Former president Donald Trump’s ongoing criminal investigations may finally be catching up to him. While there are currently three active criminal investigations (and 29 civil suits) regarding the former president, it’s the one headed up by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. that we should have our eye on, according to both former US Attorney of the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara and a few high-ranking Palm Beach, Florida county officials.
They believe that Trump being indicted on criminal charges within the year is a real possibility, to the extent that the latter group have engaged in serious discussions about how to proceed if Trump should be at his Mar-a-Lago resort when the state of New York issues a warrant for his arrest. Trump, however, reportedly plans to move to New Jersey — a move that may indicate he’s not considering the possibility of an arrest as seriously as others are on his behalf.
Politico spoke with two Palm Beach officials who confirmed that law enforcement officials in the area 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 Bharara and others, that’s not an overly cautious move. On a recent episode of Slate podcast Amicus, the attorney spoke about certain developments in Vance’s investigation that have led him to believe that Manhattan DA is reasonably confident Trump can be charged.
“He’s done something else that is less common, which is hire an outside lawyer, Mark Pomerantz, who’s a very distinguished, well-respected lawyer in New York. I’m not going to put too much weight on it,” he said, “but it seems like the kind of move you make when you believe that there’s going to be a charge or there’s a good likelihood of a charge, because it’s a pretty public thing to do.”
“It’s just a gut feeling that I have that taking these actions indicates to me that that office believes there’s a decent likelihood of a charge,” he added, also mentioning their frequent meetings with former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, a likely sign that he was cooperating with their investigation.
Just last night, news broke that state prosecutors in Manhattan had issued further subpoenas regarding tuition payments at Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School for the Trump Organization CFO Allen H. Weisselberg — a potential sign that Vance is hoping Weisselberg can be persuaded to cooperate too.
Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos first came forward alleging that Trump had assaulted her in 2007, kissing and groping her without consent.https://t.co/Mozb0nL4kh
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With so many outsiders looking with concern at the prospect of pending charges, it’s unclear whether Trump himself has mounted a strategy in the event of an indictment. But Palm Beach, Florida has certainly been considering its options for how they may — or may not — choose to cooperate with the state of New York.
Politico spoke with Joe Abbruzzo, clerk of the Circuit Court of Palm Beach County, about a particular Florida statute on interstate extradition that would give Governor Ron DeSantis “the ability to intervene and even investigate whether an indicted ‘person ought to be surrendered’ to law enforcement officials from another state.”
In other words, if Trump’s on Florida soil when the warrant goes out, he goes by Florida rules — to the best of DeSantis’ ability anyway. And while it’s certainly a sign of loyalty that Florida officials have already begun discussing how best to potentially deny a warrant for the former POTUS’ arrest, it’s also not the greatest sign of confidence that he’ll beat these criminal charges.
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