May 18, 2024

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If Trump goes to jail, so does the Secret Service

If Trump goes to jail, so does the Secret Service

The mission of the American “Secret Service” is to protect the President, whether he is in the White House or abroad in a war zone.

But protecting the jailed former president? That would be unheard of. But that's what the agency, which is supposed to protect 24 hours a day, will do if Donald Trump is convicted and jailed following a criminal trial in New York.

Even before the trial began, the Secret Service had prepared somewhat for the unusual possibility that a former president would be sent to prison. Prosecutors asked Judge Juan Mercen to remind Mr Trump that he faced jail time before the verdict if he assaulted witnesses and jurors. (Judge Merchan held a hearing on Tuesday to determine whether Mr. Trump is in contempt of court; if so, he is likely to issue a warning or fine before taking the drastic step of jailing the 77-year-old former president. He said he will release his decision when.)

Federal, city and state officials met last week to discuss how to handle the unprecedented situation following a request from prosecutors, two people familiar with the matter said.

Former President in Jail

That behind-the-scenes conversation — involving the Secret Service and other agencies — focused only on the trip and if the judge in the courtroom ordered a short contempt sentence, Mr. Defending Trump.

Photo by Tom Brenner, The New York Times

US Secret Service agents have been part of Donald Trump's entourage since his election to the presidency in November 2015.

The biggest challenge — how to safely incarcerate him if a jury finds him guilty and a judge incarcerates him — according to a dozen current and former state and federal government officials.

This is a less pressing issue: Mr. If Trump is convicted, there will be a long series of appeals to the Supreme Court that could delay any conviction by months or years, insisting that a prison sentence is impossible.

But the prisoner, who is the Republican candidate for president, Mr. The challenge is significant for the Secret Service and prison administration as they face the logistical nightmare of securing Trump.

Former New York and Pennsylvania State Prison Administrator Martin F. Horn says. No state jail or central jail should have to face such a situation, he said.

Photo by Erin Schaaf, New York Times Archives

Secret Service agents await the arrival of Donald Trump on the tarmac of a heliport in Los Angeles on September 17, 2019. The Secret Service is required to protect current and former presidents, but the prospect of doing so in prison is unprecedented.

Mr. in prison. To protect Trump, officials say, they need to isolate him from other inmates and protect his food and personal belongings: A team of agents will work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in rotation at the facility. Despite the strict ban on weapons in prisons, these agents are armed.

According to former prison officials, there are several prisons in New York state that have been closed in whole or in part: one of these buildings may have been used to incarcerate the former president and house his close guard.

No comment

Spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the Secret Service does not comment on specific “security measures.” He said Secret Service agents are required by federal law to protect former presidents and have sophisticated technology, intelligence and methods.

Photo by Alex Brandon, Associated Press Archives

A security agent close to President Trump during a campaign rally in September 2020.

New York State Corrections Agency spokesman Thomas J. Miley declined to comment on the treatment of a man who has yet to be sentenced. But there is a system in place to assess and manage the medical, psychological and safety needs of individuals, he said. In New York City, spokesman Frank Dwyer said only that “the prison service will find suitable accommodation” for the former president.

In the New York trial — one of four criminal cases that could go before a jury before the election — Mr. Trump faces 34 counts of falsifying business records to cover up sex scandal involving porn actress He faces a maximum sentence of four years in state prison, which Mr. Someone under Trump's age without a criminal record would be very harsh. Judge Merchan may impose a suspended sentence and probation.

Mr. If Trump is convicted and elected president, he cannot pardon himself because he is being sued by the state of New York.

In New York, “municipal sentences” (one year or less) are usually served at the infamous Rikers Island, where all seven New York City jails are located. Mr. Trump's former chief financial officer, Alan Weiselberg, 76, is serving his second five-month sentence there for crimes related to his work at the Trump Corporation.

Any “state sentence” (more than one year) is usually served in one of the 44 prisons administered by the New York State Department of Corrections and Probation.

The suspended sentence and probation could lead to a surreal situation, with the former Commander-in-Chief of the United States having to report to a municipal probation officer at specified intervals.

He must obey the instructions of his probation officer and be responsible for his work and personal life until the end of his probation. He will also be prohibited from associating with people of ill repute, and if he commits crimes, he may be imprisoned on the spot.

Published in this article The New York Times.

Read this article in its original version (in English; subscription required).

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