Ivanka Trump will have to testify in the civil fraud case against her father, her brothers and the family business, a New York judge decided in a surprise ruling on Friday.
Her lawyers had argued she shouldn’t have to give evidence, noting that she left her Trump Organization job in 2017 when she went to work for Donald Trump in the White House, and that she never returned to the family business.
They also argued that she had moved out of New York and now resides in Florida.
Ivanka’s attorneys had filed a motion to quash a subpoena for her testimony in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit against the former president, sons Don Jr. and Eric, the Trump Organization and some executives.
Ivanka Trump will have to testify in New York’s case against her father – above she is seen going into the Four Seasons hotel in Surfside, Fla.
But Judge Arthur Engoron sided with the state, pointing to documents showing that Ivanka Trump has ownership or management ties to some businesses in New York and still owns Manhattan apartments.
‘Ms. Trump has clearly availed herself of the privilege of doing business in New York,’ Engoron said.
He said her testimony wouldn’t be scheduled before Nov. 1, to give her lawyers time to appeal.
The lawsuit accuses Donald Trump of overstating his wealth for years on financial statements that were given to banks, insurers and others to help secure loans and deals.
James is seeking $250 million in penalties and a ban on Trump doing business in New York.
The former president has denied the allegations.
Former President Donald Trump waits for the continuation of his civil business fraud trial at New York Supreme Court on Wednesday
Ivanka was a former executive at the Trump Organization which has been accused of fraudulently inflating asset values on financial statements given to lenders, insurers and others.
She was dismissed as a defendant from the case in June after an appeals court found that claims against her were outside the statute of limitations
Ivanka Trump’s lawyer told the judge Friday that state lawyers had no legal basis to make her testify.
‘At the end of the day, your honor, they just don´t have jurisdiction over her,’ said the attorney, Bennet Moskowitz.
Judge Engoron also denied a request for Ivanka to give a deposition in Florida instead of testifying in New York.
Donald Trump’s attorney Chris Kise called the subpoena ‘continued harassment of President Trump’s children.’
‘They just want another free-for-all on one of President Trump’s children,’ Kise said. ‘They want her in the courtroom so it can be filled with media and we can have another circus day.’
Judge Arthur F. Engoron presides over former President Donald Trump’s civil business fraud trial at the New York Supreme Court
Donald Trump and his sons are expected to eventually take the stand.
The former president testified briefly on Wednesday to answer Engoron’s questions about an out-of-court comment.
Engoron held up his ruling of a $10,000 fine on Donald Trump for violating a court gag order.
After that ruling, outside the court, Donald Trump complained that Engoron, a Democrat, is ‘a very partisan judge with a person who´s very partisan sitting alongside of him, perhaps even much more partisan than he is.’