Trump to sit for probation interview as legal team prepares to fight hush money verdict

Former U.S. President Donald Trump departs the courtroom after being found guilty on all 34 counts in his hush money trial at Manhattan Criminal Court on May 30, 2024 in New York City. 

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Donald Trump will be interviewed Monday by a New York probation officer who will submit a report that could inform the sentence Trump receives for his criminal hush money conviction.

The pre-sentence interview comes about a month before Trump is scheduled to become the first former U.S. president, and the first major-party presidential candidate, ever to be sentenced for a crime.

Trump’s attorney Todd Blanche will be present with his client for the interview, which they will attend in a teleconference from Trump’s Florida home Mar-a-Lago, according to NBC News, which first reported the timing of the post-conviction proceeding.

A Trump campaign spokesman confirmed to CNBC that Monday’s interview will be held virtually, not in person.

The interview will give Blanche a chance to highlight aspects of Trump’s life, such as his age, lack of arrest record, or family ties, that may persuade Judge Juan Merchan to deliver a lighter sentence.

Read more about Trump’s hush money trial

The pre-sentence report that the probation officer submits after the interview will make sentencing recommendations to the judge, and may also include information from other people involved with the case.

Trump’s sentencing date is July 11; his defense team’s deadline for submitting its own sentencing recommendations to the judge is Thursday.

The probation interview comes as Trump’s legal team gears up to challenge the Manhattan Supreme Court jury’s May 30 verdict, which found Trump guilty on 34 counts of falsifying business records.

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“President Trump and his legal team are already taking necessary steps to challenge and defeat the lawless Manhattan DA case,” Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung said in a statement to CNBC.

The New York jury found that Trump intended to commit, or at least aid or conceal, an election-related crime when he falsified business records related to a scheme to silence porn star Stormy Daniels shortly before the 2016 presidential election.

Under New York law, falsifying business records in the first degree is a Class E felony punishable by up to four years in prison.

Legal experts have expressed mixed views on whether Trump’s prosecutors will seek a sentence of incarceration or whether Merchan would impose such a sentence.

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