Ivanka Trump takes the stand to testify at family fraud trial – live | Donald Trump

Ivanka Trump starts testimony

The attorney for James questioning Ivanka Trump, Louis Solomon, has started his inquiry.

“At some point in time did you become [an] executive vice-president of the organization?” she was asked.

“I did.”

Solomon is asking Ivanka Trump about her background and duties working for her father.

“They varied,” she said, saying that she started small and worked her way up with larger and larger projects. “I proved myself within the context of the organization.”

Key events

Earlier Wednesday morning, Ivanka Trump claimed that she didn’t know all that much about Trump Organization accounting – similar to her brothers’ claim last week.

Solomon asked Ivanka – who an executive vice president at her dad’s company –whether she was familiar with GAAP, or generally accepted accounting principles.

“Very general, I’m not an accountant,” she said.

“Other than any accounting classes you may have taken at university, have you had experience with GAAP in your professional career?”

There was one document she remembered involving GAAP, but other than that, it didn’t sound familiar. She said, “No, not that I recall beyond that.”

During their testimony, Eric and Donald Trump Jr also disavowed knowing all that much about accounting and financial inner-workings of their dad’s company.

“I never had anything to do with the statements of financial condition,” Eric Trump said.

“I know nothing about GAAP,” Trump Jr said, per CNN. “I leave it to my accountants.”

Ivanka Trump asked about Trump Organization’s intentions to renovate Florida golf resort

Given that James’s case involves Trump’s alleged overvaluation of assets, the state is trying to undermine any claim that property valuations also included potential value – effectively, the position there wasn’t anything wrong with seemingly oversized sums because of what the real estate could amount to.

Donald Trump claimed on Monday in court, for example, that the valuation of his golf resort in Aberdeen, Scotland, was legitimate, because he could build hundreds of houses there “anytime I want”. He also said: “There’s nothing wrong with sitting on a property and waiting if you’re willing to play their game.”

As part of the state’s effort to undermine claims of potential value, Solomon asked Ivanka whether there were plans to revamp the Trump National Doral golf resort in south Florida. Was it the Trump Organization’s intention to renovate Doral?

“I think it was our intention, regardless, to renovate throughout,” Ivanka said. “At one point, we had explored doing the project with just available cash on hand … rather than have any financing,”Ivanka said. “The reason we bought the property was because we believed in its potential, to be something better than it was … to rebrand it.

“Our goal was to reposition it as a luxury golf resort in south Florida.”

Intention is key here. If the state can establish that Trump didn’t really mean to do anything with his properties that would increase the value, then authorities can more easily demonstrate the valuations were fraudulent.

Ivanka Trump, unsurprisingly, is far better behaved than her father was on the stand.

Rather than repeatedly berate Judge Engoron as biased and lambaste the court as a fraud, she responded politely when asked to speak up.

“I think the trick may be to move the microphone closer to you,” Engoron said, following several moments of hard-to-hear testimony.

“Sorry,” she said.

“And obviously, keep your voice up,” the judge added.

Ivanka Trump starts testimony

The attorney for James questioning Ivanka Trump, Louis Solomon, has started his inquiry.

“At some point in time did you become [an] executive vice-president of the organization?” she was asked.

“I did.”

Solomon is asking Ivanka Trump about her background and duties working for her father.

“They varied,” she said, saying that she started small and worked her way up with larger and larger projects. “I proved myself within the context of the organization.”

Ivanka Trump called to the stand to testify

“The people call Ivanka Trump.”

Ivanka Trump has been called to the stand as a witness in the civil fraud trial against her father and two of her brothers, Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump.

While Ivanka Trump had been a defendant in James’s lawsuit, a state appeals court dismissed the claims against her this summer. The court determined that the statute of limitations involving alleged fraud had passed, as she no longer worked for her father’s company after 2016, per ABC News.

After she was called, Judge Engoron joked, “Who’s she?”

She has yet to enter the courtroom.

Key points from Donald Trump’s testimony

Before things get under way in the courtroom, here is a reminder of what happened during Trump’s day in court on Monday:

  • Former president Donald Trump, who faces criminal charges for alleged election meddling, decried the trial as “election interference” during one of his testy digressions. Trump got onto the topic of election chicanery by saying “this case is a disgrace.” He then said that James was more concerned about sitting in court despite “everybody being killed on the streets of New York.” Then came Trump’s mention of the 2024 race. “We sit here all day – it’s election interference, because you want to keep me in the courthouse!”

  • After the trial proceedings concluded, Trump spoke briefly to reporters outside the courtroom and called for the case to be dismissed. “I think it’s a very sad day for America,” Trump said. “This is a case that should’ve never been brought and it’s a case that should be immediately dismissed.”

  • Trump very much took issue with any suggestion that his wealth was not as he claimed. According to James’s suit, Trump secured favorable loan and insurance terms by puffing up the value of his assets, including real estate. When Wallace noted that several loan agreements required he maintain a $2.5bn net worth, Trump said: “I could have given them a few assets which were worth more than $2.5 bn.” Trump also wanted to make clear he was liquid. “I’ve had a lot of cash for a long time.

  • The ex-president also feigned ignorance about details of financial transactions. He said, for example, that a loan for his project in Chicago was paid off recently, but couldn’t recall when. Wallace asked him: “Are you aware that the Trump Chicago loan was paid off last week?” Trump said, “I heard it was … I don’t know if it was last week. I know it was recently.” He claimed that son Eric Trump made the call to pay off the loan early.

  • Judge Arthur Engoron, whom Trump has repeatedly bashed as a political operative and other smears along those lines, threatened to throw him him off the witness stand for not answering questions succinctly. Engoron said to the ex-president’s lawyer Chris Kise: “I beseech you to control him. If you can’t, I will; I will excuse him and draw every negative inference that I can.” Not surprisingly, Trump groused: “This is a very unfair trial … and I hope the public is watching.”

