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

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

Trump, however, has acknowledged on the witness stand that some of the estimates for golf courses, office towers and other corporate assets were inaccurate.

The lawsuit from New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, accuses Trump and his family businesses of manipulating real estate values ​​to deceive lenders and insurers and embellish Trump’s reputation as a successful businessman.

Louis Solomon of the New York Attorney General’s Office questions Ivanka Trump during the Trump Organization’s civil fraud trial before Judge Arthur Engoron in New York on Wednesday. Court sketch: Jane Rosenberg via Reuters

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

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

During the trial, she was shown an email from 2011 in which she acknowledged that lender Deutsche Bank’s requirement that her father have a net worth of at least $3 billion was a problem for those responsible but encouraged the company to agree to this.

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

The New York judge extends the confidentiality obligation in the Trump case to his lawyers

The two sides ultimately agreed to set the net worth requirement at $2.5 billion, even though her father reported a net worth of $4.3 billion that year.

On the witness stand, she said she supported the deal but didn’t remember specific terms. “I generally felt that the terms of the contract with Deutsche Bank were positive for Doral,” she said.

She was also shown an email she received from the federal government in 2011 expressing concern about irregularities in Trump’s financial reports when the company proposed redeveloping the Old Post Office, a federal property.

She again said she couldn’t remember details. “There were a lot of emails, a lot of conversations,” she said.


Trump made over $100 million through fraud, New York says as civil trial begins

Trump made over $100 million through fraud, New York says as civil trial begins

Trump, who is leading his rivals in the 2024 Republican presidential nomination despite a whirlwind of legal troubles, has denied wrongdoing and accused James and Judge Arthur Engoron of political bias and “election interference.”

He repeated those claims on social media late Tuesday, saying it was “sad!” that Ivanka was forced to testify.

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

Donald Jr. and Eric Trump testified last week that the financial documents underlying the case were not their responsibility, although emails and other documents showed they may have been more involved than their testimony suggested.

At the New York trial, Eric and Donald Trump Jr. say they were unaware of the fraud

Ivanka joined her father during his tenure in the White House from 2017 to 2021, leaving her brothers to run the company during that time.

James said Ivanka was still involved in manipulating property values.

“She’s going to try to distance herself from the company today, but unfortunately the facts show that she was actually very heavily involved,” James said on the courthouse steps.

In a ruling that found Trump, his adult sons and 10 of his companies liable for fraud, Engoron described in stark terms how the defendants made valuations. His ruling could result in Trump losing control of some of his most prominent properties, although that order will be put on hold during the appeal process.

New York Attorney General Letitia James leaves the courtroom for a lunch break Wednesday during the civil fraud trial of former President Donald Trump and his children. Photo: AFP

James is seeking a $250 million fine and restrictions that would prevent Trump and his adult sons from doing business in New York.

In addition to this case, Trump is a defendant in four separate criminal cases, including two related to his attempts to overturn Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election.

Still, opinion polls show him with a significant lead over his Republican rivals against Biden next year.

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