Ivanka Trump, the daughter of former President Trump, must testify in her father’s civil fraud trial in New York, a judge ruled Friday morning.
The sweeping fraud case, brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James (D), accuses Trump, the Trump Organization, Trump’s adult sons and several executives of decades of fraud, suggesting they falsely inflated and deflated the value of their assets to receive lower taxes and better insurance coverage. Trump and his sons have denied any wrongdoing, calling the case a “witch hunt.”
Ivanka Trump was once a party in the lawsuit, but a New York appeals court in June dismissed her from the case, ruling that the claims against her were barred by the state’s statute of limitations.
However, New York Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron decided Friday that her dismissal from the case doesn’t absolve her of taking the stand after being subpoenaed by the attorney general’s office. Her testimony won’t be scheduled before Nov. 1, to give her lawyers time to appeal, the trial judge ruled.
Trump and his adult sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, are also expected to testify later in the trial, which began earlier this month. The former president briefly took the stand Wednesday to defend comments he made to reporters that the judge ruled were in violation of an established gag order.
Ivanka Trump’s lawyers in court documents argued that the New York attorney general’s office does not have the jurisdiction to force the former president’s daughter to testify, suggesting the office is attempting to “force her back into this case” despite her dismissal from it.
“Ms. Trump is not a party in this action. Nor is Ms. Trump a New York resident,” they wrote. “It is black-letter law that, given those two facts, Ms. Trump is beyond the jurisdiction of this Court.”
Trump’s legal team also claimed in court filings that the attorney general is seeking to “continue to harass and burden President Trump’s daughter long after the First Department mandated she be dismissed from the case.”
Engoron rebuffed those arguments in court Friday, suggesting that her ties to New York have hardly been severed.
“Ms. Trump has clearly availed herself of the privilege of doing business in New York,” Engoron said Friday, according to The Associated Press.
The fraud trial is in its fourth week and expected to last until at least Dec. 22.