Donald Trump’s indictment means that even though he is the first former president of the United States, he will be treated — to some extent, anyway — like any other defendant in the criminal justice system.
When he is arrested, Trump is read his rights, known as the Miranda warning, which includes how he has the right to remain silent, the right to a lawyer and that what he says can be used against him in court.
Trump will then be taken into custody and processed like any other defendant, including a booking number, former prosecutors and law enforcement officials told USA TODAY. “There’s still a mug shot, fingerprints and a lot of paperwork to fill out as part of the booking process,” said Glenn Kirshner, a former federal prosecutor who, like other defendants, said.
Trump is expected to come through the process with his Secret Service details, underscoring the unprecedented nature of the case, as former presidents are given such protection for life.
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The Manhattan district attorney’s office acknowledged late Thursday that Trump’s attorneys had been notified. “This evening we contacted Mr. Trump’s attorney and coordinated his surrender … for a hearing on the Supreme Court indictment, which remains under seal,” said a spokesman for District Attorney Alvin Bragg. “Guidance will be issued when the hearing date is selected.”
Taking Trump to court may be another matter entirely.
Given his special status, Trump’s first appearance could be a relatively quiet affair, with prosecutors and police making special efforts to shield him from the kind of “perp walk” that authorities sometimes force other defendants to endure. That means a parade — mostly in handcuffs — past a throng of New York media. In some cases, some defendants have chosen to be detained that way in an attempt to make a statement about their arrest and the charges against them.
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Trump lawyer Joe Tacobina said the former president is expected to appear in New York for trial early next week.
“It’s safe to say it’s been a complete circus, and that’s an understatement,” predicted presidential historian Matt Dallek. “I doubt they’ll tie him up. But my understanding is he’s going to have to be fingerprinted and get a mug shot.”
Contributed by: Kevin Johnson
Josh Meyer is USA TODAY’s homeland security correspondent. Follow him on Twitter at @joshmeyerdc
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