Trump faces grilling about sexual abuse and fraud if he testifies in hush money trial, say prosecutors

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said he intends to use this information at the hush money trial ‘to impeach the credibility of’ the former president

Kelly Rissman,Ariana Baio
Wednesday 17 April 2024 22:52 BST
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Former presidentDonald Trump will be grilled about past allegations of misconduct and crimes — including of sexual abuse and fraud — if he takes the stand at his historic hush money trial,Manhattan prosecutors have warned.

In a landmark case, Mr Trump became the first former or sitting president to stand trial on criminal charges this week, with jury selection getting under way on Monday in Manhattan criminal court.

The former president is charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records related to payments made to conceal an alleged affair with adult film star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 presidential election. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

In a newly-released court filing, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg revealed a list of things that Mr Trump will be confronted with should he take the stand to testify at the trial, including “all misconduct and criminal acts of the defendant not charged in the indictment”.

Among these acts are previous lawsuits involving the former president, including his civil trial where he was found liable for sexual abuse and defamation of former Elle columnist E Jean Carroll.

“Defendant sexually abused E Jean Carroll. Jury awarded the plaintiff $2,020,000 in compensatory and punitive damages on her sexual abuse claim,” the filing states.

Prosecutors said that Mr Trump’s civil fraud trial, in which he, his two eldest sons, and some of his entities were found liable for illegally inflating the value of the Trump Organization company assets, will also be brought up if he takes the stand.

Like the hush money case, this case also involves allegations of falsifying business records or conspiracy to do so.

Former president Donald Trump, talks to members of the media while visiting a bodega, after leaving court for his hush money trial on Tuesday 16 April 2024 (AP)

“Defendant repeatedly and persistently falsified business records, conspired to falsify business records, issued false financial statements, conspired to issue false financial statements, and conspired to commit insurance fraud by fraudulently misstating the value of his assets for economic benefit—including the Trump Tower Triplex,” the filing says.

Prosecutors said that, should he testify, these cases will be used “at trial to impeach the credibility of” Mr Trump – painting a picture about him and his other dealings with the law. Like the hush money case, the former president has sought to brand these cases and trials a “witch hunt” and blamed his political enemies.

The filing, colloquially known as a “Sandoval Notice”, is common in criminal cases in which the defendant has a history of misconduct or criminal acts and plans to testify.

Prosecutors asked Judge Juan Merchan to hold a Sandoval hearing to determine the scope of what they can ask the former president during cross-examination about his previous court judgements and cases.

Last week, Mr Trump said that he planned to testify at his hush money trial.

“Yeah, I would testify, absolutely,” he said in Florida. “That’s not a trial. That’s a scam.”

Jury selection resumes on Thursday, with seven of the 18 jurors so have selected.

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