Ivanka Trump testifies in her father’s fraud case

Ivanka Trump has taken the stand in a civil fraud case that threatens her father and brothers with losing valuable New York real estate such as Trump Tower.

A judge has already ruled Donald Trump and two adult sons, Eric and Donald Jr., who were found liable for fraud because they believed they had inflated their assets to secure cheap loans.

Ivanka Trump, 42, was initially also a co-defendant until an appeals court ruled in her favor this year.

She fought hard not to testify in this case.

Ms. Trump had argued that she had distanced herself from the Trump Organization and should not leave her children alone to testify during a school week.

But a New York judge and an appeals court ruled that she must take a stand.

Speaking quietly into the microphone, Ms. Trump began her testimony at the New York Supreme Court in Lower Manhattan on Wednesday morning.

As with her brothers, lawyers from the attorney general’s office showed Ms. Trump a series of emails meant to bolster her case and asked her if she was aware of the messages.

In composed and concise answers, she said she couldn’t remember.

The Trump family has a lot at stake in the non-jury trial, in which the judge will rule on allegations of falsification of business records, insurance fraud and conspiracy.

New York Attorney General Letitia James is calling for $250 million (£204 million) in fines and strict restrictions on Trump’s business operations in New York.

The state’s top prosecutor said on the courthouse steps Wednesday morning that Ivanka Trump was “very heavily involved” in the family business.

Until 2017, she served as executive vice president of the Trump Organization alongside her brothers Donald Jr. and Eric.

As head of the Development and Acquisitions Division, she was involved in the types of real estate deals and loans that were at the heart of the Attorney General’s case.

Prosecutors argue that Ms. Trump took the lead in securing financing from Deutsche Bank for properties such as the Trump National Doral Miami, the Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago and the Old Post Office in Washington DC.

The interest rates on the loans were low because they required a personal guarantee from Mr. Trump and proof of his liquidity and net worth.

Prosecutors argue that Mr. Trump’s financial statements were central to those loans, saving him more than $100 million.

Ivanka Trump has kept a low profile since her father left the White House in 2021, moved to an enclave on the island of Miami and stayed out of his 2024 presidential campaign.

Her testimony comes after a heated day in court on Monday, when Donald Trump Sr. took the witness stand for more than four hours.

He acknowledged that his properties’ valuations were not always accurate, but said the errors were not relevant to the financial institutions that used them to price deals.

Mr. Trump, currently the Republican front-runner for next year’s White House election, also argued that the attorney general and New York Judge Arthur Engoron, both Democrats, were politically motivated.

“This is a very unfair trial,” he said during his testimony, which was rebuked by the judge.

Mr. Trump has used his social media platform Truth Social several times to defend his children.

Hours before Ms Trump’s statement, he said his “wonderful and beautiful daughter” had been unfairly implicated in the case.

In their testimony last week, Eric and Donald Trump Jr. distanced themselves from the company’s financial reports.

They said accountants and other executives were responsible for compiling the data.

Testimony became tense at times for Eric Trump as prosecutors handed him emails he received from Trump Organization executives about financial reports.

The process is expected to last until mid-December.

The four members of the Trump family are the final witnesses called by prosecutors.

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