Trump Conviction Takes ‘Highly Unusual’ Turn as Critical Interview Looms

Former President Donald Trump will be interviewed Monday by a New York City probation officer as part of the standard post-conviction process.

But as in all things Trump, there is a twist.

Trump, who was found guilty of 34 counts of so-called “falsifying business records,” will have a virtual interview instead of the standard face-to-face meeting, according to NBC, which cited sources it did not name.

Attorney Todd Blanche will join Trump as the first president’s Mar-a-Lago estate for the call.

The interview is part of the standard process by which probation officers develop a pre-sentencing report that is then given to the judge overseeing the case.


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Martin Horn, former commissioner of the New York City Department of Corrections and Probation, said it was, “it is highly unusual for a pre-sentence investigation interview to be done over Zoom.”

However, he said, if Trump were to appear in person, the visit would wreak havoc with the office.

“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,” Horn said.

“So in the end, this might be better for the probation officer,” he said.

Do you think this “highly unusual” move smells fishy?

The purpose of the pre-sentencing report and the probation interview is to pull together facts about a convicted individual’s social, medical, mental health and criminal history and develop a picture of the person for the judge to review.

Horn said Trump could be asked about associating with people who have criminal records, which could be an issue if he is given probation.

Trump is facing a sentence of anywhere between probation and four years in prison.

Duncan Levin, a defense attorney, said the interview may not change anything, but it remains part of the process.

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


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Judge Juan Merchan will sentence Trump on July 11.

Trump’s defense team has a June 13 deadline to submit its sentencing recommendation. Levin said he expects prosecutors will seek prison time for Trump.

Trump is battling the verdict in two ways – in the court of public opinion and through the legal system, noted the U.K. Daily Mail.

“I just went through a rigged trial in New York,” he told an Arizona crowd on Thursday.

“With a highly conflicted judge where there was no crime, it was made up fabricated stuff, they didn’t want to bring the case, they could have brought the case seven years ago but it’s only when you run for office they bring cases,” Trump said.

“They know it was rigged. They know it’s corrupt, they know all about it,” Trump continued, before adding “those appellate courts have to step up and straighten things out or we’re not going to have a country anymore.”

Trump’s lawyers have indicated he will be appealing the verdict.

On Friday, the existence of a Facebook post claiming a juror had discussed the verdict before it was announced was revealed, raising the possibility of a juror discussing the case before the verdict was announced could raise the possibility of a mistrial.

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