Ivanka Trump testifies in her father’s fraud case
Ivanka Trump’s appearance on Wednesday, November 8, marked the long-awaited conclusion to an unprecedented eight days of testimony by Donald Trump and his three adult children in a civil fraud trial brought by the New York Attorney General’s Office, CNN reported.
After Trump’s eldest daughter testified about her role in securing loans for the Trump Organization and the penthouse apartment she rented from her father, prosecutors calmed down.
Her performance did not generate as much controversy as her father’s furious Monday, Nov. 6, attack on the New York attorney general who brought the case and the judge overseeing the trial. There were no fireworks or outbursts in Ivanka’s performance.
In total, the attorney general’s office heard testimony from 25 witnesses in the case against Trump, his two adult sons and his business, with the Trumps themselves as the final four witnesses. While Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump are co-defendants in the attorney general’s lawsuit seeking $250 million in damages and an injunction against the former president doing business in the state, Ivanka Trump is no longer a co-defendant in the case.
Deutsche Bank loan questions
Louis Solomon, a lawyer for the attorney general’s office, questioned Ivanka Trump in detail about the financing of the loan for the construction of the Doral Golf Resort & Spa in Florida through Deutsche Bank.
The loans are a key part of the case because they required Donald Trump to file annual financial statements that the attorney general alleges were falsified to inflate the company’s net worth and obtain better loan rates.
On the subject: Trump’s trial has begun in New York: he may completely lose his business empire
The final agreement for the Deutsche Bank loan required Donald Trump, as guarantor, to maintain a minimum net worth of $2.5 billion.
One of the bank’s early loan terms required Trump to maintain a net worth of $3 billion. Ivanka Trump proposed the change, lowering the net worth requirement to $2 billion, in an email that Solomon showed in court. At the time, Trump’s net worth, as reported on his 2011 financial disclosure statement, was $4.2 billion.
Trump was able to get better terms on the Doral real estate with a Deutsche Bank loan secured by Trump’s financial statements because he personally guaranteed the loans with a wealth management group that offered the option of collateralizing a loan with a high-wealth individual.
Through Deutsche Bank’s commercial real estate arm, the Trump organizing committee was offered different terms for the same property.
Ivanka’s Penthouse at Trump Park Avenue
Ivanka Trump distances herself from Donald Trump’s financial report estimate of her apartment’s value
Ivanka Trump said she knew nothing about why the penthouse she rented in her father’s Trump Park Avenue building was valued in Donald Trump’s financial statements at more than $12 million more than she was able to purchase it.
She had the option to purchase the apartment for $8.5 million, but Trump’s financial statements listed its value at $20.8 million, the attorney general’s civil suit says.
Solomon asked Ivanka Trump whether the value of her call option was included in her father’s financial statements. “As I told you a year and a half ago, I was not involved in compiling a report on his financial condition, so I cannot say what was or was not taken into account,” Ivanka Trump responded.
She said in a deposition last year that she was aware of the existence of company financial statements but had no “concrete” recollection that her father had personal financial statements.
“Of course he has accountants who have all kinds of reports, but no, sorry, I don’t know what exactly was prepared on his behalf for him as an individual separate and distinct from the organization and property I was working on, so I don’t know how they did it, who prepared it and other similar mechanisms,” she said.
Her testimony on the financial statements matches that of her brothers, who also said they were unaware of the work on Donald Trump’s financial statements, although they provided information that was used in preparing the statements.
Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner
Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner served in Donald Trump’s White House as senior advisers to the president. Before moving to Washington, they were both involved in the real estate business. Although Kushner did not work for the Trump Organization, the couple discussed work issues.
“My husband was also in real estate and he had prospects for me, so periodically we would discuss what we were working on in real estate,” she said when asked about the email.
After objections from Trump’s lawyers claiming spousal secrecy, Solomon asked about a stream of emails discussing potential Capital One financing terms for the Old Post Office project, which was renovated and opened as the Trump International Hotel in 2016.
Kushner said he may show the deal to investment bank Natixis because he believes they will provide Trump Org. Better conditions. “I don’t remember this exchange,” Ivanka Trump said of the email. “But it wasn’t uncommon for me to ask my husband’s opinion about something I was working on.”
General Prosecutor’s Office
Ivanka Trump became the final witness of 25 in the attorney general’s case against Trump and his businesses, 24 of which were in-person.
In addition to members of the Trump family, the attorney general called former Trump Org executives. Allen Weisselberg and Jeff McConney (both co-defendants in the case), as well as other officials inside and outside Trump Org. who worked on the projects at issue in the case.
The attorney general also heard from former lawyer and Trump “fixer” Michael Cohen, who, facing Trump, testified that his former boss told him and Weisselberg to inflate financial statements (Weisselberg claims that meeting never happened).
The attorney general won summary judgment from Judge Arthur Engoron before the trial began because the judge ruled that Trump and his co-defendants were liable for fraud.
The judge is now considering how much the Trumps will have to pay in compensation for profits they made through fraudulent practices, including overstating Trump’s value in financial statements.
The attorney general is trying to prove six other claims, including falsifying business records, issuing false financial statements and insurance fraud.
Chance for Team Trump
Now the Trump team has the opportunity to speak out in defense of the former president. Trump’s lawyers also signaled after the conclusion of his testimony earlier this week that they intend to file a motion to throw out the trial, including citing the conduct of the judge’s clerk.
The motion is unlikely to succeed—Engoron enacted a gag order in response to Trump’s attacks on his secretary—but it will set the tone for how Trump’s lawyers will try to poke holes in the attorney general’s case, like in a courtroom. and in public opinion.
On Wednesday, Trump’s lawyers presented a preliminary version of their defense in cross-examination of Ivanka Trump, in which they discussed emails in which Deutsche Bank expressed joy at having the Trump organizing committee as a client.
Their argument is that there is no victim in the attorney general’s complaint – the banks got their money back. (The Attorney General’s Office claims banks were defrauded out of hundreds of millions of dollars by lending rates).
During financing negotiations, Ivanka Trump said her family shared with Deutsche Bank their vision for redeveloping the Doral golf resort in Florida. “They were excited about it,” she said of Deutsche Bank. “They sent teams of people to tour the property and get to know it before we purchased it.”
In his testimony Monday, Donald Trump also talked about how he believes his team will defend itself. “We will explain this as we go through the process, this crazy process, because we will bring in some bankers and the bankers will tell you – the very big bankers, the bankers who dealt with me, and they will explain exactly what their processes were,” he said. Trump, after which the judge reprimanded him for making a speech.
But the attorney general’s office wrote to the judge asking him to hear motions Thursday to block testimony from several of Trump’s expert witnesses. Lawyers for the attorney general’s office said the testimony of some of the witnesses addressed issues already decided by the judge, such as how the properties were valued and related accounting rules.