Trump undergoes probation interview virtually

Former President Donald Trump’s pre-sentencing interview with the New York probation office took place virtually on Monday, a source familiar with the proceedings confirmed. 

After becoming the first former president in American history convicted in a criminal trial, Trump on Monday encountered another first: an interview with a probation officer.

“Earlier today, President Trump completed a routine interview with New York Probation Office,” the source said. “The interview was uneventful and lasted less than thirty minutes.” 

For those who are convicted of crimes in Manhattan, the interviews are typically conducted in-person, in the same building where Trump’s trial was held. Those being interviewed are not always accompanied by their lawyers.

But Trump is no ordinary guilty party. The judge in his case, Juan Merchan, issued an order Friday granting Trump attorney Todd Blanche permission to attend the interview. It was conducted Monday, remotely via video, according to a source with knowledge of the scheduling.

Donald Trump Holds Campaign Rally In Las Vegas
Former President Donald Trump greets supporters upon arrival for his campaign rally on June 9, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  BRANDON BELL / Getty Images

Trump is at his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida, while his probation officer was in an office at Manhattan Criminal Court.

The report compiled by the probation officer included information about Trump’s crimes, his personal history and criminal record. A unanimous jury found Trump guilty on May 30 of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in connection with a scheme to cover up reimbursements for a “hush money” payment to an adult film star in 2016, part of an effort to prevent voters that year from hearing her story.

Trump has continued to deny the allegations, and vowed to appeal the conviction. The judge has wide leeway in sentencing and can pose a prison term of up to four years for each count, but can also impose a sentence that includes no incarceration at all: such as probation or house arrest. 

The report normally includes a recommendation for sentencing, as well as information from the defendant and his attorney designed to persuade the judge toward leniency. Trump will be sentenced next month, on July 11.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has not said if his office will seek jail time in its own filing to the court.

Olivia Rinaldi contributed to this report.

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