Thursday, May 13, 2021


Back when Donald Trump was still president, people would regularly ask on Twitter: To which country will Trump flee to avoid being taken into custody by law enforcement after he loses the election?

Trump hates foreign countries. He doesn't even like most of America. All his life he's had enough money to travel the world and stay in the best hotels, but he prefers sleeping in his own bed.

So I always responded with the same answer:

Now I learn from Politico Playbook that I was nearly right:
Law enforcement officials in Palm Beach County, Fla., 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 two high-ranking county officials involved in planning sessions.

Among the topics discussed in those meetings: 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....
I think DeSantis would have made up a reason not to allow Trump's extradition even if there was nothing in the law giving him that power. - I imagined him deploying the National Guard or state troopers to defend Trump. But if he can legally prevent Trump from being extradited, he absolutely will.

There's one wrinkle, however, according to Politico:
... 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.

... 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.
Maybe Trump will cut a deal, but I assume he has enough friends in high (or low) places in New York City and New York State to get him advance warning of any impending indictment, at which point I expect him to quietly slip back into Florida.

If he can't avoid extradiction, I suppose he will negotiate for a dignified arrest and a quick release. But if he were the anti-establishment hero he and his cult followers think he is, he'd be begging for arrest, or even a short stay in jail. He'd become the wingnut Mumia. It'll never happen, though. He's too soft and pampered.

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