Ivanka Trump’s evidence to her family’s New York fraud trial ended in acrimony as one of her father’s lawyers furiously accused prosecutors of “laughing” while she reminisced about her work.
The former First Daughter, 42, spent five hours on Wednesday being questioned about her role within the Trump Organisation, her father’s finances, and the values placed on his property empire.
She was called as the final prosecution witness in a case against Donald Trump and two of his sons, Eric and Donald Jr, who are accused of inflating the value of the business to secure better loan deals.
In the final moments of her testimony Ivanka was speaking about the conversion of the Old Post Office building in Washington DC into a luxury hotel - calling it her “labour of love” - when one of Trump’s lawyers, Jesus Suarez, angrily retorted: “I’m glad the government thinks this is funny.”
After apparently seeing prosecution counsel laughing, he demanded “the record reflect the government is laughing at its own attempts to destroy this country”.
The trial has been punctuated by clashes between Trump and his lawyers and Judge Arthur Engoron, who dismissed objections to allow Ivanka to be questioned about emails she had sent to husband Jared Kushner where she had shared details of Trump Organisation loan deals.
Ivanka calmly dealt with the questions, telling the court: “My husband also was in real estate. Periodically we would discuss what we were working on.”
In one message, Kushner, who became a key Trump aide during his spell as president, told his wife about the Old Post Office financing: “You could get better pricing”, and agreed to show the terms of the deal to investment bank Natixis.
Ivanka spoke warmly of another Trump asset involving in the trial, the Doral golf course in Miami, saying her late mother Ivana loved the spa facilities while her father had a “deep and nostalgic love” for the property.
“My father had fond memories of the property. His father took him there”, she said.
During her evidence, Ivanka distanced herself from her father’s financial statements which lie at the heart of the case and said her work had been with the Trump Organisation. The civil fraud trial could sink Trump’s New York business empire.
The former president himself stayed away from the courtroom for his daughter’s evidence, and also swerved the latest televised clash between the 2024 Republican nomination candidates in Florida.
The debate was marked by fiery personal attacks including Vivek Ramaswamy targeting former South Carolina governor and UN ambassador Nikki Haley’s daughter over her use of TikTok.
Haley shot back: “Leave my daughter out of your voice”, and as the crowd booed she added: “You’re just scum.”
Mr Ramaswamy also referred to Ms Haley and Florida governor Ron DeSantis as “Dick Cheney in three-inch heels”.
Trump, meanwhile, held his own rally nearby and urged the Republican party to stop “wasting time” with “unwatchable” debates between other candidates.
Calling them “never-Trumpers that nobody wants and nobody is going to vote for”, he called Haley “Birdbrain” and told the crowd: “They are going nowhere.”
His defence case in the civil fraud trial is now due to begin.