Whether it’s legislators on Capitol Hill providing water for failed coup last year, or prosecutors in New York Putting the family business of former President Donald Trump under a microscope, investigators working with very different probes are increasingly looking to pressure the same people: Ivanka Trump.
There is hardly any indication that the corporate heiress is under investigation, or that she could face criminal charges. But sources on both sides – in law enforcement and those close to her – say that Ivanka was a key witness to a series of crime allegations.
And it will all come to the fore this week.
On Tuesday, the New York attorney general filed court documents alleging that Ivanka Trump played a much more insidious role in corporate financial fraud web compared to what was previously known. Investigators are asking a judge to enforce a subpoena forcing her to take an oath.
And on Thursday, the parliamentary committee to investigate January 6 revolution formally asked Ivanka to sit down and answered questions about her interactions with her then-president father during Capitol building hours. being attacked. The “voluntary interview” request is seen by many as a first pass, which, if denied, could be followed by congressional subpoenas — and the implicit threat of criminal prosecution of the Department of Justice if it is ignored.
On both fronts, Ivanka will be pressured to explain her father’s crooked tactics — tactics that Ivanka seems desperate to distance herself from for now.
—New York, New York—
When New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a surprising court document presented “substantial evidence” of fraud at the Trump Organization, the extensive summary listed all the ways that investigators caught Ivanka Trump.
Investigators determined Ivanka was a “key player” in a number of fraudulent asset-based transactions used to obtain bank loans and conduct real estate transactions. One described her as the company’s “primary contact” with its biggest lender, Deutsche Bank. Another said she was the one who negotiated the terms of the loan from that German bank for the Trump National Doral golf resort in suburban Miami, as well as the Trump International hotels in Chicago and Washington.
“In connection with this work, Ms. Trump caused false financial statements to be filed with Deutsche Bank and the federal government,” AG’s office said in a court filing on Wednesday.
A source familiar with the investigation told The Daily Beast that the accusation could be aggressive – but really just a sloppy description of her role as a guide for a business deal.
“There is absolutely no basis for Ivanka to be anything other than a potential witness,” the source said.
But it brings her close to conduct that could potentially be described as bank fraud, according to several former investigators and prosecutors who reviewed these court records for The Daily Beast.
So far, only the company’s chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, has been fired and embroiled in illegal practices – for which he was indicted last summer on charges of tax fraud Criminal.
But these assertions by investigators – albeit in a separate civil case – allege that Donald Trump spearheaded the scheme with the help of his three adult children. Because while he gave fake and often inflated valuations for business properties, the kids were supposed to be close to closing deals based on those forged reports.
For example, when Ivanka Trump was trying to raise money for the Trump Doral golf club resort, investigators said she had copied a letter from her father addressed to the CEO of Deutsche Bank Securities, which contains one of the “regularly fake financial statements of the company.”
Similarly, when Ivanka worked with a federal government agency to develop a hotel in the nation’s capital, investigators said she submitted a proposal to the General Services Administration. include the same kind of shady material to give a bright picture of the company’s finances. Health.
But investigators took this a step further, noting that in the Washington development deal, Ivanka Trump signed documents to withdraw money from Deutsche Bank.
All of these items can lead to serious charges. And the prospect of legal consequences could be a factor in Trump’s re-election bid.
According to three advisers who have spoken with Trump at various times since he left Washington, the twice impeached former president has pointed out that, if serious charges emerge from investigations into him and his family’s real estate business, it will only increase his desire to run for president again.
The office of the president of the United States comes with significant legal protections and immunity that Trump personally has come to value and adhere to in recent years.
But the aftermath of four tumultuous years in Trump’s presidency — culminating in death storming the US Capitol that her father instigated — Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner spent much of the past year trying to avoid political attention.
Over the past year, former President Trump’s high-profile political conversations have rarely involved Ivanka, and even her name is rarely mentioned, multiple sources familiar with the situation say. . This includes various strategic discussions and event planning attended by other prominent members of the Trump family.
