(NEW YORK) — Former President Donald Trump is on trial in New York in a $250 million civil lawsuit that could alter the personal fortune and real estate empire that helped propel Trump to the White House.
Trump, his sons Eric Trump and and Donald Trump Jr., and Trump Organization executives are accused by New York Attorney General Letitia James of engaging in a decade-long scheme in which they used “numerous acts of fraud and misrepresentation” to inflate Trump’s net worth in order get more favorable loan terms. The trial comes after the judge in the case ruled in a partial summary judgment that Trump had submitted “fraudulent valuations” for his assets, leaving the trial to determine additional actions and what penalty, if any, the defendants should receive.
The former president has denied all wrongdoing and his attorneys have argued that Trump’s alleged inflated valuations were a product of his business skill.
Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:
Nov 08, 3:27 PM EST
Banks sought to promote ties to Trump Organization, says defense
Deutsche Bank sought to promote its ties to the Trump Organization in marketing materials a decade ago, according to emails shown in court during Ivanka Trump’s ongoing cross-examination.
Trump attorney Jesus Suarez showed the emails to demonstrate a key pillar of their defense: that the state’s allegations were victimless, and in fact, rather than getting bilked in loan agreements, bankers appreciated — and even competed for — the Trump Organization’s business.
“I was constantly told by Rosemary and her team how much they appreciated our relationship and … seeking to grow it,” Ivanka Trump testified regarding Deutsche Bank executive Rosemary Vrablic.
Deutsche Bank asked Ivanka Trump to appear in promotional videos for their firm, the emails suggested.
Nov 08, 3:20 PM EST
Ivanka Trump says she received $4 million from sale of building
Ivanka Trump acknowledged that she personally received more than $4 million from the Trump Organization’s sale of the Old Post Office building in Washington, D.C., last year.
In total, she received $4,013,204 in profit after the building was sold in 2022, according to a document shown in court.
“That is consistent with my recollection, yes,” Ivanka Trump said.
New York Attorney General Letitia James had pledged to show that Ivanka Trump personally profited from the fraud the AG says is at the center of the case.
Ivanka Trump has now completed her direct examination and is being cross-examined by defense attorney Jesus Suarez.
Under cross-examination, she repeated that she was not involved with reviewing, approving, or providing values for her father’s financial statements, which state attorneys say contained fraudulent valuations.
Nov 08, 2:57 PM EST
Jared Kushner would lend ‘perspective’ on deals, says Ivanka Trump
Ivanka Trump’s husband Jared Kushner, who like Ivanka Trump served as a senior adviser in the Trump White House, would frequently weigh in on her family’s real estate negotiations in the years before Donald Trump became president, Ivanka Trump testified.
State attorneys shared emails Ivanka Trump had sent her husband during negotiations with bankers over loan interest rates. Asked by state attorney Louis Solomon why she would share those records with Kushner, Trump responded, “It is not uncommon that I would ask my husband’s perspective on something I was working on.”
“My husband also was in real estate, and would have perspective for me,” she said of Kushner, who, like Ivanka Trump, is not a defendant in the case. “So periodically we would discuss what we were working on.”
Attorneys for Trump challenged the admissibility of emails belonging to Kushner, citing spousal privilege.
Justice Engoron overruled those objections because they communicated over work emails.
“If you use a work email that is subject to being seen by other people, you waive confidentiality,” Engoron said.
Nov 08, 2:08 PM EST
New York AG moves to stop testimony from defense experts
Donald Trump’s lawyers are scheduled to begin presenting the defense’s case on Monday following the conclusion of the presentation of the New York attorney general’s case — but New York AG Letitia James is arguing that four of the defense’s expert witnesses are no longer relevant.
In a filing made today, James argues that Judge Engoron’s partial summary judgment decision and subsequent changes to the state’s case have made make the testimony from the four experts irrelevant.
State lawyers plan to make an oral motion to preclude the expert testimony tomorrow, according to their filing.