  • Trump in effect accused Engoron – who determined the ex-president’s real estate valuations were fraudulent – of being a fraud. ‘The fraud is on behalf of the court,” Trump ranted. “He says that I’m a fraud … He’s the one that didn’t value property correctly.” He also told Engoron: “You’re wrong.”

  • The core of attorney general Letitia James’s civil fraud trial is Trump’s inflation of real estate assets so it’s noteworthy that he seemed to recognize that his Trump Tower triplex might have been overstated. Asked about the fact that the triplex had been listed as 30,000 sq ft on financial statements – but was only about 10,000 sq ft – Trump said it could have been a miscalculation. Whoever came up with the square footage, Trump said, just tripled the floor space for each floor. But, “they didn’t take out elevator shafts” and other non-usable square footage, he surmised.

  • Trump told the court he was too “busy” as president to review a financial document related to real estate valuation. “Were you involved in the preparation of the 2021 statement?” prosecutor Kevin Wallace asked. “No,” Trump said. “I hadn’t seen it. I was so busy in the White House.” He added: “My threshold was China, Russia and keeping our country safe.”

  • Trump showed some self-awareness in court this morning when describing his political ascent. While insisting that his net worth was not overstated, Trump repeatedly pointed to the value of the Trump name. “The most valuable asset was the brand value,” he said. “If you look at the companies, the brand value is a very big part of the asset value of the company.” Shortly thereafter, he said: “I became president because of my brand.”

  • James spoke outside the court before the hearing. She said she expected Trump to “engage in name-calling and taunts and race-baiting, and call this a witch-hunt”. James said the former president has “repeatedly and consistently misrepresented and inflated the value of his assets.” “But at the end of the day, the only thing that matters are the facts and the numbers – and numbers, my friends, don’t lie,” she added.

  • James stood by the prosecution’s work after a contentious day with Trump in court. “At the end of the day, the documentary evidence demonstrated the fact he falsely inflated his assets to basically enrich himself and his family,” she said. She said the former president chose to “engage in distractions” while on the stand. “I will not be bullied,” James said.

Ivanka Trump arrives in court

Ivanka Trump has arrived at the Manhattan courthouse where she will testify in the civil fraud trial involving her father and brothers.

Ivanka had argued appearing in court during the school week was undue hardship as she is a busy mother of school-age children – but the former president’s daughter is at the court today after an appeal court rejected her argument.

Ivanka Trump makes her way into the court on Wednesday. Photograph: Timothy A Clary/AFP/Getty Images

Early this morning, hours before Ivanka Trump was poised to testify in New York Attorney General Letitia James’s civil fraud trial against her father, Trump posted in his daughter’s defense – and once again invoked the bogeyman of urban crime, as well as false racism allegations.

“Tomorrow my wonderful and beautiful daughter, Ivanka, is going to the Lower Manhattan Courthouse, at the direction of Letitia Peekaboo James, the Corrupt and Racist New York State Attorney General, who has allowed Murder and Violent Crime in New York to flourish, and a Trump Hating, out of control Clubhouse appointed Judge, Arthur Engoron, who viciously ruled against me before the trial even started …” he said in his Truth Social post.

Trump also insisted that James and Judge Arthur Engoron, both of whom he called “fraudulent” in his screed, were trying to make him “look bad – Election Interference!”

Trump, recall, faces charges in Georgia related to election meddling.

David Smith

David Smith

Ivanka Trump’s turn on the stand comes days after her father gave testy and at times chaotic testimony in court on Monday.

My colleague David Smith wrote this analysis on Monday’s hearing:

One has signed historic climate and infrastructure legislation, steered the economy past a recession and rallied the west against Vladimir Putin. The other spent Monday on trial for fraud ranting and raving against a judge in a puerile display from the witness stand.

And if a presidential election were held today, Joe Biden would lose to Donald Trump by a lot, according to the latest swing state polls.

Maybe it’s the pandemic, or inflation, or tribalism, but it is increasingly hard to deny that something strange and perverse is happening in American politics.

Donald Trump denies any wrongdoing, as do the other defendants. He insisted in court on Monday that his financial statements greatly underestimated his net worth, that any discrepancies were minor, that a disclaimer absolved him of liability and that “this case is a disgrace”, the AP writes.

Ivanka Trump was an executive vice-president at the family’s Trump Organization before becoming an unpaid senior adviser in her father’s White House. Like her brothers, who are still Trump Organization EVPs, she has professed minimal knowledge of their father’s annual financial statements.

During sworn testimony for the investigation that eventually led to the lawsuit, she said:

I don’t, specifically, know what was prepared on his behalf for him as a person, separate and distinct from the organization and the properties that I was working on.

She said she didn’t know who prepared the statements or how the documents were compiled.

Ivanka Trump to testify in family fraud trial

Ivanka Trump is set to appear on the witness stand today at her father’s New York $250m fraud trial. She will be the last family member and the last witness to testify before the prosecution rests its case.

Last month, Ivanka Trump asked the court to remove her from the prosecution’s witness list, though she ultimately rescinded the appeal. Ivanka Trump tried to argue that appearing in court would cause her “undue hardship” if she was to testify during the school week.

The attorney general’s office had wanted Trump’s eldest daughter to testify in court before the former president himself took the stand, but ultimately rescheduled her appearance because of her appeal.

Once listed as a co-defendant on the case, along with her father and two adult brothers, an appeals court tossed out the claims against Ivanka Trump last summer, saying that her involvement with the Trump Organization had passed the statute of limitations.

Court is due to start at 10am ET and we’ll bring you all the latest updates from Ivanka Trump’s testimony.

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