James says she expects Ivanka Trump to ‘distance herself’ from Trump Organization in her testimony
In brief remarks to reporters before entering the courthouse, James said she expects Ivanka to attempt to “distance herself” from the Trump Organization in her testimony, “but unfortunately the facts will reveal that, in fact, she was very much involved.”
“We uncovered the scheme and she benefited from it personally,” she said. “And Ms. Trump will do all that she can to try to separate herself from this corporation, but she’s inextricably tied to the Trump Organization and to these properties, that she helped secure financing for.”
“So you cannot hide from the truth and the facts will belie the truth and the evidence,” James added. “And so we look forward to her testimony.”
What to watch for in Ivanka Trump’s testimony
Although no longer a defendant, Ivanka was an executive in the Trump Organization before she left the company to serve as a senior White House aide along with her husband, Jared Kushner.
Here’s what to expect her to be asked about during her testimony today:
- The acquisition of loans during her time as a Trump Organization executive vice president.
- The role she and Deutsche Bank played in helping the family business secure a loan and lease for a luxury hotel in Washington, D.C., among other things.
- Other loans she was able to obtain for the Trump Organization, transactions that took place when she served as an executive, and the documentation that was used to attain low interest rates.
Highlights from the testimony of Trump’s sons
Both Eric and Trump Jr. denied involvement in financial statements that James alleges had inflated assets of the Trump Organization during their testimony last week:
- Eric denied involvement in the disputed financial statements submitted to banks and lenders despite emails and signatures on letters indicating his involvement that declare annual financial statements free of misstatements and fraud, which were also signed by his older brother, Trump Jr.
- Eric pushed back on questions about his involvement in his father’s financial statements, saying he ran day-to-day operations of the family business while his father was in office, and repeatedly said: “I pour concrete. I operate properties. I don’t focus on appraisals.”
- Trump Jr. testified that he did not “have anything to do” with the company’s statements of financial condition, saying he “relied heavily” on accountants, such as the Trump Organization’s former accountant Donald Bender, to compile the financial statements. Bender earlier in the trial had blamed inflated numbers in the financial statements he compiled on the information he received from the Trumps.
Ivanka Trump has arrived at the courthouse to protests
Ivanka has arrived at the courthouse to give testimony today.
She did not speak to reporters on her way in. Some people nearby briefly chanted “crime family” but quickly dispersed after her arrival. There were no other protesters present during her arrival.
Ivanka Trump’s testimony comes after court fight
Ivanka’s path to testifying today was a winding one.
Lawyers for the former Trump Organization executive and White House adviser had challenged her subpoena, arguing she should be spared from testifying because an appeals court ruled earlier this year that she be removed as a defendant in the case over statute-of-limitations issues.
The attorney general’s office was trying “to continue to harass and burden President Trump’s daughter long after” the appeals court “mandated she be dismissed from the case,” her lawyers argued.
The attorney general’s office countered that she still has information important to the case.
“While no longer a Defendant in this action, she indisputably has personal knowledge of facts relevant to the claims against the remaining individual and entity Defendants. But even beyond that, Ms. Trump remains financially and professionally intertwined with the Trump Organization and other Defendants and can be called as a person still under their control,” the attorney general contended in a court filing.
Those connections included profits from the Trump Organization’s former Washington, D.C. hotel, the office said.
“Ms. Trump remains under the control of the Trump Organization, including through her ongoing and substantial business ties to the organization,” the AG argued, adding that she “does not seem to be averse to her involvement in the family business when it comes to owning and collecting proceeds from the OPO (hotel) sale, the Trump Organization purchasing insurance for her and her companies, managing her household staff and credit card bills, renting her apartment or even paying her legal fees in this action. It is only when she is tasked with answering for that involvement that she disclaims any connection.”
Engoron ruled late last month that Ivanka should take the stand.