A judge ruled Friday that Ivanka Trump, the daughter of former President Trump, must testify in her father’s civil fraud trial in New York.
New York Attorney General Letitia James has brought a sweeping fraud case against Trump, the Trump Organization, Trump’s adult sons, and several executives. The accusations suggest that they have been committing fraud for decades by falsely inflating and deflating the value of their assets to receive better insurance coverage and lower taxes. Trump and his sons have denied any wrongdoing, calling the case a “witch hunt.”
Ivanka Trump was dismissed from the lawsuit in June by a New York appeals court due to the statute of limitations. In January 2017, before her father’s inauguration, Ivanka Trump announced her departure from her executive vice president position at the Trump Organization. She subsequently became an unpaid senior adviser in the Trump administration. After her father’s presidency, she relocated to Florida.
It was ruled by New York Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron on Friday that dismissing someone from a case does not excuse them from testifying after being subpoenaed by the attorney general’s office. The trial judge has scheduled the testimony for November 3 to allow Ivanka’s lawyers time to appeal.
Donald Trump is set to testify in his civil fraud trial in New York. He will follow his three eldest children by taking the witness stand on November 6. Several state attorneys have stated that this trial poses a serious threat to their family’s real estate business.
Trump has denied all allegations, dismissing the trial as a politically biased farce. The lawsuit can deprive Trump of some of his business assets and prominent properties, including the Trump Tower. Both James and Engoron are affiliated with the Democratic party.
As a surprising development, Donald Trump briefly testified in response to Engoron’s questioning regarding a comment he made outside of court and whether it was directed towards his law clerk. Engoron had previously prohibited trial participants from publicly discussing court staff.
Trump denied his comment about the clerk; however, Engoron found his testimony “not credible” and fined him $10,000. This comes in addition to a $5,000 fine imposed a few days earlier for an online post about the clerk. Trump’s legal team paid both fines on his behalf, but they are considering an appeal.
Donald Trump Jr. is expected to testify next Wednesday, followed by his brother Eric on Thursday, and their sister Ivanka on November 3.
Her attorney argued that the state attorneys “lack jurisdiction over her.” One of Donald Trump’s lawyers claimed that the state attorneys “simply want another opportunity to interrogate another of President Trump’s children.”
The lawyer stated that the idea of Ms. Trump being under the control of the Trump Organization or any of the defendants, including her father, is ridiculous. He added that anyone who has raised a daughter past the age of 13 knows they cannot be easily controlled.
Nonetheless, the state’s attorneys contended that Ivanka Trump played a crucial role in certain events discussed in the case and continues to have financial and professional connections with the family business and its executives.
Engoron agreed with the state, pointing to documents demonstrating Ivanka Trump’s ongoing business relationships in New York and her ownership of apartments in Manhattan. “Ms. Trump has clearly availed herself of the privilege of doing business in New York,” Engoron declared.
During her tenure at the Trump Organization, Ivanka Trump was instrumental in negotiating and securing financing for various properties, including arranging a lease and loan for a Washington hotel, as well as loans for the Trump Doral golf resort near Miami and a Trump-owned hotel and condominium tower in Chicago, as per court documents.
The New York attorney general’s office disclosed that even after transitioning to the White House, Ivanka Trump maintained a financial stake in the Trump Organization’s ventures, including an interest in the now-sold Washington hotel.
State attorneys, referencing emails and other documents in court filings, highlighted that the Trump Organization and its staff have continued to provide various services for Ivanka Trump and her businesses, including purchasing insurance, managing household staff and credit card bills, renting her apartment, and covering her legal fees.
In her 2021 federal financial disclosures, Ivanka Trump reported earning $2.6 million from Trump entities, which included income from a business named TTT Consulting LLC. A company accountant testified that TTT was established for her and her brothers to share the fees from certain licensing agreements.