Former president Donald Trump has been indicted by a New York City grand jury, making him the first former president to be charged with a crime.
The Manhattan District Attorney has been investigating Trump for allegedly falsifying business records in connection with a “hush money” payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels. The charge or charges against Trump are sealed, but they will be unsealed in the future.
In light of the unprecedented moment, many are wondering what the coming days and weeks will look like as the charge or charges are unsealed and Trump surrenders himself. According to Trump’s legal team, this is likely to happen next week.
CBS News legal analyst Rikki Klieman told CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell that Trump will experience the usual steps like fingerprinting, being photographed for a mugshot, and appearing in court, but “not the way it usually happens.”
“Donald Trump will also be surrendering by arrangement with the district attorney’s office, and he will be surrounded by his Secret Service agents, as he always is, because he’s entitled to that protection as a former president,” Klieman said, comparing Trump’s surrender to that of white-collar criminal defendants, who typically have more control over their surrenders.
“Yes, he will be processed. He will have a mugshot. He will get a booking number. He will give fingerprints … and ultimately whether or not he will be handcuffed is discretionary for the police, in this case the NYPD,” Klieman continued. If he is with Secret Service people, there is no need to handcuff him to bring him into the courtroom to be arraigned.”
Richard Esposito, former NYPD deputy commissioner and a CBS News consultant, said that some facets of the surrender will likely be different considering the magnitude of the indictment.
“Because it’s a president, they could conceivably change any number of things,” Esposito said.
One part that will likely be different, Esposito said, is the speed with which Trump is arraigned after being fingerprinted.
“When a normal person gets fingerprinted and photographed and booked, fingerprints then go up to Albany where we then have several million fingerprints in databases, and they get compared to the database to make sure the person has no prior crimes, is not wanted in other matters that we’re not aware of, etcetera,” Esposito explained. “In the case of a former president, that process, which normally takes a couple of more hours, will likely be able to be speeded up incredibly.”
Once the fingerprinting comparison is complete, Trump will be arraigned, Esposito said. Typically, people under indictment are arraigned in open court. Esposito said that if that happens in this case, the Secret Service will likely erect extra metal detectors before allowing people into the courtroom.
After the arraignment is complete, Trump and his security team will decide how he leaves the courthouse, Esposito said. He can choose to leave through a back door or walk down the courthouse’s front steps. If he makes the more public exit, Esposito said there will be barricades and additional security on the site.
“It’s his right to go out, whichever way he wants to, within the constraints of Secret Service,” Esposito said.
New York Police Department officers have been ordered to be in full uniform on Friday and be ready to deploy. A law enforcement source told CBS News’ Pat Milton that the NYPD was not given advance warning of the grand jury’s vote.
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