Palm Beach Preparing For Possible Trump Arrest

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 — which means that 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.

“The statute leaves room for inter­pre­ta­tion that the gov­er­nor has the pow­er to order a review and poten­tial­ly not com­ply with the extra­di­tion notice,” says JOE ABRUZZO, clerk of the Cir­cuit Court of Palm Beach Coun­ty, the offi­cial who would be in charge of open­ing a poten­tial fugi­tive-at-large case.

One wrin­kle to Abruzzo’s poten­tial role in all of this: He is a for­mer close asso­ciate of Pres­i­dent JOE BIDEN’S younger broth­er, FRANK. Abruz­zo tells Play­book that despite his friend­ship with the Biden fam­i­ly, “the full extent of the law will be fol­lowed and car­ried out appro­pri­ate­ly, with­out bias.”

If an indict­ment comes down while Trump is in Bed­min­ster for the sum­mer, this could all play out very dif­fer­ent­ly. 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.

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