Trump Wants Everyone To Know He's Ready For His Perp Walk
Public figures who become defendants in criminal cases usually try to avoid being seen doing "the perp walk" — that is, being publicly led around in handcuffs by law enforcement officers while cameras are rolling. In some countries, it is illegal for journalists to film or photograph a defendant who is handcuffed, as their courts have ruled that doing so can prejudice a jury and make it more difficult for the person to receive a fair trial.
The United States, however, has no such prohibition. American television journalists reporting on criminal cases often show images of defendants in criminal cases being led around in handcuffs.
According to The Guardian's Hugo Lowell, former President Donald Trump wants to do "the perp walk" and be seen publicly handcuffed if he is indicted on criminal charges because he believes it would benefit him politically.
Trump predicted that he would be criminally indicted by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, Jr.'s office and arrested on Tuesday, March 21 in connection with allegations of hush money payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels. But as of early Wednesday afternoon, March 22, Bragg's office had not indicted Trump for anything.
Lowell, in an article published by The Guardian on March 22, reports, "Donald Trump has told advisers that he wants to be handcuffed when he makes an appearance in court, if he is indicted by a Manhattan grand jury for his role in paying hush money to adult film star Stormy Daniels, multiple sources close to the former president have said. The former president has reasoned that since he would need to go to the courthouse and surrender himself to authorities for fingerprinting and a mug shot anyway, the sources said, he might as well turn everything into a 'spectacle.'"
The Guardian reporter adds, "Trump's increasing insistence that he wants to be handcuffed behind his back for a perp walk appears to come from various motivations, including that he wants to project defiance in the face of what he sees as an unfair prosecution and that it would galvanize his base for his 2024 presidential campaign."
If Trump does face any type of criminal indictment in 2023, it won't necessarily come from Bragg. Trump is also dealing with two federal criminal investigations from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and special counsel Jack Smith and, at the state level, an investigation by Fulton County, Georgia District Attorney Fani Willis. Meanwhile, New York State Attorney General Letitia James has led a civil probe of the Trump Organization's finances.
Trump has often painted himself as a victim of persecution, from former special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe to his two impeachments. And according to Lowell, he believes that doing "the perp walk" in the Daniels hush money case would rally the Republican Party base and play into the persecution or martyrdom theme.
"The recent discussions that Trump has had about his surrender with close advisers at Mar-a-Lago and elsewhere opens a window onto the former president's unique fears and anxieties as the grand jury, which next convenes on Wednesday, appears on course to return an indictment," Lowell explains. "Trump's legal team in the hush money case has recoiled at the idea of him going in person and recommended that Trump…. quietly turn himself in next week and schedule a remote appearance, even citing guidance from his Secret Service detail about potential security concerns. But Trump has rejected that approach and told various allies, over the weekend, that he didn't care if someone shot him — he would become 'a martyr.' He later added that if he got shot, he would probably win the presidency in 2024, the sources said."
Reprinted with permission from Alternet.