Trump completes pre-sentencing interview after less than 30 minutes of questioning

Former President Donald Trump completed his mandatory pre-sentencing interview Monday after less than 30 minutes of routine, uneventful questions and answers, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press. The person was not authorized to speak publicly and did so on condition of anonymity.

After declining to testify at the trial, Trump was required to participate in the meeting before his July sentencing in his criminal hush money case.

The pre-sentencing interview was done by video from his residence at the Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, with his lawyer Todd Blanche by his side.

According to AP, Trump was quizzed by a New York City probation officer for a report that trial judge Juan M. Merchan can use to help determine Trump's punishment when he is sentenced next month.

Under state law, the resulting report — which may also include information about Trump's conviction, his social, family and employment history, and his education and economic status — will remain confidential unless the judge authorizes its public release.

Trump found guilty of falsifying business records

Last month, a New York jury found Trump guilty of falsifying business records in an attempt to bury stories about extramarital affairs that arose during his 2016 presidential campaign. 


FILE: Former U.S. President Donald Trump sits in the courtroom with his attorneys Joe Tacopina and Boris Epshteyn (R) during his arraignment at the Manhattan Criminal Court April 4, 2023 in New York City. (Creedit: Andrew Kelly-Pool/Getty Images)

Merchan, who oversaw the case, has set Trump's sentencing for July 11, just days before the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee.

What is a pre-sentencing interview?

The usual purpose of a pre-sentencing probation interview is to prepare a report that will tell the judge more about the defendant, and potentially help determine the proper punishment for the crime.

Such reports are typically prepared by a probation officer, a social worker or a psychologist working for the probation department who interviews the defendant and possibly that person’s family and friends, as well as people affected by the crime.

RELATED: Trump found guilty in hush-money case; sentencing set for July

Pre-sentence reports include a defendant’s personal history, criminal record and recommendations for sentencing. It will also include information about employment and any obligations to help care for a family member. It is also a chance for a defendant to say why they think they deserve a lighter punishment.

This story was reported from Los Angeles. The Associated Press contributed.