Instead, Ivanka has try—With extremely limited success — to paint himself as a part-time humanitarian.
Early last year, as her father’s time in the White House drew near bloodshed, she began talking to close associates about ways she could continue to publicly champion the political causes shortlist. and society, especially criminal justice reform, according to two people familiar. problem.
But then the tried rehab trip…didn’t happen.
In the time since President Joe Biden took office, Ivanka’s public profile and image management channels have remained sparse, after fleeing Washington, DC to a luxury apartment in Florida. Probably the biggest appearance in the national political news last year was when she promised Fit for Trump Senator Marco Rubio that she won’t run for his place.
Predictably, two sources familiar with the matter said, the former senior White House adviser has spent a great deal of time over the past year expecting and preparing to be arrested by multiple investigations into corruption. Trump’s business regime and her father’s time in office.
When asked by The Daily Beast how Ivanka Trump is handling all of the legal troubles, sources would just say it’s all either “disappointing” or “annoying” for her.
“She is someone who, at her core, believes that she still has a lot to offer the world,” said one of these people, who has known Ivanka for many years. “Having trouble with investigation after investigation is not where she wants to be in this chapter of her life.”
Daniel L. Feldman, a former assistant attorney general in New York, told The Daily Beast that helping her father brought Ivanka Trump dangerously close to the textbook definition of cheating. Because while investigators did not identify her as a counterfeiter, she still had some responsibilities as an “executive vice president of development and acquisition,” who negotiated transactions and delivered signed documents.
“It was not only a messenger he sent, but also his daughter. If you sign your name on a fraudulent document, I don’t think you are just the agent. You are the one who signed the agreement,” Feldman said.
But Ivanka’s use of that bogus information is what makes her such an important witness for law enforcement.
“It’s part of the traditional definition of fraud: a material omission or misrepresentation on which the other party relies to gain an advantage,” said Feldman, who currently teaches at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. unjustified or illegal for that person. ”
New York state investigators also want her to testify about how she received corporate benefits from the Trump Organization by being allowed to rent a luxury penthouse on Trump Park Avenue for the price. much lower than others in the building—and given the option to buy it for $8.5 million while other company documents value it at three times.
In court filings, AG’s office did not explain whether it was operating in the belief that she was receiving some sort of untaxed corporate benefit — as Weisselberg alleged — or was a scheme. another company’s plan to inflate asset values.
Either way, investigators want to talk to her about the deal — even if, as one source noted, the matter has been around for a decade and she’s never bought the apartment. .
“The cleaner Mrs. Trump’s hands – she can say, ‘I didn’t know that was a great deal’ – the more unclean the organization’s hands are,” said David Shapiro, a former FBI agent and investigator. financial fraudster who currently teaches at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Meanwhile, congressional investigators want to further uncover the extent to which Ivanka Trump tried to get her father to kick out the rioters. brutal beating of police and burst into the parliament hall. In the committee of letter With her, Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) revealed that his panel received sworn testimony that “members of the White House staff have repeatedly requested your assistance to intervene.” in an effort to convince President Trump to address the lawlessness and violence unfolding on Capitol Hill. ”
For example, investigators allege that Ivanka was present when her father called then-Vice President Mike Pence on the morning of January 6 and tried to pressure him to stop the peaceful transfer of power.
“If you don’t do it, I picked the wrong person four years ago,” Trump was reported to say. “You’ll go out.”
“We want to see you soon,” Representative Thompson wrote to Ivanka Trump, expressing her desire to receive her testimony during the first week of February.
But if her recent actions are any indication, it could be an absence.
When New York AG released summons Ordering her to show up for the takedown at 10 a.m. on January 3, Ivanka didn’t show up at all. Instead, eight hours later, Trump Organization attorney Alan Futerfas asked a state judge kill subpoenas.