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Trump accused of demanding special treatment for his New York probation interview

Questions are being asked over whether Donald Trump received preferential treatment during his pretrial probation interview.

Trump attended an interview with his New York probation officer on Monday after being found guilty last month of 34 federal counts of falsifying business records to cover up hush money payments to women he allegedly had affairs with.

The probation officer will prepare a sentencing recommendation for the judge ahead of Trump’s sentencing, scheduled for July 11.

Although this step is required and routine, how Trump went about it was not. He called in virtually, reportedly from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida and had his attorney, Todd Blanche, join him on the call.

The interview was “less than a half-hour of routine and uneventful questions and answers,” a source told the Associated Press. Trump reportedly answered questions about his personal history and current physical and mental health.

Blanche had written a letter to trial Judge Juan Merchan requesting to be present during the interview. In response, Judge Merchan ordered on June 7 that Blanche was permitted to attend the interview, an atypical move. But Manhattan prosecutors didn’t object to it.

A coalition of public defense organizations criticized a system that allowed the former president preferential treatment over other convicted felons.

“All people convicted of crimes should be allowed counsel in their probation interview, not just billionaires,” wrote The Legal Aid Society, The Bronx Defenders, and Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem in a joint statement on Monday.

“Pre-sentencing interviews with probation officers influence sentencing, and public defenders are deprived of joining their clients for these meetings.”

The groups

Read more on independent.co.uk