Ivanka Trump takes stand in New York civil fraud trial

Donald Trump's daughter seeks to distance herself from questionable valuation methods for businesses

Ivanka Trump testifies in her father's civil fraud case

Ivanka Trump testifies in her father's civil fraud case
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Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump testified on Wednesday that she did not recall details of real estate deals she had worked on at her father's company, in a New York civil fraud trial that threatens the former US president's business empire.

Like her brothers Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump, who gave evidence last week, Ms Trump sought to distance herself from the questionable valuation methods that have already been ruled fraudulent by the judge overseeing the trial.

Mr Trump, by contrast, has acknowledged in the witness box that some of the estimates of golf courses, office towers and other company assets were inaccurate.

The lawsuit brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, accuses Mr Trump and his family businesses of manipulating real estate asset values to dupe lenders and insurers and embellish Mr Trump's reputation as a successful businessman.

Unlike her siblings and father, Ms Trump is not a defendant in the case.

“The people call Ivanka Trump,” a court officer said.

“Who's she?” Judge Arthur Engoron joked.

As a top executive at the Trump Organisation between 2011 and 2017, Ms Trump said she focused on redeveloping the Doral golf course in Florida and the Old Post Office property in Washington.

At the trial, she was shown a 2011 email in which she acknowledged that a requirement by lender Deutsche Bank that her father maintain a net worth of at least $3 billion was a problem but encouraged company officials to approve it anyway.

“We wanted to get a great rate and the only way to get proceeds/term and principal where we want them is to guarantee the deal,” she wrote to a Trump Organisation lawyer.

In the witness box, she said she favoured the deal but did not recall specific terms.

“I felt generally that the deal terms with Deutsche Bank for Doral were positive,” she said.

Mr Trump, who is leading his rivals for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination despite a maelstrom of legal troubles, has denied wrongdoing. He has also accused Ms James and Mr Engoron of political bias and “election interference”.

He repeated those claims on social media late on Tuesday, saying it was “Sad!” that his daughter was being forced to testify.

Donald Trump zips his lips after testifying in civil case

Donald Trump zips his lips after testifying in civil case

During defiant and rambling testimony on Monday, Mr Trump acknowledged that valuations for his properties were not always accurate but said the errors were not relevant to the financial institutions that used them to price deals.

Ms James said Ms Trump nevertheless was involved in manipulating property values.

“She will attempt today to distance herself from the company, but unfortunately the facts will reveal that in fact she was very much involved,” Ms James said on the courthouse steps.

The New York Attorney General is seeking $250 million in fines, as well as restrictions that would prevent Mr Trump and his adult sons from doing business in New York.

Updated: November 08, 2023, 10:16 PM