Former US President Donald Trump has reportedly told his advisers that he wants to be handcuffed and subjected to a “perp walk” when he makes an appearance in court, should he be indicted by a Manhattan grand jury for his alleged role in paying hush money to adult film actress Stormy Daniels. According to multiple sources, Trump believes that turning himself in to authorities for fingerprinting and a mugshot would be a good way to project defiance and galvanize his base for his potential 2024 presidential campaign.
Trump’s lawyers in the hush money case have advised against the idea of him making a public appearance, suggesting instead that he turn himself in quietly and schedule a remote appearance due to potential security concerns. However, Trump has rejected this approach and stated that he does not care if someone shoots him because he would become “a martyr.” He even suggested that being shot might boost his chances of winning the presidency in 2024.
Sources close to Trump have suggested that his desire to be handcuffed and subjected to a perp walk comes from various motivations, including a desire to project strength in the face of an unfair prosecution and to avoid looking weak or like a loser. However, some have expressed uncertainty about how serious Trump is about his supposed ambitions, and it remains unclear whether the district attorney would allow him to be marched past the cameras.
Trump’s recent discussions about his surrender with his advisers at Mar-a-Lago and elsewhere have shed light on his unique fears and anxieties, and his apparent disconnection from the recent flurry of activity in New York as the investigation has wrapped up has left some unsure whether he fully grasps the enormity of what an indictment might mean for him legally.