Ivanka Trump is expected to testify on Friday in a $250 million fraud case that the New York attorney general is waging against her father and his associates. That’s bad news for Ivanka, who tried to get out of taking the stand. But it might be even worse news for her father, who employed Ivanka in his years-long con to convince the world that he had more money than he actually did.
The attorney general will have plenty of questions for Donald Trump’s eldest daughter. Ivanka helped lead the acquisition of two assets at the center of the lawsuit, the Trump hotel in Washington, D.C. and the Trump National Doral golf resort in Miami. She also lived in another property caught up in the proceedings, a condo building named Trump Park Avenue in New York City.
But to fully understand Ivanka’s involvement in her father’s deceit, it helps to get inside the room where the lying took place. That’s exactly where three Forbes journalists were in September 2015, when Donald Trump hosted them in Trump Tower as part of his quest to climb higher on the Forbes 400 list of America’s richest people. Trump spouted off all sorts of nonsense that day, claiming his properties were more profitable, spacious and valuable than they actually were. In the middle of his pitch, the Republican frontrunner received a phone call. “Ivanka,” said Trump, “my little Ivanka.”
Nine minutes later, she entered the room: “Hiiii!”
“I was on a construction call with the Doral folks—they’re excited you’re coming down,” Ivanka told her father. “Forbes actually did a very nice profile on that project.”
“On Doral?” Donald Trump asked.
“Yeah,” Ivanka responded.
With that, the two Trumps were tag-teaming a pitch about how much the golf resort was worth. Forbes had valued it at $225 million before debt, which the Trumps deemed far too low. “We’ll make $75 million this year,” Donald Trump said, even though the property would actually earn $14 million that year. [Continue reading…]