Trump to undergo interview with New York probation officer

Interview precedes sentencing hearing, currently scheduled for July 11, days before Republican National Convention begins

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Las Vegas, Nevada. Getty Images / AFP
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After being found guilty in a hush-money trial, Donald Trump will undergo an interview with a New York City probation officer on Monday, according to a report.

Trump will take part in the interview via video conference from his Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

NBC reported that Trump's lawyer, Todd Blanche, will be present during the interview. Judge Juan Merchan, who is presiding over the hush-money case, permitted Mr Blanche to be present for the probation interview after prosecutors did not object.

Martin Horn, former commissioner of the New York City Department of Corrections and Probation, told NBC that it is highly unusual for a pre-sentence investigation interview to be done via video conference, but acknowledged that an in-person visit by Trump to the probation office would have been “very disruptive”.

He added that the typical purpose of a probation interview is to obtain information on a person's social and criminal history, financial resources, history of mental health, physical or addiction issues as well as to assess the person's living situation.

The interview precedes a sentencing hearing, currently scheduled for July 11, days before the Republican National Convention begins, when Trump will officially accept his party’s nomination.

Trump is the first former or sitting president to be convicted of a crime, and was found guilty on all 34 counts of falsifying business records to hide payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels in exchange for her silence about an alleged affair.

The situation is uncharted ground for a presidential candidate, with the presumptive Republican nominee facing as many as four years in prison, though he could also receive a probationary term, because of his age, 77, and status as a first-time offender.

“President Trump has established a commanding polling lead in the battleground and Crooked Joe Biden is on the ropes,” campaign spokesman Steven Cheung said in a statement.

Trump and his legal team have already vowed to appeal the case.

President Joe Biden has assailed his rival as a “convicted felon” who poses a threat to US democracy if he is re-elected.

Republicans, meanwhile, have rallied behind Trump, who raised nearly $53 million in the 24 hours following the jury’s decision.

Trump spent the past several days campaigning and fund-raising in California and Nevada, where his campaign took in $33.5 million, according to a person familiar with the events.

The Trump defence team is scheduled to submit their sentencing recommendation on June 13.

Some legal experts noted that holding a probation interview over a video conference call is unusual, but having the former president in a New York probation office would also be unprecedented.

Updated: June 10, 2024, 4:55 PM