Ivanka Trump loses appeal to delay ‘middle of school week’ testimony in New York civil fraud trial

Trump’s daughter says middle of school week testimony would cause ‘undue hardship’

Shweta Sharma
Friday 03 November 2023 06:47 GMT
Donald Trump's sons arrive at New York court ahead of taking stand in fraud trial

Former president Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump lost an appeal to postpone her testimony in her father’s $250m civil fraud lawsuit.

An interim appeals court swiftly denied her motion to seek temporary stay on Thursday night for a testimony on 8 November after her attorney said she would encounter “undue hardship” as it was scheduled “in the middle of a school week”.

“Ms Trump, who resides in Florida with her three minor children, will suffer undue hardship if a stay is denied and she is required to testify at trial in New York in the middle of a school week, in a case she has already been dismissed from, before her appeal is heard,” her attorney said in an appeal filed Thursday.

She also sought to halt judge Arthur Engoron’s order, which required her to testify while awaiting a hearing in the New York appellate court.

The appeal also requested a temporary suspension of the entire fraud trial involving her father, his two adult sons, and his company until her appeal could be reviewed.

The former president’s daughter was a defendant in the lawsuit which alleged that the family artificially inflated Donald Trump’s assets by billions of dollars to secure more favourable terms from financial institutions and insurers.

However, earlier this year, an appeals court removed her from the case, citing the claims against her as being time-barred.

She was still summoned as a witness, and the presiding judge in the trial upheld the subpoena.

Her two brothers, Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump, made appearances in court earlier on Thursday while the former president was expected to testify on Monday.

In back-to-back appearances in a New York courtroom, they both said they were not involved in the questionable valuations that now threaten to hobble the real estate empire that vaulted Mr Trump to prominence.

The two were put in charge of the Trump Organisation business while he served as US president from 2017 to 2021.

Last week, Judge Engoron ordered Ivanka Trump to give testimony on Wednesday as part of the trial, rejecting a request from her attorney to invalidate the subpoena.

In her filing last month, her lawyer argued that an intermediate appellate court dismissed her as a co-defendant in the case against her father under the statute of limitations in June. They also said that New York Attorney General Letitia James missed the chance for her testimony because her office did not depose Ms Trump.

Ms Trump now resides in Miami, Florida, with her husband Jared Kushner and their children, and has distanced herself from Donald Trump’s business and political ambitions since he left the White House in January 2021.

When her father launched his 2024 presidential campaign, his eldest daughter released a statement saying that she would not be part of his quest to return to the White House.

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