During her sworn testimony on Wednesday, Ivanka Trump acknowledged that she had an unclear recollection of her involvement in negotiating loans worth hundreds of millions of dollars. This is a significant aspect of the fraud case against her father and his business empire in New York.
Ivanka held significant roles both in the Trump Organization and during her father’s presidency. She became the fourth member of the Trump family to testify in the civil trial in Manhattan. This followed her father, Donald Trump Jr., and Eric Trump. She was initially named in the lawsuit filed by Democratic New York Attorney General Letitia James but was later removed from the case when an appeals court deemed the state’s legal claims against her too old. She had unsuccessfully tried to challenge the subpoena from James’s office that required her testimony before the court.
Ivanka Trump served as an executive vice president at the Trump Organization until 2017 and subsequently became a presidential adviser in her father’s administration. Recently, she has distanced herself from her father’s political and business interests and has retained separate legal counsel from her brothers for her defense in this case.
During her testimony, Ivanka Trump was questioned about her role at the Trump Organization, where she played a substantial part in assisting her father with the redevelopment and financing of various prominent Trump Organization properties such as Trump National Doral Miami golf resort and Trump International Hotel at the Old Post Office building located in Washington, D.C.
Furthermore, she and her husband, Jared Kushner, were instrumental in connecting Donald Trump with a managing director at a private wealth management division, resulting in a loan of over $300 million at favorable interest rates.
The Attorney General’s office alleges that Donald Trump and others engaged in a decade-long scheme to artificially inflate the value of his assets to secure favorable loan terms and other benefits. The state aims to recover at least $250 million from the defendants and impose restrictions that could hinder Trump from conducting business in New York. Trump has accused James of targeting him for political motives and has denied misleading financial institutions that benefited from these transactions.
During questioning, Ivanka Trump was presented with emails she had sent to senior Trump executives in 2011, endorsing a Deutsche Bank loan proposal that required her father to declare a net worth of at least $3 billion and $50 million in unrestricted cash. In the email exchange, it was discovered that Ivanka Trump had responded to concerns raised by the Trump Organization’s chief legal officer regarding the bank’s net worth requirement. Specifically, she requested a revision to the threshold, asking for it to be lowered to $2 billion.
In response to these emails, Ivanka Trump stated that she did not recall the correspondence. Still, she acknowledged that they ultimately proceeded with the deal with Deutsche Bank.
She also clarified that she was not involved in creating statements regarding her father’s financial condition and could not comment on the content of those documents. Ivanka Trump also stated that she could not recall her response to concerns raised by the General Services Administration in 2011 during the bidding process for the Old Post Office building.
Her testimony was characterized by a polite demeanor and concise responses, in contrast to her father’s passionate and expansive testimony earlier in the week. During cross-examination, she indicated that she believed Deutsche Bank was satisfied with their dealings with the Trump family.
According to James, the case outcome depends on the fraudulent statements of financial condition that Ivanka benefitted from. James emphasized that the truth is evident from the documents and numbers and that she cannot distance herself from the facts despite Ivanka’s friendly and pleasant demeanor.
It is expected that Ivanka Trump will be the final witness called by the state, with the Trump legal team set to present their defense next week.