Officials in Palm Beach are trying to decide if and how to arrest former President Donald Trump if an indictment by the Manhattan district attorney’s office requires his arrest. Details of the discussions were first reported by Politico Thursday. The investigation into Donald Trump’s tax records has entered its final stages and, if he is indicted, would require Trump to appear in front of a judge in New York City. There’s only one problem; if Trump is hanging out in Florida at Mar-a-Lago, Florida state law allows its governor to intervene in decisions about whether a person “ought to be extradited” to another state. Gov. Ron DeSantis, an outspoken supporter of the former president, could make extradition extremely difficult for law enforcement in New York.
DeSantis’ support and admiration for the former president have never been a secret. The Sun Sentinel claimed that it was DeSantis’ unwavering support of the president that helped him win his office. As DeSantis looks forward to a possible presidential bid in 2024, officials are preparing for the real possibility that DeSantis may use the extradition law to shield Trump from any legal consequences from the indictment.
Manhattan’s district attorney, Cyrus Vance, is investigating whether property values at Trump properties were manipulated to reduce Trump’s taxes or obtain other economic benefits and whether he violated a New York state law that prohibits the use of “hush money,” when he settled a case with adult film actress, Stormy Daniels, who claimed she had an affair with Trump in 2006. Business Insider reported that the “Trumpworld was largely shrugging off the Justice Department’s investigation into the Capitol riot but saw more danger in Vance’s inquiry.” The investigation was also given approval by the Supreme Court to access Trump’s tax returns, which the former president has infamously refused to allow access to.
In March, Business Insider reported that the investigation was nearing the end. They reported Vance would come to a decision on whether or not he would bring charges against Trump before his term as district attorney expires in December of this year. He has held his post since 2010. Vance is also not seeking reelection in December, which means he may not be subject to outside political forces.
Trump is expected to reside at his golf course at Bedminster, New Jersey, for the next few months. New Jersey has a similar law to Florida’s in place that would allow the governor to investigate whether or not someone should be extradited to another state. Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey, a Democrat, is not expected to intervene on Trump’s behalf if he is indicted in New York.
Trump is also under investigation in Georgia for his attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in that state. Georgia’s Republican governor Brian Kemp is a Trump supporter who has pledged his support of a 2024 presidential run.