Robert Mueller’s former senior prosecutor Andrew Weissmann said that former president Trump could be effectively “imprisoned” in Florida in case he is indicted in New York and there is resistance to efforts to extradite him.
The story: Weissman made the comments during an appearance on MSNBS after host Nicole Wallace mentioned a Politico report that said Palm Beach County officials in Florida are preparing for Trump to get indicted. Two officials who spoke to the publication said they were readying themselves for “thorny extradition issues.”
Namely, they are considering several scenarios in case Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.’s criminal investigation into the former president results in an indictment while Trump is at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. Vance Jr. is looking for possible bank, tax, or insurance fraud.
A statute in the state of Florida allows Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) to intervene and launch a probe into whether a “person ought to be surrendered” when indicted.
Joe Abruzzo, a clerk at the Circuit Court of Palm Beach County, explained to Politico that “[t]he statute leaves room for interpretation that the governor has the power to order a review and potentially not comply with the extradition notice.”
What he said: Weissmann, a former Justice Department official, explained that if DeSantis does not allow Trump’s extradition, then the former president would be stuck in Florida and unable to run for the presidency in 2024.
“This happens all the time in foreign countries, where essentially you have people who are sort of imprisoned in a country. Here, Donald Trump would be imprisoned in Florida,” Weissmann told the host.
“If he went overseas, if he went to any other state, he would be subject to those laws, and so he would really have to stay in Florida. It certainly would be quite an interesting issue if he were to, for instance — this is way down the road — but if he were to try and run again for president, he would not be inhabiting the White House in that situation because there would be papers seeking his extradition to New York.”
Weissman pointed out that Florida “would act at its own peril” if DeSantis decides to intervene because other states would be more inclined to retaliate by rejecting its requests for extraditions.
Worth noting: Trump is set to spend the next several months in Bedminster, New Jersey, as his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach shuts down for the season. The state has a similar statute, however, New Jersey’s governor is Phill Murphy, a Democrat, has been critical of the former president and is unlikely to take his side.
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