Trump completes mandatory presentencing interview in Hush money case – The Times of India

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NEW DELHI: Donald Trump underwent a mandatory presentencing interview on Monday, which concluded after less than 30 minutes of questioning. Trump was interviewed by a New York City probation officer to prepare a report for Judge Juan M Merchan ahead of Trump’s July 11 sentencing in his hush money criminal case.
This report will assist the judge in determining Trump’s punishment following his May 30 felony conviction for falsifying business records related to a potential sex scandal.The judge has a range of options for punishment, from probation and community service to up to four years in prison.
Trump, who did not testify during his trial, attended the probation interview via video conference from his Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida. His lawyer, Todd Blanche, was present during the interview. This arrangement has led to complaints of special treatment, but city officials maintain that it is not unusual.
Typically, convicted individuals in New York must meet probation officials in person for their presentence interviews and are not allowed to have their lawyers present. However, after Blanche’s objections, Judge Merchan allowed him to attend Trump’s interview.
Public defenders in the city have criticized the special arrangements made for Trump and have called for equal treatment for all convicted individuals. They argued that all defendants should be allowed counsel during their probation interviews, not just those with significant financial resources.
Presentence reports include a defendant’s personal history, criminal record, employment details, and any family obligations. These reports, prepared by probation officers, social workers, or psychologists, also offer defendants a chance to explain why they believe they deserve a lighter sentence.
Trump’s conviction on 34 counts of falsifying business records stems from efforts to conceal a hush money payment to adult film actor Stormy Daniels before the 2016 presidential election. Daniels alleged she had a sexual encounter with Trump, which he denies.
Trump, who is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, plans to appeal his conviction but must wait until after sentencing. He maintained his innocence and claimed the case aims to damage his chances of regaining the presidency.
(With AP inputs)

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