Trump completed pre-sentencing interview with New York probation office, source tells CNN

Rick Scuteri/AP

Former President Donald Trump completed his pre-sentencing interview with the New York City Department of Probation on Monday after his hush money trial conviction last month, a source familiar with the proceedings told CNN.

“Earlier today, President Trump completed a routine interview with [the] New York Probation Office. The interview was uneventful and lasted less than thirty minutes,” the source said, adding, “The President and his team will continue to fight the lawless Manhattan DA Witch Hunt.”

The interview took place around 3:30 p.m. Monday, a second source told CNN.

Trump answered all questions in the virtual interview and was described as polite, respectful and accommodating to the probation officers, according to a New York City official familiar with the interview.

Juanita Holmes, commissioner for the New York City Department of Probation, was present, along with the general counsel for the department and the officer assigned to Trump’s case, the source said. Trump attorney Todd Blanche was also present for the meeting. It is not standard for anyone other than the assigned officer and the defendant to be present at pre-sentencing interviews.

Trump, according to the source, told the officers to be safe at the end of the interview.

The probation department did not rule out the possibility of a follow-up meeting, the source added.

The meeting forms part of the report the probation department will submit to Judge Juan Merchan to help decide Trump’s punishment ahead of his sentencing, set for 10 a.m. on July 11. Merchan could sentence the presumptive GOP presidential nominee to probation or up to four years in state prison on each count, with a maximum of 20 years.

In a pre-sentencing interview, a defendant is typically asked about their conviction and other basic background information such as their employment and criminal history. Defendants do not have to cooperate with the routine pre-sentencing investigation, but a judge can take a negative inference from a defendant’s lack of cooperation.

As part of the process, Trump’s legal team can submit letters of support from his friends and family to Merchan. The former president’s team is scheduled to submit its sentencing recommendation Thursday, according to a source familiar with the plan.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office will also submit a memo telling the judge what sentence it sees fit for Trump.

A Manhattan jury last month found Trump guilty of all 34 charges in his hush money trial, making him the first former president to be convicted of a felony. He was accused of falsifying business records related to a hush money payment to an adult film star in 2016.

This story has been updated with additional details.

CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, Alayna Treene and Lauren del Valle contributed to this report.

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