If you haven’t heard: on Thursday evening, a New York grand jury officially indicted Donald Trump over his hush money payment to porn legend Stormy Daniels. Which officially makes Trump the first former president to be indicted on criminal charges. (Congratulations?)
While it was Trump himself who alerted the world to the pending charges, hearing that it actually happened still came as a bit of a surprise — particularly as it occurred shortly after it was reported that the grand jury would be putting the case aside for the month of April. And while the history-making ex-POTUS’ response to the official news was about what you would expect, it turns out that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg wanted to move things along even more quickly and have Trump turn himself in today. But the Secret Service stepped in — or at least served as a scapegoat — to delay that particular embarrassment.
According to Politico, when Trump’s lawyers were informed about the grand jury’s decision, the plan was that the freshly indicted ex-president would turn himself in on Friday. But Trump’s lawyers claimed that wouldn’t be possible, as his Secret Service detail would not be able to coordinate security regarding his surrender that quickly. As Erica Orden wrote:
The exchange, which was relayed to POLITICO by a law-enforcement source and confirmed by Joe Tacopina, a lawyer for the former president, underscores the extremely delicate, unprecedented nature of the indictment. Until Thursday, no ex-president in history had been criminally charged. And both the charges itself and the application of them have placed the country on uncharted legal and political terrain…
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Trump is expected to surrender to the Manhattan D.A.’s office, but Tacopina said that no precise date had been set for it. Ultimately the Secret Service will have to coordinate the conditions of the surrender with court officials and the New York Police Department.
A spokesperson for Bragg’s office did not respond to Politico’s request for comment.