If former President Donald Trump declines to surrender to New York authorities in response to the criminal indictment issued against him on Thursday, they would likely have to go down to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida to place him in custody and extradite him back up to New York.
That is because, in the unlikely event that that happens, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has announced that his state "will not assist" in any extradition efforts, Fox News reported.
Notably, however, DeSantis did not say that he would attempt to block or otherwise interfere with such extradition, only that he and his state would not provide any cooperative assistance in that regard.
After years of stop-and-start investigations, Democratic Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg announced on Thursday that a grand jury he had empaneled in January had voted to indict former President Trump.
Though that indictment remains sealed, it is believed to relate to a $130,000 "hush money" payment made in 2016 through Trump's then-personal attorney Michael Cohen to former porn actress Stormy Daniels to buy her silence about an alleged affair in 2006 that Trump has flatly denied.
The case is widely regarded as flimsy and a stretch and, given the overt partisan politics at play, a politically motivated attempt to harm the former president and his campaign to regain the presidency in 2024.
In response to the news of the indictment, Gov. DeSantis took to Twitter and said, "The weaponization of the legal system to advance a political agenda turns the rule of law on its head. It is un-American."
"The Soros-backed Manhattan District Attorney has consistently bent the law to downgrade felonies and to excuse criminal misconduct. Yet, now he is stretching the law to target a political opponent," the governor continued.
DeSantis added, "Florida will not assist in an extradition request given the questionable circumstances at issue with this Soros-backed Manhattan prosecutor and his political agenda."
For his part, former President Trump posted to his Truth Social account a blistering statement of condemnation in response to the indictment from the Manhattan DA.
He denounced it as "political persecution and election interference at the highest level in history," given that he is the first current or former president to ever be criminally indicted since the United States first formed. Trump also lambasted the indictment as nothing more than a continuation of the incessant Democratic "witch-hunt" that has been pressed against him since before he was even first elected in 2016.
The former president further dismissed DA Bragg as a "disgrace" who refused to prosecute violent crimes in New York City but had no problem "weaponizing" the justice system to go after a political opponent, and ultimately predicted that this latest effort to "get Trump," like all of the others that came before, would "backfire massively" on the Democratic Party and President Joe Biden.
As for what Gov. DeSantis said about not assisting in a possible extradition of former President Trump from Florida to New York, that is likely a moot point that will never be tested, at least according to a CNN report about the indictment and what will likely happen next.
Per that report, Trump is expected to travel to New York City next week and surrender himself to authorities ahead of an arraignment hearing on Tuesday, though the outlet cautioned that "the timing of the appearance remains fluid" and certain details could change amid ongoing discussions between prosecutors and defense attorneys.