Psychologist Breaks Down For Us Ivanka Trump's Complex Role In Testifying Against Her Dad

While in the United States justice system, a person cannot be forced to testify against their spouse, that rule doesn't apply to other members of an accused person's family, like their children. In the case of Donald Trump's fraud trial in New York, his daughter Ivanka was called to the stand on Wednesday, November 8, and she was questioned for five hours about her father's business dealings, net worth, and history of receiving loans, according to The New York Times.

Ivanka maintained that, while she was informed of some aspects of her father's financial world, she never had enough access to his files and information to give any damning evidence against the former president. In response to a question about whether or not she ever saw evidence of the type of fraud of which her father is accused, Ivanka stated, "I would assume he would have personal financial statements," but then made clear, "Those weren't things that I was privy to."

Testifying against one's parent is a complex thing to be asked to do. The List spoke with psychologist Dr. Sanam Hafeez, founder of New York City's Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, about the particular pressures Ivanka is likely experiencing in the face of the precarious position she has been put in. 

A psychologist weighs in on how this affects Ivanka

"I've always thought that Ivanka Trump seems to be the face of the brand when it comes to the Trump family," Dr. Sanam Hafeez told The List. She notes that, unlike Ivanka's blustering father, "She always presents as composed and more dignified, speaking only when needed, and has generally stayed out of the public's eye." There are five Trump kids, but Ivanka has always had a unique bond with her dad. "I think that she has also been her father's 'golden child', and there is a tremendous amount of pressure on her to maintain the family legacy and its assets," said Hafeez. Nevertheless, Hafeez believes that Ivanka will make the best of the situation. "Ivanka will use her demeanor and her willingness to cooperate as a way to soften the blow dealt by the New York State Attorney General's office," she explained.

Hafeez also explained to The List the weight of the Trump moniker on Ivanka's shoulders. "There is a tremendous amount of pressure for her to perform to her father's expectations, almost as if she were the traditional oldest son, who must carry on the family name and business." Hafeez added that, while this is an immense responsibility, "Ivanka has grown up in that spotlight, and with that mindset, and it's probably taking on the responsibility without too much regret."

Ivanka has distanced herself from her dad since he left the White House, and Hafeez speculates that having to testify could further strain their relationship. "She may have anger toward her father for putting her in this position, although she has benefited greatly from it," she said.