Politico’s Playbook reports that officials in Palm Beach County, Florida, are making contingency plans for the possibility that Donald Trump could be indicted by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance while the former president is at Mar-a-Lago.
Citing two high-ranking county officials involved in the planning, the news outlet reported that topics discussed in the meetings include “how to handle the thorny extradition issues that could arise if an indictment moves forward.”
An obscure clause in Florida’s statute on interstate extradition gives Gov. Ron DeSantis the ability to intervene and even investigate whether an indicted “person ought to be surrendered” to law enforcement officials from another state — which means that as Mar-a-Lago prepares to close down for the season and Trump relocates to Bedminster, N.J., it isn’t just the Florida heat he’s leaving behind: He could lose a key piece of political protection.
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.
Image credit: Official White House Photo by Delano Scott / Public Domain