Nov 08, 1:41 PM EST
‘I don’t recall’ discussion of financial statements, Ivanka Trump says
State attorney Louis Solomon grew visibly frustrated with Ivanka Trump’s limited recollections during an exchange about Donald Trump’s Old Post Office building in Washington, D.C.
Solomon attempted to confront Ivanka Trump with a document that showed that the General Services Administration — which ran the selection process for the renovation of the building — raised concerns about Donald Trump’s financial statements in 2011. New York Attorney General Letitia James, who says the statements contained fraudulent valuations, alleges that both Donald Trump and Ivanka Trump addressed those concerns during an in-person meeting with GSA officials.
“It was a general presentation. I don’t recall with specificity any discussion of financial statements,” Ivanka Trump said, prompting Solomon to throw his hands in the air.
“When I ask a question, she doesn’t remember,” an exasperated Solomon said. “The witness does have a recollection, your honor!”
“Would you like to clarify the situation?” Judge Engoron directly asked Ivanka Trump, who repeated the same description of the meeting.
“I recall one in-person meeting” about the “big picture” of the project, Ivanka Trump testified. She said recalled no discussion of “financial statements or anything granular like that.”
Donald Trump’s lawyers, meanwhile, have continued to object to Solomon asking questions about conduct from over a decade ago, which they say is akin to ancient history for a fast-moving real estate company.
“The GSA decision was made years before the statute of limitations,” Donald Trump’s lawyer Chris Kise argued, though Engoron overruled the objection.
Nov 08, 12:50 PM EST
‘You are starting to sound like your client,’ judge teases lawyer
Donald Trump is not in court today, but his lawyer is beginning to sound like the former president, according to a quip from Judge Arthur Engoron.
Describing the Trump Organization’s renovation of the Old Post Office building in Washington, D.C., Trump’s lawyer Chris Kise argued that the building was transformed from a “hulking relic” into a “world-class facility.”
“You are starting to sound like your client,” Engoron said, prompting some laughs from the gallery.
Nov 08, 12:34 PM EST
Ivanka Trump excused as lawyers debate statue of limitations
Ivanka Trump was removed from the courtroom for ten minutes while attorneys argued over whether the statute of limitations applied to the deals discussed during her testimony.
“These deals … had requirements for updated financials year, after year, after year,” Judge Arthur Engoron said. “To me, they are very much part of this case.”
Donald Trump’s lawyer argued that Ivanka Trump’s conduct between 2011 and 2013 could not impact someone else recertifying the loans years later.
“It’s theoretically impossible — it’s beyond implausible that some event that took place in 2016 would have changed the course of events in 2011, 2012, and 2013,” Trump attorney Chris Kise said.
Judge Engoron appeared unconvinced by the arguments and allowed the testimony to continue.
“The ship has sailed,” Engoron said.
Nov 08, 12:07 PM EST
Ivanka Trump says she wasn’t ‘privy to’ father’s financial statements
Asked about her involvement in her father’s statements of financial condition that the judge has already determined fraudulently overvalued his real estate and inflated his net worth, Ivaka Trump said she had no knowledge of them.
“I would assume he had a personal financial statement,” Ivanka Trump said. “Those weren’t things that I was privy to.”
Regarding a lease she had for a penthouse apartment in Trump Park Avenue that included an option to buy for $8.5 million, the New York attorney general’s office said Trump’s statement financial condition claimed that units in the building were selling for $20.8 million — two and a half times as much.
Asked by state lawyer Louis Solomon whether she knew about that discrepancy, Ivanka Trump responded, “I wasn’t involved in his statement of financial condition so I can’t say what it took into account or didn’t take into account.”
Solomon pressed her about the documents, asking, “Did you know whether he had personal financial statements, Donald J. Trump?” Solomon asked.
“I’m not involved in his personal financial statements. I didn’t know about his personal statements, per se, other than what you’ve showed me,” Ivanka Trump responded.
