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Palm Beach County prosecutor says Gov. Ron DeSantis can't stop Trump from getting extradited to New York if he's indicted

Business Insider logo Business Insider 5/17/2021 gpanetta@businessinsider.com (Grace Panetta,Sonam Sheth)
Ron DeSantis wearing a suit and tie: Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Florida) and President Trump are close political allies. SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images © SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Florida) and President Trump are close political allies. SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images
  • Palm Beach County's top prosecutor told CNN that Ron DeSantis can't block a possible Trump extradition, if he's indicted.
  • DeSantis' "power to stop an extradition is really non-existent," State Attorney Dave Aronberg told CNN.
  • Politico reported that Palm Beach is prepping for a possible extradition request from New York.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Palm Beach County's top prosecutor threw cold water on the suggestion that Gov. Ron DeSantis could unilaterally block former President Donald Trump from getting extradited to New York to face potential criminal charges.

Politico Playbook first reported on May 13 that officials in Palm Beach, where Trump resides at his Mar-a-Lago resort, are drawing up "contingency plans" in the event that prosecutors in New York charge Trump with a crime and move to extradite him back to the state for prosecution.

Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg told CNN Newsroom on Sunday that he hasn't any conversations with his counterparts in New York about an extradition plan.

"I can clear that up because I'm the state attorney for Palm Beach County. We have not had conversations with prosecutors in New York about this. The story that you saw was informal conversations with the clerk of courts and other local officials in case an indictment happens," Aronberg said.

Aronberg also pushed back on Politico's reporting that DeSantis could intervene and halt Trump from getting extradited back to New York altogether.

"So that's a conversation we're having: what is the governor's power? And the governor's power to stop an extradition is really non-existent," Aronberg said. "He can try to delay it, he can send it to a committee and do research about it, but his role is really ministerial, and ultimately the state of New York can go to court and get an order to extradite the former president. But DeSantis could delay matters."

Read more: Meet Donald Trump's next nemeses: The 15 prosecutors and investigators from New York who are primed to pepper the ex-president with history-making civil and criminal probes


Video: FL Commissioner Fried on Gov. DeSantis investigation (MSNBC)

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The Manhattan district attorney's investigation into Trump is examining if the Trump Organization violated state laws when it facilitated hush-money payments to the adult-film actress Stormy Daniels, who said she had an affair with Trump in 2006. According to previous legal filings, state prosecutors suspect the Trump Organization and members of Trump's family may have engaged in financial fraud to cover up the purpose of the payments.

The former president's tax returns are central to the case, and Manhattan prosecutors secured a major victory earlier this year when the Supreme Court cleared the way for them to obtain the documents.

Investigators are also scrutinizing Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization's longtime CFO. Weisselberg's former daughter-in-law, Jennifer, told Insider's Jacob Shamsian that she's cooperated extensively with the investigation and still had "several boxes of documents" to give prosecutors as of last month.

A grand jury is also reportedly seeking to secure the cooperation of Weisselberg himself.

In March, legal experts said it looked as if Manhattan prosecutors were nearing the end of their investigation, and a former top deputy in Vance's office told Insider that Vance would likely want to make charging decisions before his retirement in December.

There may be a limited window of time where Trump could theoretically be tried and extradited. As Insider's Tom LoBianco reported in late April, Trump is expected to relocate to his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, during the summer when his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach is closed. Trump's club in Bedminster has been a hotbed for GOP campaign fundraising.

Insider previously reported that Trump's team is far more concerned about state-level investigations than an ongoing Justice Department investigation into his role in the January 6 Capitol insurrection. In addition to the Manhattan DA's investigation, Trump also faces legal jeopardy from a separate probe in Atlanta that's focused on his efforts to manipulate the presidential election results in Georgia.

News of the Atlanta probe surfaced after The Washington Post reported that Trump had pleaded with Georgia's secretary of state in a phone call to "find" enough votes to help him secure a win in the state.

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