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Ivanka Must Testify

On Friday, Judge Arthur Engoron ruled that Donald Trump's favorite child, Ivanka, has to testify in the civil trial about how much he should be fined for violating state law while running his businesses. She has no interest whatsoever in doing so and will appeal this decision. Her argument is that she doesn't live in New York State anymore. However, she was executive vice president of The Trump Organization when it was breaking the law, so the judge wants to know things like whose idea it was to falsely value properties and who else knew about it. A top officer like an executive VP might well know. It seems unlikely the appeal will work. If that were true, any time anyone was accused of or involved with breaking a state law, they would be home free just by moving out of state. Courts understand this.

Initially, Ivanka was a defendant in the case, just like her two brothers, Eric and Donald Jr. However, she was eliminated as a defendant earlier this year because her role in the company ended long ago and the statute of limitations let her off the hook. Not so with her brothers. That ruling did not eliminate Ivanka as a witness. Both Eric and Donald Jr. are also expected to testify this week.

What is Ivanka afraid of? She can probably afford the airfare from Florida to New York and can probably even manage to find the time, since she doesn't currently have a 9-to-5 job. Maybe she knows what Daddy was doing, like manipulating valuations. In fact, given that Trump possibly actually loves her (probably the only person other than himself that he might love), he might well have bragged to her how brilliant he is to have pulled the wool over the eyes of his bankers, insurance brokers, and the tax authorities. Then when asked if she knew about it, she would be faced with the choice of perjuring herself or destroying his business. That is not a choice she especially wants to be faced with.

Trump definitely does not want to put darling daughter through the wringer, so he called the judge a "nut job" for ruling that Ivanka has to testify. Statements like that against the judge violate the gag order in place against Trump. He has already paid two fines, one for $5,000 and one for $10,000, for previous violations. Mathematicians all over the country are sitting on the edge of their chairs waiting for the third fine. Is the judge using an arithmetic progression (so #3 will be $15,000) or a geometric progression (so #3 will be $20,000)? If it is going to double each time, it could hit big money after a while. Remember, if you start with one penny on the first square of the chessboard, and you double it for each subsequent square, to complete the full sequence requires $184,467,440,737,095,516.15, or a shade over $184 quadrillion. Donald Trump doesn't have that much money, no matter what he might tell his accountants to say, and he's not starting with just one penny, either. (V)

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