Trump rival DeSantis says Florida will not ‘extradite’ former president over hush money indictment

Mr Trump has become first former president indicted with criminal charges

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Thursday 30 March 2023 21:44 EDT

Trump indicted in Stormy Daniels probe as first ex-US president to face criminal charges

Florida governor Ron DeSantis says that the state will not cooperate with any request to extradite Donald Trump following the former president’s indictment on hush money payment charges.

Mr DeSantis, a predicted rival of Mr Trump’s for the 2024 Republican nomination for president, attacked the indictment handed down by a New York grand jury on Thursday.

Mr Trump is reportedly facing more than 30 counts related to business fraud, sources told CNN after the indictment became public.

“The weaponization of the legal system to advance a political agenda turns the rule of law on its head. It is un-American,” tweeted Mr DeSantis.

Election 2024 DeSantis Trump

Mr DeSantis, who has been mocked and previously nicknamed “Meatball Ron” by Mr Trump, also attacked Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg for bringing the prosecution.

“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.

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

Mr Trump’s lawyers have already said that he will travel to New York for arraignment next week.

Mr Trump and his lawyers have already indicated that he is willing to attend the hearing, where a judge would read the charges against him and set bail conditions.

Mr Trump has been indicted by a New York City grand jury on charges of falsifying business records stemming from payments he made to adult film star Stormy Daniels to prevent her from revealing an affair he had with her before the 2016 election.

A source told The Independent that grand jurors voted to indict the ex-president at some point this week, and that indictment is currently under seal.

It was only filed with the New York Supreme Court late on Thursday, just before the court clerk’s office wrapped its business for the day.

The twice-impeached former president had signalled that he could face arrest by Mr Bragg’s office, which was still in the process of presenting evidence to a grand jury as recently as Monday.

He previously said in a post on his Truth Social platform that he had expected to be arrested on 21 March, but that date came and went without an indictment being handed down from the grand jury.

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