At her family's civil fraud trial, Ivanka Trump was grilled about the 2011 Old Post Office lease.
She repeatedly told a state attorney she could not remember key details, despite helming the deal.
The Trumps made $139M off the deal, and the NY attorney general seeks a big cut, as a fraud penalty.
In afternoon testimony at her family's civil fraud trial in Manhattan, Ivanka Trump repeatedly said she could not remember key details about the single, costliest penalty threat her father faces in the case.
That threat — totaling tens of millions of dollars in potential penalties — concerns the family's federal Old Post Office lease deal in Washington, D.C.
The AG argues that Donald Trump was able to win the lease and construct the Trump International Hotel, at least in part, by wildly exaggerating how much he was worth. So he should forfeit, she argues, some or all of the money he made in selling the lease to the historic, government-owned property last year.
Trump personally pocketed $126 million from the sale, according to internal Trump Organization emails already in evidence in the trial.
Donald Trump, Jr. and Eric Trump – both executive vice presidents at Trump Org and defendants in the AG's case – made $4 million each.
Ivanka Trump, too, made $4 million, though her cut is not in play. She is no longer a defendant in the case, having been cut loose on statute of limitations grounds in an appellate decision this past summer.
Instead, thanks to a subpoena she fought hard to quash, she is a key witness against her father and brothers, given her role as Trump Org's top loan negotiator from 2011 to 2016, when she left to join her father's administration.
But unfortunately for James' side, Ivanka Trump – or rather her spotty memory – was of little help when it came to the Old Post Office deal on Wednesday.
The former president's daughter repeatedly said she could not recall anything specific concerning whatever role her father's net-worth statements played in winning the lease.
She was especially emphatic in not remembering that the government's General Services Administration, which handled the lease, had expressed concerns about Donald Trump's net worth.
"You don't recall that one of the questions involved Donald J. Trump's statements of financial condition?" one of James' lawyers, Louis Solomon, asked Ivanka Trump of the GSA's concerns before the lunch break, using the formal name for Trump's annual net-worth statements.
"I don't know about his personal financial statements per se," she answered. "Outside of what you showed me a year and a half ago and now, no," she said, referring to a pretrial interview she'd been subpoenaed to give in the case.
Ivanka Trump had laughed out loud from the witness stand when Solomon handed her the binder-clipped hardcopy of the Trump Organization's original 2011 proposal to develop Trump International Hotel.
"Brings back a lot of memories," she said cheerfully, waving the thick proposal.
"I believe you said that to me a year and a half ago as well," Solomon responded curtly.
Solomon asked her to turn to page 24 in the proposal, where it told the GSA that Trump's statements of financial condition "have been provided under separate cover."
"Is that true?" Solomon asked. Ivanka Trump did not confirm if it was.
"I don't remember everything," she said of the 12-year-old proposal. "Of course not," she added.
She was shown additional evidence, correspondence in which she and other Trump Org executives scrambled to answer questions the GSA had about the Trump International Hotel proposal.
Again, she could not remember anything specific, she said.
"I spent years" on the Old Post Office deal, she testified.
"Many, many emails," she added. "Many, many conversations"
Solomon asked her if she had any memory at all of the company's response to the GSA's concerns about their proposal.
"I generally remember that the GSA came back to us and asked for clarification on several things," she answered. "And we endeavored to get them answers."
"You have no recollection, as you're sitting here, today, of any questions raised by the GSA?" he pressed.
"I think I answered that," she answered. "I don't recall that specifically."
Ivanka Trump testified that once she landed the Old Post Office loan, she had little to do with the annual certifications of Donald Trump's net worth that were required to keep the loan out of default.
When Solomon tried to prove otherwise – using a set of a 2013 emails between Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner – the defense fought back with an ultimately unsuccessful objection that the exchange was protected by spousal privilege.
Ivanka Trump is the final witness in the attorney general's direct fraud case against Donald Trump, his company, and his top executives.
The parties are back in court Thursday to discuss an expected defense motion for an early verdict in their favor. There is no court on Friday. The defense will begin its direct case Monday by calling former Trump Organization comptroller Jeffrey McConney.
The attorney general is seeking at least $250 million in penalties, and to ban Donald Trump and his two eldest sons from ever running a business in New York State again.
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