“I actually don’t think it’s going to be very difficult,” Ms Poumpouras said of the possibility of protecting Mr Trump in prison. “He’s going to a very secure location.”
Former presidents like Mr Trump are assigned lifetime Secret Service details as a matter of routine — but Mr Trump’s post-presidency has, thus far, been anything but ordinary. Not only is Mr Trump running for president again and leading polls of the Republican primary contest, but he’s also facing the possibility of multiple felony convictions that could see him become the first former president to ever be incarcerated.
Some have speculated in recent days that Secret Service security concerns would prevent Mr Trump from being incarcerated in a state or federal prison if he is convicted of charges he’s currently facing in three separate cases, but the agent who appeared on CNN seemed to throw cold water on that notion.
“If you want to go to prison, you want to go to federal prison,” Ms Poumpouras said. “They’re typically safer. State prisons tend to have more violent offenders there. So that’s one thing. The other thing is they already have their security set up. So... let’s say he goes federal: they’ve got their own system set up. It’s already safe. You’re actually looking at less manpower, less resources, less money — definitely less money for taxpayers.”
That may not be exactly what Mr Trump wants to hear. In recent months, the former president has been indicted on state charges in New York for his alleged role in a hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels and federally indicted in Florida for allegedly mishandling classified documents and Washington DC for his alleged role in conspiring to overturn the 2020 election results.
Mr Trump may face further charges in the coming weeks as well, with the Fulton County Courthouse in Atlanta on heightened security alert ahead of a possible indictment of the former president in Georgia for his alleged attempts to overturn the result of the 2020 presidential election there.
If Mr Trump is convicted of some or all of the charges he’s currently facing, the Secret Service would be in uncharted logistical territory.
“I could see them moving people around, inmates around, to try to figure out who to put him near,” Ms Poumpouras said. “They’re all going to have criminal records, so having said that, I would look for offenders who have non-violent crime.”
The agent suggested that the Secret Service would give Mr Trump “shift agents” to walk around him when he is moving outside of his potential cell. Ms Poumpouras noted that while an American ex-president has never been jailed, heads of state in numerous other countries have been incarcerated following their terms in office.
Of course, Mr Trump’s most straightforward path to avoiding prison may involve returning to office by winning next year’s election. If he fails in that endevour and is convicted, Ms Poumpouras thinks it won’t trouble the Secret Service from a security perspective.
“It’s secure,” Ms Poumpouras said of prison. “They’ve already locked it down.”
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