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Trump NY Trial Punishment Potentially Revealed, Will Meet With Officer

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Former President Donald Trump will meet virtually with a New York probation officer on Monday following his conviction last month on 34 felony counts related to his hush money trial that concluded last month.

The virtual meeting will include the former president’s attorney, Todd Blanche, NBC News reported on Sunday.

According to two sources familiar with the situation, the pre-sentencing probation interview will take place over a specialized virtual network with enhanced security measures, and the interviewer will be a female. The call is not expected to be conducted via Zoom, the sources added.

Judge Juan Merchan, who is presiding over the hush money case, allowed Blanche to be present for the probation interview after prosecutors did not object. The Trump defense team is set to submit their sentencing recommendation on June 13.

“The former president is scheduled to be sentenced for all 34 felony counts in New York on July 11, days before the Republican National Convention begins,” NBC News reported.

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

Martin Horn, former commissioner of the New York City Department of Corrections and Probation, told the outlet that “it is highly unusual for a pre-sentence investigation interview to be done over Zoom.” However, Horn admitted that an in-person visit by a former president 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.”

Horn noted that the primary purpose of a probation interview is to gather information on Trump’s social and criminal history, financial resources, mental health history, physical or addiction issues, and to assess his living situation, none of which is a problem for him.

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NBC News added:

Trump could also be asked if he is associating with anyone with a criminal record because he cannot associate with them if he is placed on probation, Horn said. The probation officer may also want to interview others in Trump’s home afterward. Although officers typically fulfill their inquiries in one session, there could be follow-up interviews. The probation officer will then write a report and deliver it to Merchan.

The former president is facing anywhere from probation to up to four years in prison. Some legal experts have argued Trump is unlikely to face imprisonment due to his age, lack of a criminal record and other factors.

Duncan Levin, a former Manhattan prosecutor who is now a defense attorney, told NBC he believes District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office will ask for jail time.

“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.”

Interestingly, legal experts on the left and right have blasted Bragg for bringing charges in the first place, claiming they still do not know what law(s) Trump has violated. They accused Bragg of cobbling together misdemeanor charges and refashioning them into felonies.

They have also ripped Merchan, who appeared throughout the trial to hamper Trump’s defense team while also instructing the jury that they did not all have to agree on a single underlying crime to convict.

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