CNN’s Kaitlan Collins Asks Big What If — What Does Secret Service Do If Trump ‘Actually Has To Go To Prison’


CNN anchor Kaitlan Collins asked a big “what if” when she explored what would ex-President Donald Trump’s “security detail do if he actually had to go to prison?”

Others have speculated about the status of Trump’s Secret Service protection if he goes to jail, but the question took on extra urgency with Thursday’s arrest and arraignment of Trump after being indicted by Special Counsel Jack Smith’s grand jury for his attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

On Friday night’s edition of CNN’s The Source with Kaitlan Collins, the host explored the question with former Secret Service agent Evy Poumpouras:

COLLINS: We are now at three indictments, for Donald Trump. That means three bookings, for a not-so-average defendant.

Of course, Trump, yesterday, following most of the standard protocols, fingerprinted, answered a series of questions, about his age, his date of birth, his middle name, escorted into the courtroom, where he entered that not-guilty plea, before the magistrate judge. But the big difference here, of course, is wherever the former President goes, the Secret Service goes with him, raising the question of if Trump got convicted, and sentenced to prison, what would incarceration look like, for a former U.S. President? Something we’ve never seen too before.

Here to break it all down for us is a former Secret Service agent, Evy Poumpouras.

So, glad to have you back.

I mean, this needs a million caveats, because obviously, he hasn’t been convicted of anything. There could be appeals. There could be pleas. I mean, there could be so many, we don’t know what the punishment would look like, either.

But the idea that this is even something, people are talking about, the idea of what this would look like, and given they have Secret Service protection, for life, how would that work?

EVY POUMPOURAS, FORMER SECRET SERVICE AGENT, AUTHOR, “BECOMING BULLETPROOF”: I actually don’t think it’s going to be very difficult. He is going to a very secure location.

So, depending on what prison he goes, federal or state, because he’s also being charged, in New York, through the state, Miami, D.C., they’re charging him federally. So, there’s also a difference between the prisons. If you want to go to prison, you want to go to a federal prison. They’re typically safer. State prisons tend to have more violent offenders there. So, that’s one thing.

The other thing is they already have their own security set up. So Bureau of Prisons, let’s say, he goes federal, they’ve got their own system set up. It’s already safe. You’re actually looking at less manpower, less resources, less money, definitely less money, for taxpayers. So, when I see that I see him going to an already-secure facility.

The kicker comes in, and well, who’s he going to be with, right?


POUMPOURAS: Where are they actually going to put him? And so, I could see them, actually moving people around, or inmates around, to try to figure out, who to put him near. Which is interesting, because usually, we would always name-check people to see if they would have a criminal record, whenever anybody goes near their President.

COLLINS: But all those people have a criminal record.

POUMPOURAS: They’re all going to have criminal records.

So having said that, I would look for offenders, who have non-violent crime. That’s the number one thing we want. Then, we also want to look at re-offenders. If you have somebody, who’s reoffending over and over and over again, that tends to be somebody a bit more hardened. So, I would want first-time offenders. So, the idea would be you can probably maybe pick, shuffle people around, and put those people there.

But at the end of the day, it’s a secure environment. Secret Service will probably give him what’s called shift agents. Shift is when you see agents, who accompany the Presidents, when you see him coming out of Air Force One, Marine One. It’s the group, the contingency that walks around him. That’s what you might see, and detail leaders, so somebody kind of to shadow him around.


What I was fascinated by is the Washington Post wrote a story, on this today. They actually reached out, to the Secret Service, where obviously, you used to work, and they asked them, just to comment.

But they said, we don’t have a comment, because this is unprecedented. There is no policy for this. This is not something we’ve ever had to deal with before.

I mean how do you even go about creating a structure and a policy for that?

POUMPOURAS: I don’t think that you need a policy for it.

Because when you do protection? So the President goes somewhere? Let’s say the President comes here. I’m going to do in advance of this location. I’m going to check out the structure, the ways in, the ways out, the security plan. I’m going to look at all of it.

So, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter, where he goes. The advanced does its thing. They do a thorough assessment.

COLLINS: Even if it’s prison?

POUMPOURAS: Even if it’s prison. I’m telling you, prison is just, it’s secure. It’s already got the manpower there. They already got it locked down. They’re already magneto — they’ve got their magnetometers. They’re securing everybody. So, to me, I see that as a safe place.

Now, is it a strange thing to go to work, and to say, “I’m going to work to secure the president in prison?” Yes, I think, from the psychological factor, that does play a, you know, is relevant.

But I also look at it, if we look at it from an international level, there have been so many heads of state, all over the world, who have gone from Prime Minister and President, to going to prison.

COLLINS: Evy Poumpouras, we will see what happens, of course. Thank you so much, for your expertise, tonight.

Currently, the Secret Service has no protocol for a protectee who has been convicted of a crime and imprisoned, so one would need to be developed if such a situation arose.

Watch above via CNN’s The Source with Kaitlan Collins.

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