Florida Bracing to Extradite Donald Trump if Indictments Drop
Officials in Palm Beach, Florida are discussing what would happen if criminal indictments are filed by Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance against former President Donald Trump, who became a Sunshine State resident in late 2019.
Trump would have to be extradited to New York if he is charged in one or more of the multiple investigations underway into whether he committed bank and tax fraud.
But successfully doing so could be difficult and messy thanks to Florida’s extradition laws, per Politico’s reporting on Thursday:
An obscure clause in Florida’s statute on interstate extradition gives Governor Ron DeSantis [R] 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.
DeSantis – a fiercely loyal Trump ally – is rumored to be on Trump’s shortlist of possible vice presidential nominees in 2024, should he choose to seek a second term. DeSantis may even be a rival in that year’s Republican presidential primary contest.
Trump’s second home is his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, which also has extradition agreements with New York State. If he is there when the indictments drop, however, political obstacles like those in Florida evaporate because Garden State Governor Phil Murphy is a Democrat.
“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,” Politico explained. The publication emphasized that time is of the utmost essence.
“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,” wrote Politico.