Ivanka Trump testifies in a $250 million fraud trial after the former president’s angry appearance
Ivanka Trump, aide to US President Donald Trump, listens during a meeting of the US Workforce Policy Advisory Board in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, US, on Friday, June 26, 2020.
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Ivanka Trump, the eldest daughter of former President Donald Trump, is scheduled to testify Wednesday in the $250 million civil fraud trial that threatens her family’s business empire.
Ivanka has tried in vain to avoid being in front of witnesses: An appeals court last week rejected her attempt to halt the ruling of the judge who ordered her to testify.
She is expected to be asked about various aspects of New York Attorney General Letitia James’ case, which accuses Trump Sr., Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and other defendants of falsely inflating asset values to obtain tax benefits and other financial privileges.
In addition to seeking a staggering quarter-billion dollars in damages, James wants the court to permanently ban the former president and his children from operating businesses in New York.
Ivanka was originally listed as a co-defendant, but was dismissed from the case in June after the New York Court of Appeals found that the claims against her fell outside the statute of limitations.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron, who will hand down the rulings in the trial without a jury, found the defendants liable for fraudulently misrepresenting the values of real estate and other assets in key financial forms. His pretrial ruling ordered their New York business certificates revoked, although that order is pending while the trial continues.
The trial itself will determine the amount the defendants will be required to pay in damages or other penalties. The judge will also evaluate six other claims in James’ lawsuit that have not yet been resolved.
Ivanka Trump was executive vice president of development and acquisitions at the Trump Organization until 2017, when she joined her father’s presidential administration as a senior advisor. She “negotiated and obtained financing” for the company’s properties and “managed all areas of the company’s property and hotel management platform,” according to James’ lawsuit.
She is expected to be questioned about loans for the Old Post Office Building — the former site of the Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C. — and the Trump Doral property, both of which she is credited with negotiating.
The former Trump International Hotel is seen in the Old Post Office Building on May 12, 2022 in Washington, DC. The Trump family completed the sale of the hotel on Wednesday, and the hotel will reopen as the Waldorf Astoria.
Kevin Deitch | Getty Images
She is also expected to be asked about the valuation of her penthouse and her father’s introduction to Deutsche Bank’s personal wealth management team.
Ivanka’s testimony follows Monday’s testimony from her father, who angrily criticized James, Ingoron and other self-proclaimed “haters” from the witness stand.
Trump has also repeatedly argued that a disclaimer notice in his annual statements about his financial situation provides him full protection from legal liability if the numbers are inaccurate.
“That’s why we have a disclaimer clause in case there’s a mistake,” Trump said. “There’s a disclaimer clause, where you don’t have to file a lawsuit with the New York Attorney General.”
But Judge Engoron did reject Trump’s explanation of liability.
The clause “does not state what the defendants say, does not amount to an enforceable disclaimer, and cannot be used to isolate fraud with respect to the private facts known by the defendants,” Engoron wrote in his pretrial ruling on September 26. .
Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, who took over the Trump Organization as executive vice presidents after their father became president in 2017, were called to the stand last week. Both testified that they relied largely on the company’s accountants to prepare annual financial statements and approve valuations.
Engoron on October 27 ordered Ivanka to comply with subpoenas for her testimony without any restrictions.
Former US President Donald Trump’s son and co-defendant, Eric Trump, testifies during the Trump Organization civil fraud trial in the New York State Supreme Court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, US, November 2, 2023 in this courtroom diagram.
Jane Rosenberg | Reuters
Ivanka appealed the ruling, asking the New York Court of Appeals to temporarily halt Engoron’s order. Her lawyer said Ivanka, who lives in Florida, was “outside the jurisdiction” of the New York court and would suffer “irreparable harm” if forced to testify.
The lawyer also asserted that Ivanka, who has three children, would face “undue hardship” if she had to attend “in the middle of the school week.”
some Legal experts Ivanka was quick to deride this argument as a flimsy excuse to avoid being summoned to court — especially for Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, who have a combined net worth in the billions and are likely unable to afford adequate childcare.
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