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Ivanka Trump is required to give testimony in a civil lawsuit regarding alleged fraud. The lawsuit involves her father, adult brothers, and the Trump family business.
Ms. Trump, who was previously dismissed from the lawsuit earlier this year, recently attempted to block a subpoena requesting her testimony in the ongoing case. She cited that she is no longer a defendant and currently resides outside of the state, having previously lived at Trump Park Avenue.
On 27 October, Judge Arthur Engoron made a ruling from the bench after hearing arguments from Donald Trump’s legal team and the New York Attorney General’s office. The ruling stated that the former president’s eldest daughter must testify, as she still conducts business and owns property in the state. She has not provided any evidence to dispute this.
On October 26, in a legal document, Letitia James, the Attorney General of New York, contended that Ms. Trump is still financially and professionally connected to the Trump Organization and can be considered as being under their influence.
According to the 12-page filing, Ms. Trump consistently used her address at Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue for conducting business through three separate entities that were either fully or partially under her control.
During a court hearing in the New York Supreme Court on Friday, the judge asked Bennet Moskowitz, attorney for Ms. Trump, if she had provided a sworn statement regarding her alleged severed connections in New York. The judge then offered to submit one.
Ms. Trump has the option to challenge the judge’s ruling and will not be required to testify until at least November 1st, in order to allow her legal team enough time.
The trial, now in its fourth week, follows a $250m lawsuit from Ms James, who alleged Mr Trump, his adult sons and chief associates fraudulently inflated his wealth and assets over a decade to obtain favourable financial benefits to support his business empire.
Judge Engoron has concluded that a trial is unnecessary to prove the allegations of fraud described in Ms. James’s complaint, which spans over 200 pages and was filed last year.
The previous president, who is not required to be present at the trial that may continue until the weekend before Christmas, has been seated with his lawyers at the defense table for multiple days of hearings.
After leaving the courtroom, he has publicly criticized the case, Ms James, the judge, and the chief clerk who sits next to him. These comments resulted in a gag order that prohibits all parties from discussing the court staff, which Mr Trump disobeyed twice in a single week.
This week, Mr. Trump listened to statements from his ex-lawyer Michael Cohen, who stated that Mr. Trump instructed him to inflate the total assets in his financial statements, which are key evidence in the case.
Cohen stated that he and convicted former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg were directed to manipulate the different asset categories in order to inflate them and meet the target number set by Mr. Trump.
When asked by the attorney general’s counsel, Cohen responded with, “The number that Mr. Trump instructed us to use.”
During intense questioning from Mr Trump’s lawyers, Cohen admitted that his ex-employer did not directly instruct him to manipulate the numbers involved in the case. He stated that Mr Trump’s instructions were implied rather than directly stated.
According to Cohen’s testimony, Donald Trump’s speaking style is similar to that of a mafia leader. He communicates his desires without directly stating them, which is what I was alluding to.
The courthouse on Centre Street has received a lot of media attention, and Mr. Trump has used this to portray himself as a target of political persecution. He has shared these statements on his social media accounts and in messages to his supporters in order to gain support for his potential 2024 presidential campaign as a Republican candidate.
Judge Engoron’s ruling granted a partial summary judgment that called for the termination of Mr. Trump’s business licenses in the state. However, a recent decision by an appeals court has put a hold on these sanctions while the trial is ongoing and Mr. Trump’s legal team appeals the ruling.