Trump Meets With Probation Officer Before Hush-Money Sentencing

Donald Trump met with his probation officer on Monday following his conviction late last month on 34 felonies for crimes he committed to help boost his election chances when he first ran for president in 2016. 

The presumptive Republican nominee for president sat for his pre-sentencing probation interview from Mar-a-Lago alongside his attorney Todd Blanche. A female probation officer interviewed him over a special virtual network with added security measures. 

Judge Juan Merchan, who presided over the hush-money trial, allowed the interview to be virtual and for Blanche to be present, following no objection from prosecutors. Probation interviews are required by court as part of a pre-sentencing report, and are usually conducted in person with the defendant alone. Then again, the defendant is usually not a former president. 

The former president’s defense team is expected to submit their sentencing recommendations on June 13. Sentencing has been scheduled for July 11 in New York, just four days before the Republican National Convention, where the GOP is expected to name Trump its official nominee for president. 

Late Monday afternoon, the Trump campaign sent out a fundraising email that referenced the interview, headlined: “I’m living the American nightmare!”

“Can you believe this, Friend?” the email read. “I’m actually about to speak to a probation officer after my RIGGED CONVICTION! My only crime? Putting the AMERICAN PEOPLE, ahead of the COMMUNISTS, MARXISTS, AND FASCISTS that want to see our country DESTROYED.” All font stylings have remained true to the original email.

The Trump has campaign said it raised nearly $141 million in May, with the Republican National Committee saying nearly a third of it was raised within 24 hours of Trump’s conviction. 

Trump — who spent a good chunk of his time on the campaign trail deriding the judge, prosecutors, and witnesses in this trial — last week requested the Merchan lift a gag order so he can more freely attack those involved in the trial.

“Now that the trial is concluded, the concerns articulated by the government and the Court do not justify continued restrictions on the First Amendment rights of President Trump — who remains the leading candidate in the 2024 presidential election — and the American people,” the letter put forward.

Trump’s lawyers gave four reasons why Merchan should lift the order, including President Joe Biden’s comments about the verdict the presidential debate set for June 27, and “continued public attacks against President Trump by government witnesses Michael Cohen and Stormy Daniels.”

However, as they did during the duration of the trial, prosecutors urged the judge to keep the gag order in place given Trump’s tendency to attack people. 

The court “has an obligation to protect the integrity of these proceedings and the fair administration of justice at least through the sentencing hearing and the resolution of any post-trial motions,” prosecutors wrote in response to Trump’s defense team’s letter. 

Trump was found in contempt of court for violating the gag order 10 times during the course of the trial, and fined $1,000 for each violation. At the time, prosecutor Chris Conroy called the violations “willful beyond a reasonable doubt” in arguments before Merchan last week. “It’s clear he knows about the order, he knows what he’s not allowed to do, and he does it anyway,” Conroy added.

Merchan is also looking to get ahead of any potential motions for a mistrial. He signed a letter on June 7 to both the prosecution and defense informing them of a comment posted to the Unified Court System’s public Facebook page that claimed to come from the cousin of a juror who was told of an impending conviction.

“My cousin is a juror and says Trump is getting convicted,” the comment, posted from an account with the name Michael Anderson, claimed. “Thank you folks for all your hard work!!!!”


However, when looking at the Facebook user’s page, a post reads, “Take it easy… I’m a professional shitposter.” 

It’s unclear whether anything will come of either the motion to lift the gag order, which prosecutors want left in place until after sentencing, or the Facebook post, which right-wing commentators like Sean Hannity are arguing is enough to have the case tossed.

Leave a Comment