According to The Guardian and The New York Times, if a Manhattan grand jury indicts former US president Donald Trump for his alleged role in paying hush money to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, Trump has told his advisers that he would prefer to be handcuffed in a potential upcoming court appearance.
Both publications report that if Trump is obliged to turn himself in to authorities for fingerprinting and a picture, he would try to make a “spectacle” out of the circumstance, citing numerous sources from within his team. Trump said on social media last week that he anticipated being detained in connection with the case on Tuesday this week, but that didn’t happen.
Trump’s reasons for doing so, according to a Wednesday article in The Guardian, are related to his conviction that the investigation into an alleged campaign finance violation against him is biased. Also, there is a theory that pictures showing him being escorted by police into a courtroom could bolster his political base’s determination before his bid to win the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.
The former US president is worried about coming across as weak if he appears in court remotely by video link or if he receives preferential treatment from authorities, according to sources cited by The Guardian. According to the publication, he anticipates that the circumstance will put his Republican competitors in a difficult political position because they may be required to publicly defend him in the event of an investigation.
According to a report by Bloomberg on Monday, Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg would probably give Trump extra attention before any court hearing because of his standing as a former head of state. This includes avoiding having his existing Secret Service detail lead him into the institution while he is handcuffed for a so-called “perp walk.”
The issue revolves around an alleged $130,000 payment made by Trump to Stormy Daniels through his former attorney Michael Cohen in the closing weeks of his 2016 presidential campaign. In a legal case against Cohen, it was claimed that Trump eventually paid him back with several payments totaling $35,000 that were listed as legal costs. This raised further questions about potential business record-keeping fraud, tax evasion, and campaign finance law breaches. Regarding federal charges stemming from the alleged hush-money payment, Cohen entered a guilty plea in 2018.
It is still unclear when or even if the Manhattan grand jury would seek to indict Trump in a case that has the potential to change American law and make him the first sitting or former president to ever be charged with a crime.