OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
It could be showtime for the arrest and extradition Of Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States.
Palm Beach is making contingency plans to arrest Trump if he is indicted by Manhattan New York District Attorney Cy Vance, who is currently investigating whether Trump and his businesses committed banking and tax fraud, Politico reported.
“Law enforcement officials in Palm Beach County, Fla., have actively prepared for the possibility that Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance could indict former President Donald Trump while he’s at Mar-a-Lago, according to two high-ranking county officials involved in planning sessions, Politico said.
Officials have discussed would be a tricky situation in arresting the wildly popular Trump and extraditing him to New York if the indictment comes.
But one piece of protection Trump could possibly have is a provision in Florida’s interstates extradition statute that would give Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis the ability to step in and not allow the extradition to happen.
“The statute leaves room for interpretation that the governor has the power to order a review and potentially not comply with the extradition notice,” Joe Abruzzo, the clerk of the Circuit Court of Palm Beach County, who would be in charge of opening the case, said.
But Abruzzo was a close associate of Joe Biden’s brother Frank. Though he said that would not affect him doing his job and “the full extent of the law will be followed and carried out appropriately, without bias.”
If an indictment comes down while Trump is in Bedminster for the summer, this could all play out very differently. New Jersey’s extradition statute is similar to Florida’s, giving the governor the power to investigate an out-of-state warrant. But its governor is Democrat PHIL MURPHY, who is no fan of Trump’s, and would not likely intervene to stop Trump’s extradition. In the event of an indictment, Trump’s lawyers could also negotiate a condition of surrender, which could cut local law enforcement out. An attorney for Trump declined to comment.
With Trump settling down in New Jersey for the next few months, Florida is unlikely to have to sort through this any time soon. But the clock is ticking on the Manhattan D.A.’s investigation: On March 12, Vance said in a statement that he will retire at the end of 2021, and speculation abounds that his office — which is currently investigating whether Trump and his businesses committed banking and tax fraud, among other lines of inquiry — could issue indictments before passing the case along to his successor.
And that means that Palm Beach County may yet have to get involved — depending on whether Trump is indicted, of course, and whether that happens after Mar-a-Lago reopens in the fall.
It may be in Trump’s best interests to forgo heading to New Jersey and staying in Florida, as Vance may be tempted to speed his investigation for a number of reasons.
First he may want to get to Trump before he can get back to Gov. DeSantis’ protection in Florida and two he is retiring at the end of the year.
In February Vance obtained millions of pages of Trump’s tax returns as he continues his investigation, The Daily Mail reported.
Cy Vance’s office spokesman, Danny Frost, said it had received the documents within hours of the Supreme Court refusing to hear Trump’s attempt to keep the records from them.
They were handed over by his longtime accounting firm Mazars, which had promised to comply with the subpoena as soon as it was upheld by the courts.
Vance’s prosecutors are investigating whether Trump committed tax fraud through inflating the value of his properties to get loans and deflating them for tax purposes, and are also believed to still be investigating hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal over their claims of having sex with him.
In a three-word statement after the Supreme Court ruled on Monday, Vance said only: ‘The work continues.’