Ivanka Trump may invoke the Fifth Amendment in the legal proceedings linked to Donald Trump’s New York fraud trial, sparking debate and legal discussions. Former federal prosecutor, Barbara McQuade, highlighted on MSNBC that while the Fifth Amendment protects against self-incrimination in criminal cases, in civil cases, it might have negative implications.
She clarified that a court might infer negatively if a witness remains silent. Despite being initially named in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit regarding the alleged fraudulent inflation of assets, Ivanka was removed due to the statute of limitations. However, her possible role in the case remains a topic of discussion, as reported by Newsweek on Monday, October 30, 2023.
McQuade’s insights come as Ivanka’s lawyers argue she shouldn’t be compelled to testify since she’s no longer a defendant. However, there’s an ongoing legal tussle as she seeks to avoid a subpoena in the fraud case. Federal attorney, Colleen Kerwick, foresees a scenario where the court might favor the subpoena against Ivanka, who might then resort to the Fifth Amendment for her responses.
This development comes amidst controversy over Jared Kushner, Ivanka’s husband, and his financial benefits during the Trump administration. Speculation is rife that Ivanka might use the Fifth Amendment to refrain from discussing her and Kushner’s business dealings with Saudi Arabia, especially after a significant investment from a Saudi government fund.
Adding to the intricacies, Kushner’s affiliation with a private equity fund that gained a $2 million investment after his White House role is under the microscope. This is further complicated by assurances from the Saudi Crown Prince that this investment would be unaffected by a prospective second Trump term.
Drawing parallels with Trump’s federal cases, Professor Peter Shane of New York University points to the limitations on witnesses using the Fifth Amendment. He brings attention to Trump’s alleged interference in the 2020 election where Mark Meadows, Trump’s ex-chief of Staff, is in a quandary.
Meadows might be inclined to cooperate due to worries about his testimonies being used against him in Georgia. Shane underscores the power prosecutors have in granting immunity, allowing witnesses to testify without the threat of their testimonies being used against them in criminal proceedings.