Former President Donald Trump’s indictment in New York is unprecedented: no former president has ever been charged with a crime.
Former President Richard Nixon came the closest, as he was on the verge of being indicted on four criminal counts by a federal grand jury for his role in the Watergate scandal in the 1970s. Nixon and the country were saved from a potential criminal federal presidential trial by President Gerald Ford’s resignation and pardon.
Now, Trump’s indictment by a Manhattan grand jury on 34 felonies related to an alleged scheme to catch and kill disparaging stories ahead of the 2016 election has raised many questions, including the role and scope of Secret Service protection, including whether it would extend to him if convicted and imprisoned.
Trump has entered a not guilty plea and, along with his legal team, has categorically denied the allegations.
The Secret Service began protecting the president in 1901, following the assassinations of three presidents: Abraham Lincoln, James A. Garfield, and William McKinley.