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Trump wants to be handcuffed if charged, he says: Report

Former President of the United States Donald Trump at the "Rally to Protect Our Elections" hosted by Turning Point Action at Arizona Federal Theatre in Phoenix, Ariz., July 24, 2022. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)
March 22, 2023

Former President Donald Trump wants to be handcuffed during his potential upcoming court appearance, anonymous sources close to Trump told The Guardian as a grand jury prepares to vote on his indictment.

Trump, who is running his third campaign for president, wants to be publicly “perp-walked” into the courthouse with his hands cuffed behind his back in order to turn the process into a “spectacle,” the sources said. 

He reportedly believes he might as well do that because he already would need to surrender himself for fingerprinting and a mugshot if charged.

READ MORE: Trump mugshot, fingerprinting will happen if charged, Michael Cohen says

The Guardian’s sources also said that Trump does not care about the security risks of a court appearance, reportedly believing that if he is shot, he will become “a martyr” and likely win the 2024 presidential election.

A Manhattan grand jury is expected to vote as soon as Wednesday on whether to indict Trump in a case that reportedly centers on alleged 2016 attempts to buy the silence of two women who said they had sex with him, which he denies.

The sources also said Trump fears looking weak if he receives any special accommodations, like a virtual arraignment or the use of a back entrance. Fox News has reported that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg ruled out a virtual arraignment for Trump.

The Secret Service and multiple other law enforcement agencies have been coordinating security measures for Trump’s potential appearance in court, USA Today reported. The New York Police Department was filmed on Monday putting up steel barricades outside the Manhattan Criminal Court.

The sources said they are not sure how serious Trump is about his desires for a dramatic court appearance, and The Guardian noted that how the event unfolds may largely be up to the district attorney.

Trump’s reaction to his possible indictment has mostly centered on how he can appear defiant, the sources said, and he has considered the situation mostly between meals at his Mar-a-Lago club and rounds of golf.