UNITED STATES NEWS

Ivanka Trump testifies she wasn’t involved in documents central to her father’s civil fraud trial

Nov 8, 2023, 7:00 PM

FILE - Donald Trump, right, sits with his children, from left, Eric Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Iv...

FILE - Donald Trump, right, sits with his children, from left, Eric Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Ivanka Trump during a groundbreaking ceremony for the Trump International Hotel on July 23, 2014, in Washington. New York's attorney general sued former President Donald Trump and his company on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022, alleging business fraud involving some of their most prized assets, including properties in Manhattan, Chicago and Washington, D.C. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Ivanka Trump says she remembers a number of things about a 2011 meeting to pitch her family company’s plan to redevelop a historic post office into a Washington, D.C., hotel. She recalls discussion of the overall vision and the company’s experience, her father talking up his renovation of New York’s famous Plaza Hotel.

But, she told a court Wednesday, she doesn’t remember any mention of his annual financial statements — the documents central to the civil fraud trial that could reshape former President Donald Trump’s family business.

“I don’t recall, with specificity, any discussion over financial statements,” testified his elder daughter, who has been in his inner circle in both business and politics.

When pressed on how she could remember talk of the Plaza but not of the financial documents — despite documents showing they’d spurred questions before the meeting from officials overseeing the post office bidding — she explained that “the intention of the meeting was to talk about our vision for the project, so that’s what I recall.”

With even-tempered testimony that provided a counterpoint to her father’s caustic turn on the stand days earlier, Ivanka Trump rounded out a major stretch in the trial that could reshape the family business. Her brothers Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. testified last week, her father on Monday.

New York Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit alleges that Donald Trump’s asset values were fraudulently pumped up for years on annual “statements of financial condition” that helped him get loans and insurance.

The non-jury trial will decide allegations of conspiracy, insurance fraud and falsifying business records — but Judge Arthur Engoron already has resolved the lawsuit’s top claim by ruling that Trump engaged in fraud. That decision came with provisions that could strip the ex-president of oversight of such marquee properties as Trump Tower, though an appeals court is allowing him continued control of his holdings for now.

James, a Democrat, is seeking over $300 million in penalties and a ban on Trump doing business in New York.

The ex-president and Republican 2024 front-runner denies any wrongdoing, as do the other defendants. He insisted in court Monday that his financial statements actually greatly underestimated his net worth, that any discrepancies were minor, that a disclaimer absolved him of liability and that “this case is a disgrace.”

Unlike him and his adult sons, Ivanka Trump is no longer a defendant, and her lawyers had tried to prevent her from having to testify. Ordered to do so, she answered politely — periodically flashing broad smiles and at one point thanking a lawyer in James’ office for bringing up the Old Post Office proposal because it “brought back a lot of memories” — while saying she largely didn’t recall the documents and details that he asked her about.

James’ legal team and defense lawyers repeatedly tangled Wednesday over the scope of the questioning, including whether Ivanka Trump could be asked about 2013 emails that included her husband, Jared Kushner, in discussions about potential Trump company loans.

While Kushner didn’t work for the Trump Organization, he also had introduced his wife years earlier to a Deutsche Bank banker as the Trumps were seeking financing to buy and overhaul the Doral golf resort near Miami, Ivanka Trump testified. Because he also worked in real estate, they would sometimes exchange ideas and advice, she said.

Ivanka Trump became the point person in establishing a lending relationship with Deutsche Bank’s private wealth management arm. It eventually extended the company hundreds of millions of dollars in loans, with terms that required Donald Trump to submit his financial statements each year.

Ivanka Trump, who was an executive vice president at the family company, said she didn’t recall ever having provided asset valuation information for the statements or having reviewed them before they were finalized. She recalled being shown “a few documents and correspondence that referenced financial statements, but that was not something I was involved in.”

“Those were not things that I was privy to,” she testified while being asked about the statements’ references to some apartments that she had options to buy in a Trump-owned building on New York’s Park Avenue.

