It's Official: Ivanka Trump Has No Way Out Of Testifying Against Donald

One of Donald Trump's current lawsuits is a civil case regarding fraud in New York, against him, the Trump Organization, and some high-level employees. Letitia James, the Attorney General of New York, filed the case in September 2022. If the former president is found guilty of the claims against him and his company, James want him to pay $250 million and no longer be able to work in New York. According to Reuters, the Attorney General also doesn't want his sons Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. to be able to work in the state anymore, and would ban Trump and his company from commercial real estate deals for five years.

Ivanka Trump's lawyers tried to keep her from needing to testify, on account of the fact that she had been a co-defendant in the trial until June 2023. Also, her team claims she no longer conducts business or lives in New York and hasn't since 2017.

Although Ivanka is walking away scot-free and not being charged in the lawsuit, on October 27, 2023, Judge Arthur Engoron ruled that Ivanka will have to testify. "Ms. Trump has clearly availed herself of the privilege of doing business in New York," the judge said. And since she did not provide an affidavit stating she doesn't work in New York anymore, she'll have to testify — and testify in person (via CNN). However, she will not be scheduled to testify before Wednesday in case she wants to try to appeal.

Tensions in the courtroom are high

There has been lots of tension surrounding the New York fraud case. One example is when Donald Trump lashed out at Judge Arthur Engoron after he found the former president liable for fraud. Trump also violated the judge's gag order twice. According to the New York Post, the gag order was put in place when Trump took to social media to make a false claim about the judge's clerk. The inaccurate post said, "Schumer's girlfriend, Allison R. Greenfield, is running this case against me. How disgraceful! This case should be dismissed immediately!!" ("Schumer" refers to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer).

Engoron said, "Consider this a gag order on all parties with respect to posting or publicly speaking about any member of my staff" (via NBC News). The first gag order violation hit on October 20, when Engoron realized the post about Greenfield was still on Trump's website. Engoron fined Trump $5,000.

The second gag order violation happened on October 25, when Trump allegedly spoke about Engoron and Greenfield with the media and said, "This judge is a very partisan judge, with a person who's very partisan sitting alongside of him, perhaps even much more partisan than he is" (via Reuters). This time, he was fined $10,000. Trump and his lawyers tried to say he was not talking about Engoron's clerk but rather Michael Cohen, who was testifying at the time, but Engoron was not convinced.