What to remember from Ivanka Trump’s testimony at the New York fraud trial

By | November 9, 2023


Ivanka Trump’s appearance Wednesday was the highly anticipated conclusion to eight days of unprecedented testimony including Donald Trump and three of his adult children in the civil fraud lawsuit filed by the New York attorney general’s office.

The AG’s office ended its arguments after hearing from Trump’s eldest daughter, who was pressed about her role in securing loans for the Trump Organization and a penthouse apartment she rented to his father.

His appearance wasn’t as controversial as his father’s on Monday — there were no fireworks or angry outbursts.

In total, the attorney general’s office has taken testimony from 25 witnesses in its case against Trump, his two adult sons and his business, culminating with the Trumps’ testimony as the final four witnesses. While Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump are all co-defendants in the attorney general’s lawsuit seeking $250 million in damages and banning the former president from doing business in the state, Ivanka Trump is no longer a co-defendant in the trial. case.

Here are the key takeaways from Ivanka Trump’s day in court:

Ivanka Trump was questioned at length by Louis Solomon, a lawyer in the attorney general’s office, about the financing of the Doral Golf Resort & Spa loans in Florida through Deutsche Bank.

The loans are a key part of the case because they required Donald Trump to submit annual financial statements — and the attorney general alleges those statements were falsified to inflate Trump’s net worth and obtain better loan rates.

The final agreement for the Deutsche Bank loan required Donald Trump, as guarantor, to maintain a minimum net worth of $2.5 billion.

An earlier version of the bank’s proposed loan terms required Trump to maintain a net worth of $3 billion. Ivanka Trump proposed a change to lower the net worth requirement to $2 billion, in an email presented by Solomon to the court.

At the time, Trump’s net worth, according to his 2011 financial statement, was $4.2 billion.

Trump was able to obtain better terms for the Doral property thanks to the Deutsche Bank loan guaranteed by Trump’s financial statements, because he personally guaranteed the loans with the private wealth management group, which offered the opportunity to a wealthy individual to guarantee the loan.

The Trump Organization. was offered different terms through Deutsche Bank’s commercial real estate arm for the same property.

Ivanka Trump said she didn’t know why a penthouse she rented in her father’s building on Trump Park Avenue was valued in Donald Trump’s financial statements at more than $12 million more than the price for which she could have bought it.

Ivanka Trump had an option to purchase the apartment for $8.5 million, but the value in Trump’s financial statements was $20.8 million, according to the attorney general’s civil complaint.

Solomon asked Ivanka Trump if the value of her call option was reflected in her father’s financial statements.

“As I told you a year and a half ago, I was not involved in his statement of financial position, so I cannot say what he took into account or what he did not “didn’t take it into account,” Ivanka Trump said. replied.

In her deposition last year, she said she knew the companies had financial statements, but had no “specific” recollection that her father had personal statements about his financial situation.

“Of course he has accountants who have all kinds of things and who have all kinds of statements, but no, sorry, I don’t know specifically what was prepared on his behalf for him as a person separate and distinct from the organization and properties that I own. I was working, so no, I don’t know how they did this and who prepared this and the mechanisms like that,” she testified.

His testimony on the financial statements mirrored that of his brothers, who also both said they were unaware of the work done on Donald Trump’s financial statement, even though they had submitted information used to prepare financial statements.

Discussions between Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner

Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner worked in Donald Trump’s White House as senior advisors to the president.

Before moving to Washington, they both worked in the real estate industry. Although Kushner did not work for the Trump Organization, the pair discussed work issues.

“My husband also worked in real estate and had a perspective for me, so periodically we would discuss what we were working on specifically in real estate,” she said when asked about the ‘E-mail.

Following an objection from Trump’s lawyers citing spousal privilege, Solomon asked about a thread discussing potential Capital One financing terms for the Old Post Office project, which was renovated and opened as Trump International Hotel in 2016.

Kushner said he might pitch the deal to Natixis, an investment bank, because he thought they would give Trump Org. better conditions.

“I don’t remember that exchange,” Ivanka Trump said of the email. “But it’s not uncommon for me to ask my husband’s perspective on something I was working on.”

Ivanka Trump was the final witness of 25 in the attorney general’s case against Trump and his companies — 24 of them in person.

In addition to the Trump family, the attorney general’s office called the former Trump Org. Allen Weisselberg and Jeff McConney – both co-defendants in this case – as well as other officials inside and outside the Trump Org. who worked on the projects at issue in the case.

The attorney general also heard from Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and “fixer,” who testified before Trump’s eyes that his former boss told him and Weisselberg to inflate his financial statements (Weisselberg said that the meeting never took place).

The attorney general had already won a summary judgment from Judge Arthur Engoron before the trial began, with the judge ruling that Trump and his co-defendants were liable for fraud.

The judge is now considering how much the Trumps will have to pay in damages for profits they allegedly reaped through fraudulent business practices, including inflating Trump’s value in financial statements.

The attorney general is seeking to prove six additional allegations, including falsifying business records, publishing false financial statements and insurance fraud.

…and it’s now up to the Trump team to come

Team Trump now has the opportunity to prepare its defense for the former president on Monday. Trump’s lawyers also signaled at the end of his testimony earlier this week that they intended to file a motion for a mistrial, making particular reference to the conduct of the judge’s clerk.

The motion is highly unlikely to succeed — Engoron has implemented a silence barring any discussion of his staff in response to Trump’s attacks on his secretary — but it will set the tone for how Trump’s lawyers will attempt to pierce the Attorney General’s file. both in court and in the court of public opinion.

Trump’s lawyers offered a glimpse of their defense during their cross-examination of Ivanka Trump on Wednesday, during which they discussed emails in which Deutsche Bank was happy to have the Trump Org. as a customer.

Their argument is that the attorney general’s complaint caused no victims: the banks were reimbursed. (The attorney general’s office says banks were defrauded out of hundreds of millions of dollars because of the loan rates Trump fraudulently obtained.)

Ivanka Trump said her family’s vision for renovating the Doral golf resort in Florida was shared with Deutsche Bank during the financing negotiation process.

“They were very enthusiastic,” she said of Deutsche Bank. “They sent teams of people to tour the property and experience it before we purchased.”

In his testimony Monday, Donald Trump also gave insight into the defense he thinks his team will put together.

“We will explain that as this trial goes on, this crazy trial continues, because we are using bankers, and the bankers will tell you – very big bankers, the bankers who have done business with me , and they will explain to you exactly what their processes are. were. But these were very important bankers, and they will explain what the process is,” Trump said, before being chastised by the judge for giving a speech.

The Attorney General’s Office, however, filed a complaint letter with the judge seeking a hearing Thursday on motions to block several of Trump’s expert witnesses from testifying. Lawyers for the attorney general’s office said several of the witnesses’ testimony related to issues already resolved by the judge, including how properties were valued and associated accounting rules.

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