Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron denied Ivanka Trump’s spousal privilege claim during the civil trial against her father.
Former President Donald Trump’s daughter took the stand in New York on Nov. 8, where she was questioned about the Trump Organization and her family’s business dealings. Trump’s legal team had fought to prevent the prosecution from questioning her about emails she exchanged with her husband, Jared Kushner.
Attorney Chris Kise cited spousal privilege and said she could not be compelled to discuss the emails.
“It is not privileged,” said Engoron in response to Kise’s request, per NBC News. The judge said Trump had waived any right to confidentiality because the emails were related to her work and agreed with state attorney Louis Solomon’s claim that other people on the email thread could view the correspondence.
In the emails to her husband, Trump asked Kushner about a loan she hoped to obtain to convert the Old Post Office in Washington, D.C. into a hotel.
Kushner told her she could “get better pricing” in one email. Trump told another staff member to “send Jared the latest,” per The New York Post.
“My husband is also in real estate, and we have respect for each other,” Trump said in response to questions from Soloman. “It was not uncommon that I would ask my husband’s perspective on something I was working on.”
When asked about her father’s “statements of financial condition,” Trump said, “I’m not involved. I didn’t know anything about it.”
“I feel incredibly proud of the work I did at the Trump Hotel and these two redevelopments specifically,” Trump said of her involvement in the Trump Hotel in Washington D.C. and the Trump National Doral Golf Club in Miami.
Ivanka Trump is the last witness to be called by New York Attorney General Letitia James, whose office has accused the former president, his family, and his executives of committing fraud and misrepresenting the value of their business.
“We found that Mr. Trump, his children, and the corporation used more than 200 false asset valuations over a ten-year period,” James said at a press conference in September 2022 when she announced the charges.
The attorney general is seeking a $250 million judgment and to prevent the Trumps from leading any company based in New York. James has a history of filing legal challenges against Trump.
“The civil lawsuit against Mr Trump dramatically boosted Ms James’ political profile as she headed into her November 2022 re-election campaign,” noted the BBC.
James called the former president a “con man” and ″carnival barker” during her campaign. Immediately after taking office in 2019, she launched her investigation into Trump.
She said Trump “has repeatedly and consistently lied about the value of his assets to fraudulently enrich himself and his family” in a Nov. 6 post on X when the Republican presidential candidate took the stand.
“Donald Trump might lie, but the facts and the numbers don’t,” James wrote.
Engoron will decide the outcome of the non-jury trial.
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