Can Ron DeSantis save Trump if NY indicts him? Gov can use ‘obscure Florida clause’ to intervene in extradition
A new issue has arisen in the saga of former President Donald Trump as to him being indicted in New York. As it has been reported earlier, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance is leading a criminal probe into possible financial crimes, including tax fraud, by the Republican, and if Vance manages to secure an indictment against him, Trump needs to be extradited from Palm Beach, Florida. However, the catch is Florida’s governor is Ron DeSantis -- a staunch supporter of the 74-year-old -- who can reportedly make the process thorny for the New York authorities.
According to Politico Playbook’s report published on Thursday, May 13, there is an “obscure clause in Florida’s statute on interstate extradition”, which allows DeSantis “to intervene and even investigate whether an indicted ‘person ought to be surrendered’ to law enforcement officials.” But the 42-year-old is one of Trump's most loyal supporters as it was the former POTUS who helped him get the chair of the governor. And since DeSantis is also reportedly considering himself for the 2024 presidential election, it becomes essential for him to show himself as the most friendly heir to the father-of-five.
Meanwhile, Vance has been behind Trump long before he left the White House for Palm Beach on January 20 while ditching his native New York home. He also managed to obtain permission from the US Supreme Court, which allowed his investigators to see Trump’s tax and financial records for a thorough grand jury inquiry. So, now, if the attorney is successful in indicting Trump, his extradition could be made difficult by DeSantis because he reportedly cannot go easily along with New York since that will anger Trump’s allies and supporters and eventually badly affect his re-run or any future plan to become the leader of the country.
As per Florida statutes, “When a demand shall be made upon the Governor of this state by the executive authority of another state for the surrender of a person so charged with crime, the Governor may call upon the Department of Legal Affairs or any prosecuting officer in this state to investigate or assist in investigating the demand, and to report to him or her the situation and circumstances of the person so demanded, and whether the person ought to be surrendered.”
Politico Playbook also stated, were an indictment to come while Trump is in Bedminster for the summer, it could all play out very differently. Bedminster is in New Jersey, whose extradition statute is like Florida, but the deportation of Trump from there to New York won't reportedly cause a problem because the state's governor is a Democrat, Phil Murphy, who is reportedly not going to support Trump. “With Trump settling down in New Jersey for the next few months, Florida is unlikely to have to sort through this any time soon." the publication said.
However, there is apparently one more issue. The Manhattan DA’s investigation has not got a lot of time to secure an indictment of Trump since, on March 12, Vance announced he will retire at the end of 2021, which means his office could obtain indictments before giving "the case along to his successor. And that means that Palm Beach County may yet have to get involved — depending on whether Trump is indicted, of course, and whether that happens after Mar-a-Lago reopens in the fall.”