Donald Trump is not expected to be subjected to a mugshot following his surrender to New York authorities, the former president’s attorney Joe Tacopina said Tuesday.
As the first former president in history to face criminal charges, there was much anticipation that such a photograph would go viral or that Trump could use it as a fundraising tool in his bid to reclaim the White House.
Tacopina did not elaborate on why Trump would bypass what is normally traditional rite of passage for criminal defendants. But a person familiar with the matter said the decision was made by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
A spokesperson for District Attorney Alvin Bragg declined comment.
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Even though Trump won’t have his mug shot taken, and likely won’t be handcuffed, he will be treated – to some degree, anyway – like any other defendant in the criminal justice system, legal experts and former prosecutors said.
Trump is expected to surrender to authorities this afternoon at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, where he will be processed and later arraigned at the Criminal Courts Building. He has denied the accusations against him, and will enter a not guilty plea, Tacopina has said.
Once Trump has been taken into custody, he will be given a booking number, former prosecutors and law enforcement officials told USA TODAY. “There will still be … fingerprints and lots of paperwork filled out as part of the booking process,” said former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner.
Underscoring the unprecedented nature of the case, it is expected that Trump will be accompanied through the process by his Secret Service detail. Former presidents are afforded such protection for life.
And while some accommodations are being made during the booking process, getting Trump to the courthouse could be another matter entirely.
Given his special stature, Trump’s first appearance could be a relatively calm event, with special efforts made by prosecutors and police to shield him from the kind of “perp walk” that authorities sometimes force other defendants to endure. That means a march – often in handcuffs – past the throngs of New York media.
In some cases, some defendants have chosen to be taken into custody that way in an effort to make a statement about their arrest and the charges against them.
“It’s safe to say it will be a complete circus, and that’s an understatement,” said Matt Dallek, a presidential historian.”