Following the historic revelation that Donald Trump will become the first former U.S. president to be indicted on criminal charges, his attorney said in a Friday morning TV interview that he won’t be placed in handcuffs when surrendering to police next week.
News that a Manhattan grand jury voted to indict Trump first broke late Thursday. It came after a months-long investigation by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office into alleged hush money payments by Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen to ex-adult film star Stormy Daniels — who Trump allegedly had an affair with prior to being elected president in 2016.
In a Thursday night statement, Bragg’s office said it’s working with Trump’s lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, to coordinate his arrest — which will likely take place next Tuesday.
According to a report from Politico, the DA’s office had originally wanted Trump to surrender on Friday — March 31, but was rebuffed by the former president’s legal team, who said his secret service detail needed more time to prepare.
During an ABC News interview on Friday morning with George Stephanopoulos, Tacopina made clear the former president — who’s also currently vying for the Republican nomination in the 2024 presidential election — “won’t be put in handcuffs,” but didn’t rule out a perp walk or mugshot.
“I’m sure they’ll try to get every ounce of publicity that they can from this thing,” Tacopina said. “The president will not be put in handcuffs.”
As the details of the indictment are still unknown, Tacopina said he’s not sure what to expect when Trump turns himself in at Manhattan Criminal Court in lower Manhattan next Tuesday besides an arraignment, where the charges will be formally unsealed.
But Tacopina indicated Trump plans to plead not guilty before aggressively filing motions challenging the case’s legality.
“This is unprecedented in this country’s history, I don’t know what to expect other than an arraignment,” he said. “You know, we’ll go in there, we’ll proceed to see a judge at some point, plead not guilty, start talking about filing motions, which we’ll do immediately and very aggressively, regarding the legal viability of this case.”
Additionally, Tacopina said, given the possibility of civil unrest surrounding Trump’s surrender to the authorities, law enforcement will be shutting down city blocks around the courthouse on Tuesday.
“I understand they’re gonna be closing off blocks around the courthouse, shutting down the courthouse,” he said.
News of the forthcoming charges follows Trump predicting earlier this month that he’d be arrested on March 21, a date that came and went without an indictment. That prediction also included a call to his supporters to “PROTEST, TAKE OUR NATION BACK!” on his media platform — Truth Social, coupled with a barrage of attacks against Bragg and his investigators, characterizing them as politically motivated.
Local enforcement has been on high alert since Trump foretold his own arrest, but Fabien Levy — a spokesperson for Mayor Eric Adams — said on Friday that there are currently no “credible threats” to the city.
“The mayor is in constant contact with [Police] Commissioner [Keechant] Sewell about all public safety issues affecting the city,” Levy said in a statement. “The NYPD continues to monitor all activity and there are no credible threats to the city at this time.”
Meanwhile some New Yorkers are celebrating Trump’s imminent arrest.
Standing outside Manhattan Criminal Court on Friday morning, Marian Call — who was dressed up in a hush money themed costume — told amNewYork Metro she’s been protesting Trump for four years and is celebrating his indictment.
“I am here to celebrate him being indicted,” Call said. “The important thing is that we hold powerful men accountable.”