PoliticsTrump on Trial

Actions

Can Florida Gov. DeSantis prevent Trump's extradition to New York?

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis suggested he could stop Trump from being extradited, but does he actually have the power to do so?
President Donald Trump stands behind Ron DeSantis.
Posted at 7:42 AM, Mar 31, 2023

Nearly an hour after news broke that former President Donald Trump will face an indictment in New York, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said his state would not be involved in extraditing Trump. 

The statement comes as DeSantis is widely considered Trump’s top rival in a potential 2024 matchup for the Republican presidential nomination. 

“Florida will not assist in an extradition request given the questionable circumstances at issue with this Soros-backed Manhattan prosecutor and his political agenda,” DeSantis said. 

A poll of potential GOP primary voters released this week by Quinnipiac University  indicates that Trump is in the lead. Among those Republicans polled, 47% of respondents said they would vote for Trump. Thirty-three percent said they would vote for DeSantis. No other Republican presidential hopeful has more than 5%.

Trump currently resides in Florida at his Mar-a-Lago estate. Such an edict from DeSantis could run afoul of the Extradition Clause in the U.S. Constitution. 

Ultimately, there is very little DeSantis could do to block extradition.

Donald Trump's plane at an airport in Florida.

History of legal problems US presidents have faced

A legal expert weighs in on the Trump indictment's place in history and the legal woes of past U.S. presidents.

LEARN MORE

“A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime,” the clause reads. 

In the 1987 case of Puerto Rico v. Branstad, the Supreme Court ruled that federal courts can require states to extradite suspects to other states.

Because Trump has Secret Service protection as a former president, experts have said it would be unlikely state law enforcement would even be able to execute an arrest. Dave Aronberg, Florida state attorney for Palm Beach County, told Scripps News last week there is little chance that local officials in Manhattan would be able to place Trump in custody initially. 

“The district attorney's office will be working with the Secret Service to get Trump to surrender to authorities,” Aronberg said. “The Secret Service is not going to allow local law enforcement to put their hands on the former president. So what they'll do is Trump would conceivably surrender to New York, go up to New York with Secret Service, and then get processed up there, get fingerprinted, get his mug shot, and then get released without any cash bail. Just being released on his own recognizance.”

Law enforcement officers stand outside a courthouse in New York

What happens now that Donald Trump has been indicted?

An indictment has been issued, but there are still open questions about what exactly Trump is being charged with or when he might surrender.

LEARN MORE

It’s unclear when Trump might appear for an arraignment.  Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said that his office has been in contact with Trump's attorney.

“We contacted Mr. Trump’s attorney to coordinate his surrender to the Manhattan D.A.’s Office for arraignment on a Supreme Court indictment, which remains under seal. Guidance will be provided when the arraignment date is selected,” Bragg said.

Another option, if Trump’s legal team chooses, is to move to fight extradition.