“Did you have any role in preparing Donald J. Trump’s statements of financial condition?”
“Not that I’m aware of,” she replied.
Nov 08, 11:29 AM EST
Ivanka Trump sought lower net worth requirement for loan
In 2011, as the Trump Organization sought financing for its purchase and renovation of the Doral golf club in Miami, Deutsche Bank agreed to loan Trump the necessary funds, with one critical catch — the deal would be secured by Donald Trump’s net worth.
“Is DJT willing to do that? Also, the net worth covenants and DJT indebtedness limitations would seem to me to be a problem?” Trump Organization executive Jason Greenblatt wrote in an email to Ivanka Trump and CFO Allen Weisselberg that was entered into evidence. The arrangement required Trump to maintain a net worth of $3 billion.
Trump’s 2011 statement of financial condition, one of the documents the New York attorney general alleges contained fraudulent valuations, listed his net worth as more than $4 billion. However Ivanka Trump asked Deutsche Bank to lower the amount of wealth her father would have to maintain, according to an email exchange entered into evidence.
“As I said before, I don’t recall the net worth covenant,” Ivanka Trump testified.
She proposed $2 billion, emails show. Deutsche Bank ultimately settled for $2.5 billion.
Nov 08, 11:19 AM EST
Courtroom reflects Ivanka Trump’s calm demeanor
Ivanka Trump flashed a smile at Judge Engoron when he recommended to her that, when reviewing evidence, it would be easier for her to look at the big screen set up in the courtroom instead of the papers in her lap.
“Thank you,” she said with a laugh.
Unlike her father, who roiled the judge and tangled with state attorneys during his testimony Monday, Ivanka Trump is reserved and soft spoken on the stand, at times speaking so quietly in answering questions that it’s hard to hear her.
The entire courtroom appears to be following her tone, with Judge Engoron and attorneys from both side conducting themselves calmly even when objections are raised.
Nov 08, 11:04 AM EST
Asked about 2011 emails, Ivanka Trump says they’re hard to recall
Asked about business negotiations from 2011, Ivanka Trump has been struggling to recall the details of her interactions from 12 years ago.
“I don’t recall, sitting here today, seeing these terms from 2011,” she responded after being shown a 2011 email to an Inbursa Bank representative. “I don’t remember having these conversations other than on a very high level.”
She has been punctuating her testimony with subtle indicators of how far removed she is from deals and documents discussed in court.
“I believe it was the ninth month of pregnancy of my oldest daughter,” she remarked after she was shown another document from 2011.
When asked about other documents, she added it was hard to remember “after all these years removed” or that she can only “recall you reminding me of that discussion.”
Nov 08, 10:48 AM EST
‘My father will send you’ his statement, Ivanka Trump said in email
Poised and patient on the witness stand, Ivanka Trump described how her husband, Jared Kushner, introduced her to Deutsche Bank’s private wealth management division, for which she later became the Trump Organization’s liaison and worked to arrange financing for the firm’s purchase of the Doral golf club in Miami.
She was shown an email in which she told a different potential lender that “my father will send you his most recent financial statement,” a potential indication of the document’s importance despite former President Trump’s prior testimony that the banks didn’t care about his financial statements when deciding whether to loan him money.
“They were just something that you would have,” Trump said during his testimony Monday about the statements at the center of the case.
Nov 08, 10:33 AM EST
Ivanka Trump avoids courtroom photos
Unlike her father and brothers, who, when they testified, were photographed by news photographers at the defense counsel table alongside their lawyers before taking the stand, Ivanka Trump appears to have avoided her courtroom photo opportunity.
While her father and brothers are defendants in the case, Ivanka Trump is a third-party witness. No photographers were allowed in the courtroom this morning.
Nov 08, 10:07 AM EST
Ivanka Trump takes the stand
“The people call Ivanka Trump,” state attorney Louis Solomon said.
“Who’s she?” Judge Arthur Engoron responded jokingly.
