liaison she had with Trump in 2006, the year after he wed his current wife, Melania.
Trump’s team got wind of this, and his attorney, Michael Cohen, gave Daniels $130,000 to remain silent. This is not illegal. Tacopina said the former president was “not worried at all” about the allegations.
“He’s upset, angry. He’s being persecuted politically. That is clear to many people, not only on the right but on the left,” he continued.
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