Veteran military correspondent David Axe reported this week that it was “entirely possible” that future President Donald Trump could find himself under arrest for the misuse of his charity — and it wouldn’t be the first time that a New York police officer has arrested a sitting commander-in-chief.
Writing on his Defiant blog on Wednesday, Axe pointed out that the NYPD could be charged with arresting the president if New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman decides to move forward with prosecuting Trump for self-dealing. The president-elect has been accused of using his charitable foundation to make political contributions, pay off lawsuits against his businesses and even to purchase a painting of himself.
Trump announced last week that he would be shutting down the charity, but Schneiderman has said that the foundation cannot legally dissolve until the investigation is complete.
“It’s entirely possible that he could eventually face arrest,” Axe wrote. “And it wouldn’t be unprecedented if, say, a New York cop actually slapped cuffs on Trump and read him his rights.”
“If Schneiderman files charges against Trump, the real-estate mogul could face arrest,” he continued. “The charges could be state or federal, but a New York cop — state or local — might, on Schneiderman’s orders, be the one to slap cuffs on the president-elect if the president-elect declines to submit himself to authorities.”
Axe noted that President Ulysses Grant was taken to jail by a New York police officer in 1866 after he was repeatedly pulled over for driving a horse and buggy at a “reckless speed.”
“I am very sorry, Mr. President, to have to do it, for you are the nation’s chief executive, but my duty is plain, sir: I shall have to place you under arrest!” the officer reportedly told Grant.
“Do your duty, my good man,” Grant replied. The officer and president were said to have become friends after the arrest.
Axe speculated, however, that Trump may not go quietly.
“If a New York cop arrests Trump, it seems unlikely that the notoriously temperamental Trump — and his equally angry private security detail — will react as gentlemanly as Grant did to his own arrest,” Axe concluded.