Amid an ongoing investigation into former President Donald Trump by prosecutors in New York, Politico reports that officials in Palm Beach, Florida are currently mulling how to respond if in indictment is issued while he is in residence at the Mar-a-Lago resort.
Reports have been swirling that a probe of the former president launched by Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. has been heating up in recent days, with liberal media outlets such as Vanity Fair essentially salivating at the prospect of serious charges being filed against Trump.
If true, the rumors create an awkward scenario for law enforcement officials in Florida, who have reportedly been weighing how best to handle the question of extradition of Trump to New York subsequent to charges that commentators have suggested could relate to allegations of banking or tax fraud, as The Hill noted.
The physical location of Trump at the time of an indictment – should one occur – could indeed be very significant. If the former president were to be in Florida, that state’s extradition statute would allow Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis – a known ally of Trump – to make a determination whether a surrender to New York authorities ought to occur, The Hill added.
According to Palm Beach County Circuit Court Clerk Joseph Abruzzo, “The statute leaves room for interpretation that the governor has the power to order a review and potentially not comply with the extradition notice,” Politico further noted.
However, it is not entirely clear that if an indictment is issued in the next several weeks or months, that Trump would likely be physically present in Florida anyhow. The New York Post reported on Monday that following a Mother’s Day brunch with wife Melania and son Barron, the former president departed for his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, where he is thought to be spending the summer.
The Hill pointed out that while New Jersey’s extradition statute is similar to the one on the books in Florida, Democrat Gov. Phil Murphy – no fan of Trump’s – would likely be inclined to block his surrender to authorities from New York.
Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara – a frequent critic of Trump – told Salon.com legal columnist Dhalia Lithwick this week that while he does not have inside knowledge of where Vance’s probe of Trump’s finances stands, “there is some signaling going on” that he thinks would not be done unless “there’s a good likelihood of a charge.”
The tenacity with which Trump’s opponents have continued to pursue him – through two failed impeachments and ceaseless investigations of his finances – suggests that they will not rest until an indictment is indeed brought forth. Whether they will once again meet with frustration at the conclusion of their attempt, however, remains to be seen.