Ivanka Trump splits from brothers by abandoning legal team in Trump Organization lawsuit fight

Ex-president’s daughter seeks to distance herself from alleged actions of her brothers

John Bowden
Washington DC
Wednesday 26 April 2023 17:50 BST
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Ivanka Trump is pursuing a new legal strategy in her defence against allegations levied against the Trump Organization and its executives – Donald Trump and members of his family – by New York’s attorney general.

The resort and hotel chain business stands accused in New York civil court of defrauding banks and other financial interests by falsely inflating and deflating the value of their assets in order to obtain loans, reap tax benefits, secure better insurance rates, and for a whole host of reasons that enriched the Trump Organization’s coffers.

The lawsuit comes as the company was found guilty in New York criminal court just last December of running a decade-long criminal tax fraud scheme.

On Friday, Forbes reports that Ms Trump replaced a pair of attorneys who represented the three elder Trump children, Donald Jr, Eric and Ivanka, with attorney Bennet Moskowitz of Troutman Pepper; Mr Moskowitz’s hiring also coincided with the departure of two other attorneys Ivanka Trump had retained separately from her brothers.

It comes as her legal team argued just before the shakeup that Ms Trump’s civil trial should be delayed given that “[t]he complaint does not contain a single allegation that Ms. Trump directly or indirectly created, prepared, reviewed or certified any of her father’s financial statements. The complaint affirmatively alleges that other individuals were responsible for those tasks.” That argument was authored by the two attorneys retained by Ms Trump who did not represent her brothers, shortly before all were replaced.

Altogether, her new legal defence centres around an effort to distance Ms Trump from the activities of the Trump Organization, the same strategy she has taken in her public life since the launch of her father’s 2024 presidential campaign. Despite serving in the White House for four years, Ms Trump has remained apart from her father’s bid to retake the presidency.

New York state attorneys want the Trump Organization to pay back millions in supposedly ill-gotten gains as well as for a court to bar the company from further operating in the state; that would affect and likely lead to the closure or sale of the numerous Trump-branded properties which remain in the state, including Trump Tower in Manhattan as well as the ex-president’s golf course in the Hudson Valley.

Letitia James, the attorney general of New York, previously led the criminal prosecution of the Trump Organization’s CFO, Alan Weisselberg, and has become a top target for the former president’s furious rantings as a result of her efforts to investigate Trump-connected entities for criminal activity. He has frequently dubbed Ms James, who is Black, a racist and claimed that her efforts are part of a political campaign to deny him the presidency.

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