Trump Scheduled For Monday Probation Interview: Know More Here

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After being found guilty on all counts in the hush money trial against him last month, former President Donald Trump is expected to participate in a virtual interview with a probation officer from New York City on Monday from his Mar-a-Lago home, according to three people familiar with the situation who spoke with NBC News. Todd Blanche will be representing Trump during the interview.

Two people with knowledge of the issue have revealed that the pre-sentencing probation interview will occur via a unique virtual network with additional security precautions and that the interviewer will be a woman. Those sources said they do not anticipate the call over Zoom.

In an important case, Trump, the presumed Republican presidential nominee, was found guilty last month on all 34 felony counts of fabricating corporate documents. The probation interview is mandated by the court to be included in the pre-sentencing report of the former president.

Prosecutors did not object, so Judge Juan Merchan—overseeing the hush money case—permitted Blanche to attend the probation interview. On June 13, the Trump legal team is expected to present their recommended sentence.

A jury trial for all 34 felonies against the former president is set to take place in New York on July 11, just days before the start of the Republican National Convention.

While it is unusual to conduct a probation interview via video conference call, some legal experts pointed out that it would also be unprecedented to place the former president under probation in New York.

“It is highly unusual for a pre-sentence investigation interview to be done over Zoom,” said Martin Horn, a former commissioner of the New York City Department of Corrections and Probation, to NBC News. However, he conceded that an in-person visit by Trump to the probation office would be “very disruptive.”

“But you can argue that Trump’s appearance at the probation office on the 10th floor of the Criminal Court Building in Manhattan where his trial took place, with Secret Service and press following him, would be very disruptive to the probation office and unfair to other defendants who might not want to be identified,” he said. “So in the end, this might be better for the probation officer.”

According to Horn, the usual goals of a probation interview are to learn more about Trump’s financial status, criminal and social background, history of mental health, physical health, and addiction concerns, as well as to evaluate his living environment.

According to Horn, Trump might also be questioned about his relationships with those who have a criminal history because, while on probation, he is not allowed to do so. Afterwards, the probation officer might want to conduct more interviews at Trump’s residence. Even though officers usually answer questions in a single session, more interviews may be necessary. After writing a report, the probation officer will provide it to Merchan.

The former president could spend up to four years in prison or be placed on probation. Legal experts have asserted that given his age, clean past, and other advantages, it is improbable that Trump will go to jail.

The prosecution will probably request jail time, according to Duncan Levin, a former Manhattan prosecutor who is now a defence lawyer.

According to Levin, Trump’s attorney Blanche will be present to make sure that his client is not put in peril by any questioning. Given that Trump is one of the most thoroughly investigated public people, the hearing might seem pointless, but it is the court’s method of assessing Trump’s character outside of the evidence presented at trial.

“It is unlikely to move the needle because the judge knows so much about his background,” Levin said, referring to the probation hearing.

Levin also cited Michael Cohen’s prior jail sentence—as the prosecution’s star witness and Trump’s self-described former fixer—for several federal counts, including lying to Congress, as well as Merchan’s gag order against Trump following his attacks on family members.

“To the extent that an E felony is punishable by jail, this case screams out for jail time, he has shown no remorse and has been held in contempt 10 times, but the judge warned him if he breaks the gag order I will send you to jail and then he did it again several times,” Levin said. “And subverting the election process is as serious a records violation as has ever come through the New York courts.”

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