After a few awkward minutes of waiting, Ivanka Trump entered the courtroom, walked toward the judge, and took her place in the courtroom’s witness box. She did not address or make eye contact with Letitia James as she passed the New York attorney general.
“Do you solemnly swear or affirm that any testimony you give will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?” a court officer asked her.
“I do,” she responded with her right hand raised.
Nov 08, 9:51 AM EST
Ivanka Trump benefited from fraud, NY AG says
Speaking to reporters outside court this morning, New York Attorney General Letitia James said that today’s testimony will demonstrate that Ivanka Trump personally benefited from the fraud that a judge has ruled her family committed.
“We uncovered the scheme and she benefited from it personally,” James told reporters. “And Ms. Trump will do all that she can to try to separate herself from his corporation, but she is inextricably tied to the Trump Organization and to these properties that she helped secure financing for.”
James has taken a seat in the front row of the courtroom’s gallery, feet from her team of lawyers at the state’s counsel table.
Nov 08, 9:19 AM EST
NY AG’s chief real estate lawyer to question Ivanka Trump
Louis Solomon, the chief of the New York attorney general’s real estate finance division, is expected to lead the questioning of Ivanka Trump.
Solomon led Ivanka’s Trump deposition in August 2022, where she denied being involved in her father’s financial statements that are at the center of the case.
Earlier in the trial, Solomon led a contentious direct examination of former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, who frequently struggled to answer questions about who was responsible for various financial decisions at the company.
Solomon has frequently sparred with Donald Trump’s lawyers during the trial, including a heated exchange after multiple members of the state team tested positive for COVID-19 during the proceedings.
“Everything in this courtroom concerns me and my client, including your health,” defense lawyer Chris Kise said.
“Thanks for your concern,” Solomon responded offhandedly.
Nov 08, 9:03 AM EST
Ivanka Trump arrives at courthouse
Ivanka Trump has arrived at the New York State Supreme Courthouse, where she was greeted by a crowd of photographers ahead of her testimony this morning.
She did not make a statement outside court.
The eldest daughter of former President Trump is scheduled to take the stand at around 10 a.m. ET.
Nov 08, 8:47 AM EST
Crowd of reporters awaits Ivanka Trump outside court
A sizeable group of reporters is huddling outside the New York State Supreme Courthouse in lower Manhattan awaiting the arrival of Ivanka Trump on a chilly 42-degree morning.
Moderately smaller than the crowd that waited her father on Monday, photographers and court reporters are crammed in a narrow maze of metal barriers that police have assembled outside the building for the trial. The security arrangement, which has been utilized any time a Trump family member has appeared in court, has become a regular part of life for reporters covering the trial and a curiosity for tourists exploring downtown New York.
“Is this the line to see Donald Trump?” a passerby asked this morning.
“Yes, but he’s not here today,” a reporter responded to the visibly disappointed tourist.
Nov 08, 8:04 AM EST
Trump lauds ‘beautiful daughter’ ahead of Ivanka’s testimony
Former President Donald Trump has renewed his attacks on New York Attorney General Letitia James and Judge Arthur Engoron ahead of testimony this morning from his daughter Ivanka Trump, who is expected to be the last witness in the state’s case before the defense begins presenting its case.
“My wonderful and beautiful daughter, Ivanka, is going to the Lower Manhattan Courthouse, at the direction of Letitia Peekaboo James … and a Trump Hating, out of control Clubhouse appointed Judge, Arthur Engoron, who viciously ruled against me before the trial even started,” Trump wrote on Truth Social, referring to the judge’s partial summary judgment against the defendants.
Donald Trump’s lawyers also plan to question Ivanka Trump — a notable departure after they declined to cross-examine Donald Trump and his adult sons when they testified.
“We are certainly going to ask her questions, to the extent we have questions,” Trump’s attorney Chris Kise said on Monday. “We are trying to get that done now so as to minimize the interference in her life to not have to come back again.”
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