When Ivanka Trump is called as a witness in the New York civil fraud trial of her father and adult brothers, it “usually indicates some form of cooperation,” according to a prominent lawyer.
On Wednesday, Ivanka Trump was listed as a witness in documents submitted to the New York County Supreme Court by New York Attorney General Letitia James. She was listed as a former Trump Organization affiliate and owner of Ivanka OPO LLC – through which she has a financial interest in the Old Post Office building in Washington DC – and not as a defendant in the case.
Former President Donald Trump and his sons Donald Jr. and Eric, who are also among 28 witnesses called by the New York attorney general, remain listed as defendants. James alleged they were involved in a conspiracy to inflate Trump’s wealth by as much as $2.2 billion in order to obtain favorable terms on loans from banks and other business deals. All three have denied any wrongdoing, with the former president and current front-runner in the polls for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination previously suggesting the case was politically motivated.
On Tuesday, Judge Arthur Engoron, who oversaw the case, concluded in a bombshell ruling that Trump, his adult sons, the Trump Organization and several related companies were liable for fraud. The ruling ordered the Trump Organization’s license revoked, limiting its ability to operate in New York. Trump condemned the verdict as “democratic political justice and a witch hunt on an unprecedented scale.” Letitia James is a Democrat.
Speak with Newsweek, Jamie White, a Michigan-based attorney who specializes in personal injury law, criminal defense and civil litigation, said subpoenaing Ivanka Trump as a witness typically indicates some level of cooperation. She previously served as executive vice president of the Trump Organization and a senior adviser in her father’s White House.
“Leticia James may be hoping for the best, and maybe Ivanka will cooperate to some extent,” White said. “I don’t think this is a frivolous subpoena. But we cannot rule out that Trump told his daughter: Do what you have to do.”
“This is a unique turn of events, and in general we know that experienced prosecutors do not call people as witnesses just for the purpose of questioning them in the fifth case. The fact that she was originally a defendant and is now being called as a witness – that usually indicates some form of cooperation.”
White added that it is “common” for prosecutors to call a witness if they believe they are simply exercising their Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.
“Maybe Trump grew a soul and gave his daughter the green light to tell the truth as she interpreted it,” White said. “We haven’t seen any signs of this type of empathy from him yet, but it’s possible it’s part of the spectrum.”
“The idea that they would just randomly call her would be unusual and a waste of prosecutorial resources if she were to go fifth. That’s because there’s no jury to impress, no media to impress – all they have to do is determine damages.” Point in the process. That’s the only real question, and she might have that information.
Newsweek Ivanka Trump’s press office and a legal representative have requested comment via email, along with Donald Trump via the press request form on his official website.
Trump’s legal team launched an attempt to delay his civil fraud trial, with the former president commenting on his Truth Social website: “These cases take many years to go to trial.” However, this was rejected by the New York Intermediate Court of Appeals on Thursday, meaning the trial without a jury is scheduled to begin on Monday as originally planned. James is seeking a $250 million verdict against Trump and his co-defendants.
Trump is also facing criminal charges – at the state and federal levels – in connection with allegations that he orchestrated the payment of hush money to a porn actress, mishandled confidential documents and attempted to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election nationwide and specifically in the state of Georgia. The former president denies any wrongdoing and has pleaded not guilty to all counts.