Ivanka Trump began testifying on Wednesday in the the civil fraud trial that is publicly probing the Trump family business, making an appearance she tried to prevent.
Ex-President Donald Trump’s elder daughter, who has been in his inner circle in both business and politics, rounds out a run of witnesses in the trial.
Her father gave caustic testimony on Monday, and her brothers Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr testified last week.
Even-tempered in her testimony, unlike her father, Ivanka Trump answered questions about her former role in the family’s Trump Organisation.
Among other things, she was the point person in establishing a lending relationship with Deutsche Bank’s private wealth management arm, which eventually extended the company hundreds of millions of dollars in loans.
She testified that her husband, Jared Kushner, introduced her to a banker as the Trumps were seeking financing to buy and overhaul the Doral golf resort near Miami.
“I was excited,” she testified, to show the banker “an opportunity that we were very passionate about. The reason we bought the property was because we believed in its potential to be something better than it was.”
Unlike her father and brothers, Ivanka Trump is no longer a defendant in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit. It alleges that Donald Trump’s asset values were fraudulently pumped up for years on financial statements that helped him get loans and insurance.
The non-jury trial will decide allegations of conspiracy, insurance fraud and falsifying business records – but Judge Arthur Engoron already has resolved the lawsuit’s top claim by ruling that Trump engaged in fraud.
That decision came with provisions that could strip the ex-president of oversight of such marquee properties as Trump Tower, though an appeals court is allowing him continued control of his holdings, at least for now.
James, a Democrat, is seeking more than 300 million US dollars (£244 million) in penalties and a ban on Trump doing business in New York.
The ex-president and Republican 2024 front-runner denies any wrongdoing, as do the other defendants.
He insisted in court Monday that his financial statements greatly underestimated his net worth, that any discrepancies were minor, that a disclaimer absolved him of liability and that “this case is a disgrace”.
Ivanka Trump was an executive vice president at the Trump Organisation before becoming an unpaid senior adviser in her father’s White House.
Like her brothers, who are still Trump Organisation vice presidents, she has professed minimal knowledge of their father’s annual financial statements.
“I don’t, specifically, know what was prepared on his behalf for him as a person, separate and distinct from the organisation and the properties that I was working on,” she said during sworn questioning for the investigation that eventually led to the lawsuit.
She said she did not know who prepared the statements or how the documents were compiled.