Trump to face probation interview in hush-money case – live | Donald Trump

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Trump to face probation interview in hush-money case

Good morning US politics readers. Donald Trump is scheduled for a pre-sentencing interview with New York probation officials today, according to reports.

The former president will hold a virtual interview from his home at the Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, alongside his lawyer Todd Blanche, sources told the Associated Press. It comes after Trump was convicted last month on all 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

The probation interview is used to prepare a report that will include a defendant’s personal history, criminal record and recommendations for sentencing. It is also a chance for a defendant to say why they think they deserve a lighter punishment.

Trump is also expected on Monday to address a Christian group that calls for abortion to be “eradicated entirely” and calls the procedure “child sacrifice”. Trump is scheduled to speak virtually at an event hosted by the Danbury Institute, an organization that also seeks to ban same-sex marriage and use the Bible to guide public policy.

Here’s what else we’re watching:

  • Antony Blinken returned to the Middle East today as a proposed Israel-Hamas ceasefire hangs in the balance. The US secretary of state met with Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, in Cairo earlier, and is scheduled to meet with Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and defence minister Yoav Gallant later today.

  • Hunter Biden’s lawyers are expected to wrap up arguments in his federal gun trial in Delaware today, with jury deliberations potentially to begin at the end of the day.

Key events

Blinken arrives in Israel to meet Netanyahu

Anthony Blinken is scheduled today to meet with Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, in Jerusalem as he kicks off a Middle East trip where he is expected to urge leaders to support a three-stage Gaza ceasefire deal proposed by Joe Biden.

The US secretary of state met with Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, in Cairo earlier today before traveling on to Israel. Blinken is also meeting with Israeli defence minister Yoav Gallant later today.

Blinken, speaking to reporters, said Hamas was the only outlier in not accepting the proposal for a ceasefire deal, to which he said Israel had agreed.

My message to governments throughout the region, to people throughout the region, is if you want a ceasefire, press Hamas to say yes.

A senior Hamas official said Blinken’s comments were “biased to Israel”.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks to members of the media after meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, at Cairo airport, Egypt, Monday, June 10, 2024. Photograph: Amr Nabil/Reuters
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Sam Levine

Sam Levine

The South Dakota governor, Kristi Noem, said on Sunday that Donald Trump should pick a woman to be his running mate amid reports that her fellow Republican’s shortlist is nearly all men.

“I think that that would be beneficial, according to the polling that I’ve seen for him and a lot of swing states, is that having a woman that is helping his campaign makes a difference,” she told Dana Bash during an interview on CNN’s State of the Union.

One in four Republican women haven’t made up their minds because they want to have a woman talking to them about the issues they care about. And women aren’t monolithic. They don’t care about just one issue.

Noem’s comments come amid reports that the former president’s campaign for a second term in the White House is vetting possible picks. Only one of them, congresswoman Elise Stefanik of New York, is a woman.

Others include senators JD Vance, Marco Rubio, Tim Scott and Tom Cotton. The North Dakota governor, Doug Burgum, congressman Byron Donalds, and Ben Carson, the former secretary of housing and urban development, are also reportedly under consideration.

Until recently, Noem was considered a top possible pick for the No 2 spot on the Republican ticket for November’s election. But her chances reportedly fell significantly after she published a story in her recently published memoir about killing her dog.

Hunter Biden gun trial resumes with president’s son not expected to testify

Hunter Biden’s federal trial resumed on Monday in Wilmington, Delaware, with closing arguments expected as soon as today.

Hunter Biden, the only surviving son of Joe Biden, faces three felony charges tied to a 2018 firearm purchase while using narcotics. He is accused of making false statements on a gun-purchase form when he said he was not illegally using or addicted to drugs, and then unlawfully possessing the gun for 11 days. He has pleaded not guilty.

Here are some key takeaways from the trial’s first week’s proceedings.

Hunter Biden’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, indicated in court this morning that his client will not testify, allowing the judge, Maryellen Noreika, to give the jury an instruction that they should not hold it against Biden that he did not testify in the case.

This is not the same as announcing definitively that Hunter Biden will not testify. The instruction will be given later today.

Hunter Biden arrives to federal court with his wife, Melissa Cohen Biden, Monday, June 10, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. Photograph: Matt Rourke/AP
Hugo Lowell

Hugo Lowell

Donald Trump is determined to avoid jail, but if he does get handed a prison sentence after his conviction on 34 felony counts in New York last week, the former president’s inner circle is certain he will lay the blame squarely at the judge’s feet, sources familiar with the matter said.

The precise way Trump might blame the judge, Juan Merchan, remains unclear because Trump has been avoidant of the issue and the matter was not resolved when he huddled with his top advisers at a Trump Tower meeting immediately after the verdict on Thursday, the sources said.

But Trump is likely to double down on his attacks against Merchan, directing his supporters at rallies and in Truth Social posts to take up their grievances with the judge, one of the sources added.

Donald Trump will hold the judge responsible for how the sentence affects his campaign, his inner circle said Composite: AP, Getty Images

The consequences of Trump’s likely rhetoric are difficult to predict. Trump has been railing against Merchan for months as being unfair and in conspiracy cahoots with the Biden administration to prevent him from campaigning – and nothing concrete has happened.

