If Trump goes to prison after guilty verdict, Secret Service would have to go with him

Former President Trump was found guilty on felony charges Thursday, raising potential challenges for the Secret Service responsible for protecting him just as a top Democrat is seeking to yank that protection from him.

Trump was found guilty on all 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree in New York v. Trump. The charges were related to alleged payments made ahead of the 2016 presidential election to silence pornographic performer Stormy Daniels about an alleged 2006 extramarital sexual encounter with Trump. Trump denied all charges and any affair with Daniels.

But the conviction raises the possibility the presumed 2024 Republican nominee could end up being bars. That unprecedented development would raise a number of additional questions, including how his Secret Service protection would adapt.

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In a statement to Fox News Digital, the agency said the outcome of the case “has no bearing on the manner in which the United States Secret Service carries out its protective mission.”

“Our security measures will proceed unchanged,” Anthony Guglielmi, chief of communications for the Secret Service, said.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams has previously said the city’s Department of Corrections and the Rikers Island prison in New York are “ready” to receive Trump. 

Asked if Trump would be housed by himself or with the general population, a Department of Corrections spokesman said last month, “The Department would find appropriate housing for him if he winds up in our custody.” 

The New York Times reported that there had been conversations involving the Secret Service and other law enforcement about how to move and protect Trump if he were briefly jailed for contempt, but the challenge of a longer prison sentence has yet to be addressed.

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This could be in part because, even though the sentencing is in July, a series of lengthy Trump appeals that could rise to the Supreme Court would likely follow.

A.T. Smith, a former deputy director at the agency, said that while the territory may be uncharted, the Secret Service would not allow the mission to be compromised.

“They’ll rise to the occasion. They will work with the counterparts that may become necessary depending upon the judge’s decision … in order to accomplish their mission, which is the protection of the former president,” he told The Telegraph.

One potential impediment to that protection could come from Democrats, who have introduced a bill in the House to strip Secret Service protection from convicted felons sentenced to prison.

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Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., the ranking Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee, introduced the Denying Infinite Security and Government Resources Allocated toward Convicted and Extremely Dishonorable (DISGRACED) Former Protectees Act.

“Unfortunately, current law doesn’t anticipate how Secret Service protection would impact the felony prison sentence of a protectee — even a former President,” Thompson said in a statement. 

“It is regrettable that it has come to this, but this previously unthought-of scenario could become our reality.”

An accompanying fact sheet said the bill deals with the possibility the logistics of Secret Service protection would result in Trump getting home confinement rather than prison time. 

“This bill would remove the potential for conflicting lines of authority within prisons and allow judges to weigh the sentencing of individuals without having to factor in the logistical concerns of convicts with Secret Service protection,” the document states.  

Meanwhile, the Trump campaign says it has been energized by the trial’s conclusion and is confident that it takes him a step closer to reclaiming the White House.

“Crooked Joe Biden and the Democrats confined President Trump to a courtroom for more than eight hours a day for more than six weeks, and he’s still winning,” Trump campaign spokeswoman Karoline Leavitt told Fox News Digital. “Now that he is fully back on the campaign trail, Biden and the Democrats better buckle up.” 

Leavitt told Fox News Digital Trump “generated billions of dollars in earned media coverage throughout the trial, hosted massive rallies and impromptu campaign stops in New York and beyond, increased his lead over crooked Joe Biden in the polls and raised more money than Biden and the Democrats in the month of April. Not even a witch hunt trial could slow him down. In fact, it only made him stronger.” 

Fox News’ Chris Pandolfo, Michael Dorgan and Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

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