Trump indictment: What happens next?

NEW YORK — It is a legal process that is routinely carried out nationwide. Fingerprints will be taken. So will a mug shot. There is even the possibility of handcuffs.

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But the indictment of former President Donald Trump by a Manhattan jury, which was reported on Thursday, is not routine. It is unprecedented in U.S. history.

The indictment remained sealed Thursday afternoon, but prosecutors have said they intended to bring the indictment against Trump in connection with so-called “hush money” payments made during his 2016 presidential campaign to an adult film actress.

Trump released a statement over Truth Social on Thursday. He said the indictment was “political persecution and election interference at the highest level in history.”

What happens next to the former president? Here are the next steps.

Will there be a public arrest?

That depends on the former president. Trump could be arrested and placed in handcuffs, The Washington Post reported. However, prosecutors are expected to reach out to Trump’s lawyers and ask whether he would surrender voluntarily.

That would avoid a public spectacle, according to the newspaper.

Joe Tacopina, an attorney for Trump, has said that his client would not refuse to surrender.

“There won’t be a standoff at Mar-a-Lago with Secret Service and the Manhattan DA’s office,” Tacopina said, according to a published report.

A spokesperson for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office said Trump’s attorneys have been contacted, according to the Post.;

“This evening we contacted Mr. Trump’s attorney to coordinate his surrender to the Manhattan D.A.’s Office for arraignment on a Supreme Court indictment, which remains under seal,” the spokesperson said. “Guidance will be provided when the arraignment date is selected.”

It is standard procedure for defendants who are arrested on felony charges to be handcuffed, with most shackled with hands behind their backs according to The New York Times.

While it is standard for defendants arrested on felony charges to be handcuffed, it is unclear whether they will make an exception for Mr. Trump because of his status. Most defendants have their hands cuffed behind their backs, but some white-collar defendants who are deemed to pose less of a danger have their hands secured in front of them.

Miranda rights?

Trump will be read the standard Miranda rights warning when he either surrenders or is arrested, according to the Times. He will be told that he has the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. He also will be fingerprinted, and a photograph of the former president would be taken.

New York does not release most mugshots after a 2019 law was passed that intended to curtail online extortion, CNN reported.

Where would Trump be taken?

Defendants are unusually processed at police precincts, according to the Post. However, it is not unusual for a defendant -- particularly a high-profile subject like Trump -- to be processed at a district attorney’s office if they surrender voluntarily.

Defendants have to give up their cellphones and other personal items for safekeeping and lawyers generally are not allowed to be with their clients through the process, according to The Associated Press. Attorneys often advise their clients to travel light and remain silent.

When will Trump be arraigned?

According to Tacopina, Trump will likely be arraigned early next week, CNN reported.

After the arraignment, Trump would likely be released on his own recognizance, the Times reported. That is because the indictment would contain only nonviolent charges. Under New York law, prosecutors cannot request bail in these cases, according to the newspaper.

Trump will be accompanied to any legal proceeding by armed agents of the U.S. Secret Service, who are required to protect him at all times, the Times reported. Security in New York courtrooms is provided by New York State court officers, according to the newspaper

It is unlikely that Trump will be paraded in handcuffs through a crowded courthouse, Manhattan defense attorney Jeremy Saland told the AP.

“It’s a public forum, but safety is also paramount,” Saland told the news organization.

Does an indictment prevent Trump from running for president?

A candidate from a major party has never attempted to run for president while charged or convicted of a crime, the Post reported. That does not prevent Trump from breaking with precedent.

Trump has indicated previously that he planned to use an indictment against him as part of a campaign strategy to inflame his base of voters, the Times reported.

“Nothing stops Trump from running while indicted, or even convicted,” UCLA law professor Richard Hasen told CNN in an email.

The Constitution has only three requirements for candidates: they must be a natural-born citizen, they must be at least 35 years old, and they must be a U.S. resident for at least 14 years, the cable news network reported.

Trump qualifies under all three requirements.

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