Ivanka Trump Testifies in New York Civil Fraud Trial, Denies Knowledge of Financial Documents

Ivanka Trump arrives at New York Supreme Court on November 8, 2023 to face questioning in the civil fraud trial that is probing her family’s business. © Yuki Iwamura, AP

In a crucial development in the New York Attorney General’s $250 million civil fraud trial, Ivanka Trump, daughter of former President Donald Trump, testified Wednesday, claiming she had no involvement in her father’s personal financial statements.

Ivanka, who served as an executive vice-president at the Trump Organization and then as a senior White House adviser, stated she had little to no knowledge of the financial documents central to the case brought by Attorney General Letitia James. “I don’t recall, with specificity, any discussion over financial statements,” Ivanka said during her testimony. This echoed her brothers, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., who also testified that they had minimal engagement with their father’s financial statements.

Despite Ivanka’s testimony, Attorney General James suggested that the former White House adviser is “inextricably tied to the Trump Organization,” referencing Ivanka’s involvement in securing financing for high-profile Trump Organization projects, including the Doral golf resort and the Old Post Office building in Washington. James asserts that Donald Trump’s asset values were fraudulently inflated in these “statements of financial condition,” deceiving banks and insurers.

An artist’s sketch of Ivanka Trump in the courtroom today.Christine Cornell

Ivanka Trump’s testimony was described as “cordial” and “controlled,” a stark contrast to her father’s and brother Eric’s more combative testimonies earlier in the week. The former president maintains his innocence, branding the trial as “a disgrace” and insisting that his financial statements greatly undervalue his net worth.

The Trump family’s defenses have consistently pointed to reliance on accountants and lawyers to ensure the accuracy of the financial documents. Yet, the New York attorney general’s office argues that the Trumps benefitted from the allegedly fraudulent statements.

With the defense poised to present their case following the testimonies of the Trump family, Trump attorney Alina Habba stated, “The attorney general rested their case, and it is very clear that they have failed to prove the essential elements of the case.”

The non-jury trial overseen by Judge Arthur Engoron will decide on allegations of conspiracy, insurance fraud, and falsifying business records. Engoron has already ruled that Trump engaged in fraud, a decision that could potentially strip the former president of oversight of his properties, although an appeal allows him continued control for now.

This trial continues to hold the nation’s attention as it could significantly impact the Trump Organization and Donald Trump’s 2024 presidential ambitions.