Ivanka Trump, who keeps distancing herself from her father’s shameful legacy, has successfully sidestepped the watchful gaze of a retired federal judge who was tasked with babysitting the Trump Organization to ensure it stops lying to banks and insurers.
Late last week, the New York attorney general and a state judge agreed to exclude Ivanka from a recent order that placed embarrassing restrictions on her father’s real estate empire—and made the clan outcasts in the business world.
“The term ‘defendants’... including the monitorship order… excludes Ivanka Trump,” reads an agreement signed by the AG’s office, her lawyer, and the state judge.
The order was publicly filed in state court Monday morning.
The agreement means that Ivanka Trump can keep her own business interests away from the prying eyes of a court monitor—and separate from the swelling legal calamity facing the Trump Organization. Two of its affiliates, the Trump Corporation and Trump Payroll Corporation, were convicted of tax fraud on Tuesday in a separate case brought by the Manhattan District Attorney. But the overarching family firm faces civil accusations of bank fraud from state investigators.
New York Attorney General Letitia James wrapped up a three-year investigation by suing the Trump Organization for $250 million in August, seeking to kneecap the company and prevent it from operating in the world’s financial capital. But the company got unlucky when the case was assigned to the same judge who, during the investigation, had to aggressively force the company to turn over evidence and order the Trumps to testify. In the run-up to a 2023 trial, that judge took the rare and preemptive step of putting a leash on the corporation.
Addressing the AG’s concerns that the Trump Organization would reconfigure itself and shift assets to stash cash away from law enforcement, Justice Arthur F. Engoron placed the company under court supervision.
But as The Daily Beast reported, Ivanka Trump’s lawyers privately wrote to the judge last month to request a special exemption. According to a source familiar with the correspondence, her lawyers made similar arguments in the state’s appellate court.
Appealing the judge’s order for a court monitor, Ivanka Trump’s attorneys argued she shouldn’t be part of this crackdown, because she hasn’t had an official role at the Trump Organization since joining her father’s presidential administration. Making her distancing campaign even clearer, she retained her own lawyers and filed an appeal that was separate from the rest of the family.
“Ms. Trump has had no involvement for more than five years… Ms. Trump has had no role as an officer, director, or employee of the Trump Organization or any of its affiliates since at least January 2017,” her lawyers said in an appeal filed Nov. 7.
Pointing out that Engoron never singled out Ivanka Trump in court on the day he ordered a court monitor on the Trump Organization, her lawyers wrote that “NY AG never intended to impose an injunction against Ms. Trump.”
Her attorney, Reid Figel, did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday afternoon.
But Ivanka is actually closely involved in some of the core allegations made by the AG. In court papers last year, the AG’s office said she was “a key player in many of the transactions” under investigation, particularly because of the way she was involved in cutting deals that relied on faked documents. AG lawyers identified her as “responsible for securing loan terms” from Deutsche Bank for the company’s golf course in Doral, Florida, a process that involved turning over documents that relied on dubious property valuations: her father’s personal guarantee and statement of financial condition.
In court papers, the AG’s office also claims she “played similar roles” in obtaining money for the company’s projects in Chicago and Washington, D.C.
Ivanka Trump also had her own fashion brand “committed to inspiring women to redefine success on their own terms”—that is, until it shuttered in 2018. The clothing line just couldn’t survive the growing public distaste for her brand, given the way she landed a White House role she was arguably unqualified for, the dichotomy between her family image and silence over her father’s cruel decision to separate immigrant refugee families, and the ironic use of private email in her government job.
However, since her father incited his devout followers to attack Congress in an attempt to remain in power in 2021, Ivanka has been distancing herself from him—and politics in general.
Rumors last year that she would try to replace Florida’s Senator Marco Rubio turned out to be empty. She grudgingly testified before the House Jan. 6 Committee, lending credibility to the nation’s former attorney general, who criticized her father’s mental stability. And in recent months, she refused to show up to her father’s announcement of his 2024 presidential campaign and has been vacationing in Egypt with her family.