Still, Trump’s supporters have a history of making threats against judges Trump has assailed, including death threats to Tanya Chutkan, the US district judge who is presiding in his federal 2020 election interference case, and to the chambers of the New York judge who oversaw his civil fraud trial.

Oliver Milman

Oliver Milman

More than half of Joe Biden’s supporters are primarily motivated to cast their vote for the president in order to prevent a return of Donald Trump to the White House, according to a new poll.

Opposing Trump is the main reason to back Biden for 54% of the Democratic incumbent’s voters, the new CBS/YouGov poll found, up from 47% in a similar survey conducted in March, which was prior to the presumptive Republican nominee being found guilty of business fraud by a New York jury.

A further 27% of Biden voters are supporting the president because they like him – down from 31% in March – while 19% say that they are backing him because he is the Democratic nominee for president.

The poll comes as the Biden campaign has ramped up its rhetoric in attacking Trump directly in recent weeks, pointing to the former president’s felony conviction and string of past controversies. Last week, Biden said his predecessor is “reckless and dangerous” for complaining that his New York trial was rigged and claimed that he had been driven “crazy” by his 2020 election loss.

The outcome of this year’s presidential election remains in the balance, with the new CBS poll finding Biden and Trump are essentially tied nationally and in key swing states. Trump is on 50% of support among likely voters, and Biden is on 49%, with these figures switched for likely voters in battleground states.

Donald Trump’s longtime refusal to admit wrongdoing in his hush-money case and repeated attacks on the presiding judge, Juan Merchan, and the trial could hurt him at his sentencing next month.

The former president has repeatedly claimed that the case against him was “rigged”, called Justice Merchan a “devil” who was “highly conflicted”, and claimed, without evidence, that Joe Biden was behind the production.

The ultimate decision with sentencing rests with Merchan, who has wide discretion to sentence him to fines or probation on the low end, to a carceral sentence on the high end, regardless of what prosecutors might request. Much could depend on how Merchan interprets Trump’s conduct, including any lack of remorse.

Jeffrey Cohen, an associate professor at Boston College Law School and a former federal prosecutor in Massachusetts, told AP:

The fact, I think, that he has no remorse – quite the opposite, he continues to deny his guilt – is going to hurt him at sentencing. It’s one of the things that the judge can really point to that everybody is aware of — that he just denies this — and can use that as a strong basis for his sentence.

Trump to address Christian group that calls for abortion to be ‘eradicated entirely’

Donald Trump will address a Christian group that calls for abortion to be “eradicated entirely” and calls it “child sacrifice”, as the presumptive Republican nominee tries to navigate between appeasing parts of his base who favor strict abortion laws and a broader electorate that largely supports some access to the procedure.

Trump is scheduled to make a virtual appearance on Monday at an event hosted by the Danbury Institute, which believes “that the greatest atrocity facing our generation today is the practice of abortion” and it “must be ended”, according to its website. The group’s statement reads:

Abortion must be ended. We will not rest until it is eradicated entirely.

Trump has repeatedly claimed credit for overturning Roe v Wade but has declined to endorse a national abortion ban and says he wants to leave the issue to the states. Both the Southern Baptists whom Trump will address Monday and the GOP at large are split on abortion politics, with some calling for immediate, complete abortion bans and others more open to incremental tactics, according to AP.

In a statement to Politico, the Biden campaign blasted Trump’s decision to speak at today’s event, saying the presumptive Republican nominee “loves campaigning with abortion ban extremists.”

Maya Yang

Donald Trump is scheduled to be interviewed by New York probation officials Monday, a required step before his July sentencing in his criminal hush-money case, according to three people familiar with the plan.

The former president will do the interview via a computer video conference from his residence at the Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, the people told the Associated Press. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to disclose the plans publicly.

One of Trump’s lawyers, Todd Blanche, will be present for the interview. People convicted of crimes in New York usually meet with probation officials without their lawyers, but the judge in Trump’s case, Juan Merchan, said in a letter Friday that he would allow Blanche’s presence.

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.

Present 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.

Merchan has scheduled Trump’s sentencing for 11 July. He has discretion to impose a wide range of punishments, ranging from probation and community service to up to four years in prison.

Trump to face probation interview in hush-money case

Good morning US politics readers. Donald Trump is scheduled for a pre-sentencing interview with New York probation officials today, according to reports.

The former president will hold a virtual interview from his home at the Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, alongside his lawyer Todd Blanche, sources told the Associated Press. It comes after Trump was convicted last month on all 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

The probation interview is used to prepare a report that will include a defendant’s personal history, criminal record and recommendations for sentencing. It is also a chance for a defendant to say why they think they deserve a lighter punishment.

Trump is also expected on Monday to address a Christian group that calls for abortion to be “eradicated entirely” and calls the procedure “child sacrifice”. Trump is scheduled to speak virtually at an event hosted by the Danbury Institute, an organization that also seeks to ban same-sex marriage and use the Bible to guide public policy.

Here’s what else we’re watching:

  • Antony Blinken returned to the Middle East today as a proposed Israel-Hamas ceasefire hangs in the balance. The US secretary of state met with Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, in Cairo earlier, and is scheduled to meet with Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and defence minister Yoav Gallant later today.

  • Hunter Biden’s lawyers are expected to wrap up arguments in his federal gun trial in Delaware today, with jury deliberations potentially to begin at the end of the day.



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