Judge Merchan Lays Out Rules For Cross Examination

April 22, 2024

In a recent pre-trial hearing in New York, Donald Trump found himself at odds with Justice Juan Merchan over the terms of potential cross-examination in his upcoming hush-money trial. This trial is linked to allegations involving adult film star Stormy Daniels. The hearing, known as a Sandoval hearing, was conducted to decide which previous incidents could be referenced during Trump’s potential testimony.

The judge declared that a notorious Access Hollywood recording, where Trump is heard making remarks about sexually assaulting women, could be used by the prosecution. Additionally, incidents where Trump breached a gag order and a civil fraud ruling requiring him to pay $454 million in damages were deemed relevant.

Observers noted Trump’s visible disapproval as Justice Merchan outlined the prior findings that could be leveraged against him during cross-examination. Politico’s Erica Orden reported Trump’s reactions during the reading of these findings.

Furthermore, Trump could also face questions regarding two defamation lawsuits filed by author E. Jean Carroll, who accuses him of rape and defamation. Previous juries have ruled against Trump in these cases, finding him liable for defamation and, in one case, for sexual abuse.

Despite the complexities and potential risks of testifying, Trump has expressed his intention to stand as a witness in his defense. Legal experts, however, advise caution, suggesting that testifying might not be in his best interest.

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