New York AG Letitia James acknowledged that Ivanka demonstrated poise on the witness stand in the family's fraud trial Wednesday — yet prosecutors remain concerned about a few details in her testimony
While Ivanka Trump attempted to distance herself from the Trump Organization during a five-hour testimony in a Manhattan courtroom on Wednesday, the New York attorney general still asserts that she "clearly was involved" in securing loans for her father's company.
Ivanka was the last in her family to take the witness stand in a civil fraud trial brought against former President Donald Trump, his adult sons, and the Trump Organization by New York Attorney General Letitia James.
James' office has accused the defendants of fraudulently inflating the former president's fortune by as much as $2.2 billion since 2011, and overvaluing many of its properties, including the Palm Beach resort where Trump now lives. The suit aims to have the elder Trump fined $250 million and banned from doing business in New York.
In Ivanka's testimony, she said she did not know what valuations were included in her father's financial statements, adding, “Those weren’t things that I was privy to," per The New York Times.
But when James spoke to reporters outside the courthouse afterward, she remained skeptical.
“Ivanka Trump was cordial, she was disciplined, she was controlled and she was very courteous," James said of the former first daughter's attitude in the courtroom, per CNN. "But her testimony raises questions with regards to its credibility, which will be a question for the finding of fact."
“The reality is, is that based on the evidence, the documentary evidence, she clearly was involved in negotiating and securing loans, favorable loans, for the benefit of the Trump Organization, for Mr. Trump and her brothers and for herself," James alleged.
James said that the case hinges on "fraudulent statements of financial condition that [Ivanka] benefitted from, she was enriched."
"And clearly you cannot distance yourself from that fact. The documents do not lie. The numbers do not lie," James added. "And despite the fact that she was very, very nice, very friendly, the facts, basically, demonstrate the truth.”
Last week, Ivanka's adult brothers Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump — both of whom work for the Trump Organization — testified in the case. The former president himself has also taken the stand in the case, at moments engaging in fiery exchanges with the judge, who told his attorneys last week that they needed to "control" their client.
President Trump, who is currently running for another term in the White House, has denied that he or his company overvalued its properties, but in September, New York Judge Arthur Engoron issued a 35-page ruling declaring that several properties were overvalued, including the members-only Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida.
Engoron's ruling alleges that the inflation of Mar-a-Lago's worth is akin to fraud. From the ruling: "A discrepancy of this order of magnitude, by a real estate developer sizing up his own living space of decades, can only be considered fraud."
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Since leaving office in January 2021, the former president has been mired in a number of legal issues and investigations. So far, four of those investigations have led to indictments — the first one making him the only U.S. president to face criminal charges, and the next two further distinguishing him as the only president to face federal charges.
Trump has been indicted on a total of 91 criminal counts this year between the four investigations, several of which come with recommended prison time.
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