A judge has ruled that Ivanka Trump must testify in the civil fraud case against her father, brothers and their family business.
Former president Donald Trumphis sons, the Trump Organization and some executives face a lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James.
Ms James is seeking at least $250 million in fines and a permanent ban on Mr Trump, Donald Jr and Eric from running businesses in New York.
Mrs. Trump41, had already been dismissed as a defendant in the case, but the judge ruled that she had to provide evidence over the objections of her lawyers and the defense.
Prosecutors believe her past role at the Trump Organization as executive vice president makes her testimony important to the case.
Judge Arthur Engoron supported the state’s argument by pointing to documents showing that Ivanka Trump has ties to several businesses in New York and still owns apartments in Manhattan.
“Ms. Trump clearly took advantage of the privilege of doing business in New York,” Judge Engoron said, adding that her testimony would not be scheduled until November 1, to give her lawyers time to appeal.
Letitia James’ lawsuit claims Mr. Trump inflated his wealth over several years in financial statements provided to banks, insurers and others to secure loans and transactions.
Ms. James accused Mr. Trump of significantly overvaluing her assets, including her Trump Tower penthouse in Manhattan, her Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida and various office towers and golf clubs, and of having inflated his own fortune to $2.2 billion (£1.82 billion).
The defendants deny these accusations. Mr. Trump, currently the leading candidate for the Republican nomination in the 2024 presidential election, called the trial a politically motivated “sham.”
The ex-president, 77, and his sons Donald Jr and Eric are expected to testify at some point. In an unexpected insight, Mr. Trump briefly took the witness stand Wednesday to answer questions from Judge Engoron regarding an out-of-court remark.
Ms. Trump’s lawyer argued Friday that the state’s lawyers lacked a legal basis to compel her to testify.
“The bottom line is, Your Honor, they just don’t have jurisdiction over her,” attorney Bennet Moskowitz said.
In June, a state appeals court threw out the allegations against Ms. Trump, arguing they were too old.
In January 2017, before her father’s inauguration, Mrs. Trump announced her departure from her role at the Trump Organization. She later served as an unpaid senior adviser in the Trump White House before moving to Florida after her father’s term ended.
Learn more: Trump fined $10,000 – before storming out of courtroom
“The idea that Mrs. Trump is under the control of the Trump Organization or one of the defendants, her father – anyone who has raised a daughter over 13 knows he is not under their control,” said Christopher Kise. a lawyer for the ex-president.
Mr. Kise added that the state’s lawyers “just want another melee against another child of President Trump.”
Attorneys for the state have argued that Ivanka Trump played a significant role in certain events mentioned in the case. They said she continues to maintain financial and professional ties to the family business and its managers.