Trump fraud trial: Ivanka Trump testifies she wasn't 'privy to' father's financial statements – ABC News
If the motion is denied, the defense will start presenting its case on Monday.
Ivanka Trump questioned about father’s financial statements in civil fraud trial
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.
A day after the New York attorney general rested her case, Donald Trump’s lawyers are set to make a long-shot motion for a directed verdict in the trial.
In moving for a directed verdict, Trump’s lawyers will ask Judge Arthur Engoron to end the case in favor of the defendants on the grounds that the New York attorney general failed to prove liability by a preponderance of the evidence.
The defense team requested a directed verdict earlier in the trial after they argued that Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen perjured himself on the witness stand, but Judge Engoron resoundingly shot down the request.
“Absolutely denied,” Engoron said when the defense made the request based on their claim that Cohen’s evidence was unreliable.
“This case has evidence, credible or not, all over the place,” said Engoron. “There’s enough evidence to fill this courtroom.”
If Engoron similarly denies today’s motion, the defense team will begin presenting its case on Monday.
New York Attorney General Letitia James expressed confidence in her case while Trump attorney Alina Habba was equally dismissive, following the adjournment of court for the day.
Speaking to reporters outside the courthouse after she rested her case, James said that Ivanka Trump’s friendly courtroom demeanor should not distract from the fact she engaged in fraud.
“She clearly was involved in negotiating and securing loans, favorable loans, for the benefit of the Trump Organization for Mr. Trump, and her brothers and for herself,” James said of the former president’s eldest daughter.
James praised Ivanka Trump testimony, saying it was cordial, disciplined, courteous, friendly, and nice. But the New York AG said it was also inconsistent.
“Her testimony raises questions with regard to its credibility,” James said, later adding, “she was enriched, and clearly you cannot distance yourself from that fact.”
Exiting court minutes after James, Habba slammed the state’s effort, saying, “It is very clear that they have failed to prove the essential elements of the case.”
Habba went so far as to recommend that the Manhattan district attorney prosecute former Trump attorney Michael Cohen for perjury and investigate how much money was “wasted by New York on a fake, phony case.”
“We have spent three years doing this, based on testimony from Michael Cohen, who walked into that courtroom, and under oath and open court admitted that he perjured himself,” Habba said referring the Cohen’s earlier testimony.
New York Attorney General Letitia James has rested her case against Donald Trump and his adult sons, state attorney Kevin Wallace told the court.
Judge Engoron confirmed that he will address motions for a directed verdict — as well as motions regarding the defense’s expert testimony — during a half day of court tomorrow.
“We don’t have any witnesses for tomorrow,” Trump attorney Chris Kise told the judge.
The defense’s case is expected to start in earnest on Monday.
Ivanka Trump stepped down from the witness stand following a day of testimony that saw the proceedings grow more heated as the afternoon wore on.
At one point toward the end of her cross-examination, Ivanka Trump delivered a lengthy response about working with Democratic lawmakers to execute the redevelopment of the Old Post Office in Washington, D.C., which became a Trump-owned hotel in 2016.
When defense attorney Jesus Suarez sought clarification that those lawmakers were Democrats, attorneys sitting at the state’s counsel table appeared to laugh — infuriating Suarez.
“I have to sit here and ask questions and listen to them laugh?” Suarez shouted, pointing at members of the attorney general’s office and calling their conduct “insulting.”
“They’re sitting there laughing … it’s not funny,” Suarez said.
Judge Engoron sought to quell tempers, framing the reaction as an expression of amusement regarding the repetition of Suarez’s questioning.
“I think they are laughing … three, four, five times that these were congressional representatives,” Engoron said. “Maybe they found the question funny.”