Here's how Trump's indictment, arrest and arraignment could work

The former president must appear in person at a lower Manhattan criminal court, where standard protocol says he'd be fingerprinted and have his mug shot taken.

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Former President Donald Trump is expected to soon be indicted by a New York grand jury for his role in a hush money payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels on the eve of the 2016 election. The special grand jury is due to meet again on Wednesday afternoon, when it could vote to hand up an indictment.

Trump would be the first former U.S. president ever to be charged with a crime.

Following his indictment, Trump would then likely turn himself in for his arrest and arraignment on the charges in Manhattan Criminal Court.

Given the unprecedented nature of the case, the timing and details surrounding the indictment remain fluid.

Here's how it could work

Two police officers patrol a rocky area adjacent to the water next to Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla.
Police officers patrol an area next to Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla. (Ricardo Arduengo/Reuters)

Any indictment issued would be followed by an arrest of Trump, who has residences in Palm Beach, Fla., Bedminster, N.J., and New York City. He is currently at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

According to the New York Times, it may take several days for Trump to appear at the courthouse as prosecutors and the former president’s lawyers “negotiate his surrender, a common practice in white-collar investigations.”

Yahoo News reported that New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office is engaged in delicate negotiations with the Secret Service over how to arrest, fingerprint and — per standard procedure — potentially handcuff the former president.

Will Trump be forced to do a 'perp walk'?

Former President Donald Trump arrives in a Chevy Suburban at Trump Tower after dark in 2022, the day after FBI agents raided his Florida home.
Former President Donald Trump arrives at Trump Tower in Manhattan in 2022, the day after FBI agents raided his Florida home. (David "Dee" Delgado/Reuters)

Under standard procedures, once indicted, a defendant like Trump would be escorted into the New York City courthouse in lower Manhattan and taken to a processing room, where he would be briefly put in a jail cell, booked, fingerprinted, photographed for a mug shot and handcuffed.

Defendants are then escorted via elevator to an upper floor, where they are walked in handcuffs into a courtroom for their arraignment in full view of the media — the equivalent of a “perp walk.”

But Trump is not the standard defendant. By law, he is protected at all times by the Secret Service. Prosecutors are still discussing whether he should be allowed to have Secret Service agents, rather than court security officers, escort him into the courtroom without handcuffs, a source told Yahoo News.

'This is not normal'

Supporters of  Donald Trump waves flags marked
Supporters of Donald Trump waves flags outside Trump Tower in Manhattan on Monday. (Mike Segar/Reuters)

The purported purpose of jailing and then handcuffing defendants is to prevent them from fleeing, and city officials acknowledge that would be highly unlikely, if not impossible, for someone as well known as Trump.

“This is not normal,” said the source familiar with the ongoing negotiations. “This is somebody who has a protective detail.” The Secret Service, the source added, has a “great argument” that it would be literally impossible for Trump to flee the scene inside a New York City courthouse when he will be surrounded by federal agents.

On the other hand, Bragg and the prosecutors in his office have made it clear they intend to treat Trump as they would any other defendant. Ultimately, the source said, it will be Bragg’s decision whether he wants to play hardball and force Trump to undergo standard procedures, or to make special accommodations for an individual who would be the first former U.S. president to be charged with criminal conduct.

Security ramped up in NYC

The New York City Police Department, working out of a blue truck marked NYPD, sets up barricades outside Manhattan Criminal Court in lower Manhattan.
NYPD sets up barricades outside Manhattan Criminal Court on Monday. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

Outside the courthouse in lower Manhattan, security has already been ramped up amid heightened concerns following Trump’s call for his supporters to “protest” any indictment.

Police officers were seen setting up barricades and installing elevated surveillance cameras outside Manhattan Criminal Court on Monday. Temporary fences were also placed outside Trump Tower in midtown.

ABC News reported that the Secret Service and New York City Police Department held a conference call Monday to “discuss logistics, including court security and how Trump would potentially surrender for booking and processing.”

New York Mayor Eric Adams said that the city is "monitoring comments on social media" and preparing for Trump's possible indictment and arrest.

“The NYPD is doing their normal role of making sure there are no inappropriate actions in the city," Adams said Monday. "We are confident we're going to be able to do that."