Former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy says the idea that officers will handcuff former President Trump and arrest him after an indictment “couldn’t happen,” and that it will instead be up to the U.S. Secret Service and the New York Police Department to arrange a location for him to surrender.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is weighing possible charges against Trump and could bring an indictment. Those charges stem from the $130,000 hush-money payment that then-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen made to Stormy Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, in the weeks leading up to the 2016 presidential election in exchange for her silence about an alleged sexual encounter with Trump in 2006.
Federal prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York opted out of charging Trump related to the payment in 2019, even as Cohen implicated him as part of his plea deal. The Federal Election Commission also tossed its investigation of the matter in 2021.
McCarthy, who was an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York and is now a Fox News contributor, told Fox News Digital that the “most important people in this equation” following a Trump indictment are the Secret Service and the NYPD.
“Trump is a Secret Service protect and the NYPD are in charge of New York City,” McCarthy said. “They have good relations because a lot of Secret Service protects spend time in New York City.”
And despite the speculation, McCarthy said it is unlikely Trump will end up in handcuffs.
“The idea cops will approach him in Florida or on the street and put cuffs on him will not happen and could not happen,” McCarthy said. “The Secret Service would not let that happen.”
McCarthy said if Trump is indicted, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office would “invite him to come in to surrender.”
Typically, a defendant who surrenders in a nonviolent case would go to a central booking location, but McCarthy explained that due to security concerns, there are likely to be special accommodations made for a former president of the United States.
McCarthy said he anticipates the Secret Service and the NYPD would find a secure room in the courthouse in downtown Manhattan, likely at 100 Centre Street.
“That’s where he would be fingerprinted and photographed,” McCarthy said, noting that it would have to be a public proceeding.
“But it should be very quick because this is not a violent case,” he explained.
Ordinarily in a public proceeding, the defendant would not enter a plea on their first appearance before the judge, and would enter a plea at the second appearance, also known as the arraignment.
“If I were the DA’s office, I would be pushing to get a plea done in the first appearance,” McCarthy explained, citing the “logistical nightmare” at hand.
McCarthy explained that pre-trial motions could be significant in this case due to the issue of the statute of limitations surrounding the matter.
“The big issue is whether this is a crime,” he said. “We won’t know until we see the indictment.”
McCarthy explained that the statute of limitations on the matter, if Bragg were to bring it as a misdemeanor, would be two years. If the last development on the matter took place in 2018, the statute of limitations has expired.
If Bragg chooses to bring felony charges, which McCarthy anticipates due to the fact that a grand jury has been empaneled and used, the statute of limitations extends to five years, giving Bragg until this year to indict.
Meanwhile, McCarthy said he does anticipate charges will be brought, especially because Trump was invited to testify before the grand jury last week.
“You typically don’t invite the target in to testify unless you are really serious about bringing the case, and they did that last week,” McCarthy said.