Judge rules prosecution can question Trump about civil cases

by Natalie Tomiello

Photo: Alamy

Judge Juan Merchan has issued a ruling in favor of prosecutors in President Donald Trump’s criminal trial. During a hearing on Friday, prosecutors made arguments regarding the scope of topics to be allowed during questioning.

The arguments included requests to allow the cross-examination of Trump on the topics of various civil cases and prior rulings. The requests included a total of 13 court determinations that could be brought up during cross-examination if the former president decides to testify in his own defense.

Judge Merchan permitted many of these requests, granting prosecutors the ability to cross-examine Trump regarding past court decisions, which are unrelated to the current criminal case.

One of the prior cases Judge Merchan permitted prosecutors to address in questioning is the defamation case brought against Trump by E. Jean Carroll. Earlier this year, Carroll was awarded an $83.3 million judgment in her case against Trump.

Although the jury found in favor of Carroll, Trump’s legal team continues to pursue an appeal. Prosecutors would also be permitted to bring up the recently decided fraud case against Trump, which is also in the process of appeal.

The prior court decisions in cases against Trump would only be brought up on cross-examination if he decides to take the stand and testify.

Trump has been outspoken in characterizing the trial as an attempt to damage him politically ahead of the 2024 election. Although he has previously stated that he would take the stand in his own defense, the judge’s ruling in the criminal case may cause the former president and his legal team to reconsider.

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