Trump will be grilled about sexual abuse and fraud if he testifies, Manhattan prosecutors say

Trump talking to reporters while visiting a bodega after the second day of the trial (AP)

Former presidentDonald Trump will be asked about his previous misconduct and criminal acts — including instances of sexual abuse and fraud — if he takes the stand at his historic hush money trial.

Mr Trump was charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records related to payments made to conceal an alleged affair ahead of the 2016 election. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges. This is the first criminal trial of a former or sitting president.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg revealed a list that includes “all misconduct and criminal acts of the defendant not charged in the indictment” which his office “intend to use at trial to impeach the credibility of” Mr Trump, should he testify, according to a newly released court filing.

The list includes previous lawsuits involving the former president, including the case in which he was found liable for sexual abuse and defamation of former Elle columnist E Jean Carroll.

Next to the claim of “sexual abuse,” for example, the document states the associated facts of the case: “Defendant sexually abused E Jean Carroll. Jury awarded the plaintiff $2,020,000 in compensatory and punitive damages on her sexual abuse claim.”

The same is true of the civil fraud trial, in which Mr Trump, his sons, and some of his entities were found liable for illegally inflating the value of company assets. These cases are similar, on their face, as they both involve allegations of falsifying business records or conspiracy to do so.

“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.

Should he testify, questions about these matters could equip the jurors, who may not have been following the former president’s other legal battles, with factual information about Mr Trump.

So, these facts could, as Mr Bragg says, call into question his credibility.

Presenting the jury with details about the lawsuits and the fact that he has been liable for other charges before, could paint a certain picture of Mr Trump and his regard for the law.

These details could come in sharp contrast with comments Mr Trump has made about previous trials — like calling them a “witch hunt” — as well as the hush money trial. On the trial’s first day, Mr Trump denounced the case as “an assault on America.”

The filing, colloquially known as the 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 previous court judgements and facts of those cases they can ask the former president during cross-examination.

Mr Trump said last week that he plans to testify at the hush money trial.

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

Jury selection is still underway; seven of 18 jurors have been picked so far.