Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. testified in the civil case against the Trump Organization of the New York State Attorney’s Office
Photo: OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Ivanka Trump Y Donald Trump Jr. came forward to testify as part of the New York Attorney General’s civil investigation into the finances of the Trump Organization after months of court fights, according to CNN, which says it was reported by people familiar with the matter.
Ivanka Trump’s closed-door deposition took place on Wednesday and Trump Jr. had his deposition last Thursday, those people told CNN. The Trumps were originally supposed to sit in for questioning last month, but the death of her mother Ivana postponed her testimony.
Trump Jr., who runs the Trump Organization with his brother Eric Trump, did not apply for the Fifth Amendment and answered questions from the state, one of the people said. It is not known what was asked or how he responded to questions.
The former president is expected donald trump testify later this month.
An attorney for Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump declined to comment, and representatives of the Trump Organization did not respond to requests for comment. The New York attorney general’s office also declined to comment.
Statements Increase Legal Risks For Trump Family Membersas they face two investigations, one civil and one criminal, into the accuracy of the financial statements of the Trump Organization.
The former president and the Trump Organization previously denied wrongdoing and called New York Attorney General Letitia James’s civil investigation politically motivated.
In January, James’ office said found “significant” evidence indicating that the Trump Organization used false or misleading asset valuations in its financial statements to obtain loans, insurance, and tax benefits.
Trump Jr.’s decision to answer state questions breaks with that of Eric Trump and former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, who asserted their Fifth Amendment right when they were ousted in 2020.
In a civil case, the jury can draw an “adverse inference” and apply it against people who do not answer questions.
That is not the only calculation in play. There has been some discussion about the stigma of enforcing the Fifth Amendment and how it would play out politically, said one of the people familiar with the matter.
When answering questions, Trump Jr. increases his possible legal exposure. He was involved in several properties, including 40 Wall Street, and certified the accuracy of financial statements from 2017 onwards, the attorney general’s office said.
Ivanka Trump was a key link to Deutsche Bankwhich lent the Trump Organization more than $300 million.
The financial statements were prepared by accountants inside and outside the Trump Organization. There is also debate about how properties were valued given the flexibility on appraisals. The valuations were approved by Cushman & Wakefield, Trump’s longtime appraiser, who is also under investigation.
The firm, which severed ties with Trump after Jan. 6, 2021, has denied any wrongdoing. The banks, which provided financing, also did not lose money on the loans they underwrote.
New York Attorney General’s civil investigation is at an advanced stage. Lawyers for the office have said publicly that they hope to take some form of legal action, but will engage in discussions with the Trump Organization before making a decision.
Investigators have interviewed numerous current and former Trump Organization executives and employees, including former Donald Trump aide Rhona Graff and several finance and accounting department executives.
James’ office subpoenaed the Trumps late last year. They moved to block subpoenas in court, arguing that they shouldn’t have to sit down to testify while there was a criminal investigation.
The court rejected their arguments, saying a criminal investigation does not preclude a civil investigation from obtaining evidence. The former president was also found in contempt and fined $110,000 for failing to comply with a subpoena for documents. The judge lifted the contempt order in June.
The criminal investigation of the Trump Organization led by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is moving slowly but hasn’t stopped. Earlier this year, Bragg did not authorize prosecutors to present evidence to a state grand jury, after raising concerns about the strength of the case.
A special grand jury hearing in the case expired in April, but a new one could be seated in the future.
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