Maggie Haberman expects that Ivanka Trump is “going to try and get in and out with as little damage as possible” when she takes the witness stand at her father’s New York civil trial on Wednesday.
The New York Times reporter also revealed an element of Donald Trump’s testimony that surprised her.
“I know that there has been some prep going on. She has been very reluctant to do this,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning political correspondent told “CNN This Morning” on Tuesday.
She said it’s been a “bone of contention” in Donald Trump’s circle that Ivanka Trump was dismissed from the case and enlisted her own attorney separate from her father’s legal team.
“I expect that she is going to try to do as little as possible to inflame her father but also to distance herself from any questions that the AG would have,” she said.
Donald Trump, his sons Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., and the Trump Organization family business are named in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ $250 million fraud lawsuit.
The former president is accused of fraudulently exaggerating his wealth and property values for years, misleading lenders and insurers.
His sons testified last week, both distancing themselves from the financial statements at the heart of the case. However, on the witness stand Monday, the GOP presidential candidate front-runner admitted to having some involvement with several property valuations.
“I didn’t actually expect Trump to take ownership of those statements the way that he did,” Haberman told CNN. “I didn’t expect him to attach himself and not distance himself the way his sons did, so that was surprising to me.”
Ivanka Trump, who stepped back from the Trump Organization in 2017, was dismissed from the case by an appeals court in June due to the state’s statute of limitations.
She unsuccessfully attempted last week to delay her testimony and pause the trial, arguing in a court filing that she would face “undue hardship” if forced to testify “in the middle of a school week.”
Watch Haberman’s CNN appearance below.