Ivanka Trump poised for cross-examination in New York civil fraud trial

Donald Trump and White House adviser Ivanka in 2020 in Washington DC.

Donald Trump and White House adviser Ivanka in 2020 in Washington DC. Photo: Getty

Ex-international White House adviser and daughter of former president Donald Trump, Ivanka, will be cross-examined in a New York civil trial this week, despite efforts by her legal team not to appear.

After an application to avoid travelling to New York from her Florida mansion on the grounds she’d suffer “undue hardship” if forced to appear during a school week, her bid failed.

“Ms Trump, who resides in Florida with her three minor children, will suffer undue hardship if a stay is denied and she is required to testify at trial in New York in the middle of a school week, in a case she has already been dismissed from, before her appeal is heard,” her attorney argued in part in an appeal filed late last week, reported CNN.

The appeal sought to “pause” the entire fraud trial, but the “motion for a stay was swiftly denied”.

The former president testified on Monday (US time), as have his sons Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr.

All three are defendants in the case, while Ivanka – who travelled just two weeks ago to a high-profile birthday bash for Kim Kardashian – is not a defendant.

In back-to-back appearances in New York courtroom on November 3, Trump’s adult sons both said they were not involved in the questionable valuations that now threaten to hobble the real estate empire that vaulted Trump to prominence.

Trump put the two in charge of the business while he served as US president from 2017 to 2021.

Trump has denied wrongdoing and has kept up a steady stream of attacks against Judge Arthur Engoron and New York Attorney General Letitia James, who has brought the case.

Judge Engoron has already ruled that Trump, his two adult sons and the company fraudulently inflated asset values to win favourable financing terms.

The trial largely concerns damages.

‘We look forward to hearing the testimony of Ivanka’

Outside court after Trump’s explosive testimony on Monday (US time), James said she looked forward to hearing from Trump’s daughter on November 8 (AEDT).

“Mr Trump can engage in all of these distractions and that is exactly what he did … on the stand … engaging in distractions and engaging in name calling,” James said outside court.

“I will not be bullied, I will not be harassed. This case will go on.

“We look forward to hearing the testimony of Ivanka Trump on Wednesday and then we plan on closing our case and then there will be some motions on Thursday and then the defence will present their case.

“Justice will prevail. It is important for you to understand we have already been victorious in our motion for summary judgment.

“Now we look forward to disgorgement and to the remaining counts in our action against Donald Trump and his repeated and consistent fraud against the citizens of this great state of New York.”

Outspoken panelists on The View ‘rip into Ivanka’

Co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Sara Haines, Ana Navarro and Sunny Hostin were also swift to voice their shock that Ivanka was “tone deaf” and had tried to avoid appearing in New York.

“When I saw this, I was like, it’s not jury duty. You’re being subpoenaed by a court of law,” host Sara Haines said.

“All I could think about is the globetrotting she did when she had her position in the White House. She’d go for seven to nine days.

“This is because it’s during the week of school. The kids go to full-time school. When she was travelling the world, one of them was at home and one year old. I just don’t understand her reasoning.

“Tone deaf … And I also find, like you said, though, it’s insulting.”

“Girl, I fly back and forth between Miami and New York at least twice a week,” Navarro said, pointing out the Kardashian trip.

“And I don’t have a private jet or $2 billion from the Saudis. So I think you can do it for one day.”

Hostin, a US lawyer and senior legal correspondent and analyst for ABC News, suggested that despite the controversies surrounding the Trump family, Ivanka has managed to remain untouched.

She pointed out that in civil cases, one can invoke their Fifth Amendment rights to avoid self-incrimination, raising the possibility that Ivanka could implicate herself in potential criminal liability if she were to testify, observed

“We saw her on The Apprentice. She was getting off the helicopter with the boys, too,” Hostin remarked. “She could say something that could now lead to criminal liability.”

Trump jr court

Donald Trump Jr in a New York court in his father’s civil fraud case. Photo: Getty

Meanwhile, in Eric Trump’s testimony, he said he was not even aware of the financial statements that were used to secure loans and insurance that allowed the company to keep functioning.

He grew frustrated as state lawyer Andrew Amer presented emails, video calls and other evidence that showed him discussing financial estimates of some of the company’s trophy properties, including changes to the valuation methodology for a golf course.

He said he did not remember many of those communications.

“Certainly I was aware of it, but I don’t think I was the main person involved, or even very involved,” he said of an appraisal of the family’s Seven Springs estate north of New York City.

Donald Jr blamed accountants, both inside and outside the company.

“They had more information and details on all of this than I would have,” he said.

Evidence submitted at trial shows both sons signed statements certifying they had provided accurate information to Mazars, the outside accounting firm that prepared the financial statements.

Trump’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen testified Trump directed them to exaggerate the value of assets like Trump Tower in Manhattan in order to win better financing terms and bolster his reported net worth.

“So sad to see my sons being PERSECUTED in a political Witch Hunt,” Donald Trump wrote on social media.

Trump’s testimony stretched over a four-hour period, the latest in courtroom appearances by the frontrunner for the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic President Joe Biden in the 2024 US election.

He often avoided direct answers, instead bragging about his properties and his wealth.

Judge Engoron has ordered the dissolution of companies that control pillars of Trump’s real estate portfolio, including Trump Tower.

That ruling is on hold while Trump appeals.

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