State lawyers contend that Donald Trump was giving his daughter a steep discount on the apartments while claiming on his financial statements that they were worth far more.

Her brothers, who are still Trump Organization EVPs, also have professed minimal knowledge of their father’s annual financial statements. Donald Trump Jr. testified that he dealt with the documents only in passing; Eric Trump said he relied completely on accountants and lawyers to ensure the documents’ accuracy. The other Trumps weren’t in court for Ivanka Trump’s testimony. Donald Trump scheduled a rally Wednesday night in Florida near the televised debate he’s skipping with Republican rivals.

While a Trump Organization executive, Ivanka Trump dealt with securing a loan and a lease for the Washington hotel and financing for Doral in Florida and a hotel and condo skyscraper in Chicago, according to court filings.

As her father’s inauguration neared, she announced in January 2017 that she was stepping away from her Trump Organization job. She became an unpaid senior adviser. After her time in the administration, she moved to Florida.

An appeals court dismissed her as a defendant in the lawsuit in June, saying the claims against her were too old.

Her attorneys contended that she shouldn’t have to testify. They said the state was just trying to harass the family by dragging her into court.

The state attorney general’s office argued that her testimony would be relevant, saying she was involved in some events discussed in the case and remains financially and professionally entwined with the Trump Organization and its leaders.

“Ms. Trump will do all that she can to try to separate herself from this corporation,” James predicted on the way into court. “But she’s inextricably tied to the Trump Organization and to these properties that she helped secure financing for.”

Engoron and, later, an appeals court ruled that she had to testify.

United States News

Associated Press

One Tech Tip: Want to turn off Meta AI? You can’t — but there are some workarounds

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — If you use Facebook, WhatsApp or Instagram, you’ve probably noticed a new character pop up answering search queries or eagerly offering tidbits of information in your feeds, with varying degrees of accuracy. It’s Meta AI, and it’s here to help, at least according to Meta Platforms’ CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who calls […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Stock market today: Wall Street lower on interest rate anxiety ahead of next update on US inflation

Wall Street stumbled again early Thursday as hopes for interest rate cuts slowly fade with the Federal Reserve seemingly resolute in its mission to curb inflation. Futures for the S&P 500 slipped 0.4% before the bell, while Dow Jones Industrial Average futures sank 0.9%. There’s been little economic data this week to distract investors from […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

The Latest | 2 soldiers are killed in a West Bank car-ramming attack, Israeli military says

The Israeli military said Thursday that two soldiers were killed in a car-ramming attack in the occupied West Bank. Violence in the West Bank has surged throughout the war in Gaza as Israel raids Palestinian towns in the territory to crack down on militancy, with incursions resulting in the deaths of more than 500 Palestinians. […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

Jurors in Trump’s hush money trial zero in on testimony of key witnesses as deliberations resume

NEW YORK (AP) — The jury in former President Donald Trump’s hush money trial is to resume deliberations Thursday after asking to rehear potentially crucial testimony about the alleged scheme at the heart of the history-making case. The 12-person jury deliberated for about 4 1/2 hours on Wednesday without reaching a verdict. Besides asking to […]

9 hours ago

Alito...

Associated Press

Alito rejects calls to quit Supreme Court cases on Trump and Jan. 6 because of flag controversies

Justice Samuel Alito is rejecting calls to step aside from Supreme Court cases involving former President Donald Trump and Jan. 6 defendants, saying his wife hoisted the two controversial flags that flew above their homes.

10 hours ago

Nissan...

Associated Press

Nissan warns owners of older vehicles about risk of exploding air bag inflators

Nissan is urging the owners of about 84,000 older vehicles to stop driving them because their Takata air bag inflators have an increased risk of exploding in a crash and hurling dangerous metal fragments.

11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

Ivanka Trump testifies she wasn’t involved in documents central to her father’s civil fraud trial