On September 21, 2022, the same day that the New York Attorney General’s office filed its 220-page lawsuit against The Trump Organization, Trump laughably filed papers establishing “The Trump Organization II,” (Not, “Manhattan Steamer Clams Co.,” or something a little less obvious in purpose) in a naked attempt to set up a company into which he could dump assets, leaving a lawsuit against an empty shell. The move prompted the State to ask the judge to appoint a former federal court judge to approve or disapprove of major transfers of assets in or out of the company but not manage day-to-day business.
Ivanka Trump tried to carve out an exception for her to protect her personal assets. It didn’t work. From The Daily Beast:
Ivanka Trump tried and failed last week to slink out of having a court-appointed monitor watch her financial moves, as New York prosecutors worry the Trump Organization and its executives may quietly try to relocate assets in anticipation of law enforcement action.
In private letters, Ivanka’s attorneys tried to exclude her—and only her—from a New York state judge’s order that laid out how the family company is going to be overseen in the coming months, this source said.
Despite Ivanka Trump’s strong, last-minute plea to escape scrutiny, Justice Arthur F. Engoron was unmoved. The final order does not give her preferential treatment or even name her, meaning she too must abide by the rules.
Ivanka Trump is worth watching. Despite the fact that she’s very much part of the Trump Organization and has done some of the company’s shadiest deals (Trump International Hotel & Tower Baku in Azerbaijan, often said to be an obvious money laundering project), she and Jared Kushner also have far more money independently outside of the Trump Organization than the other “kids,” Don Jr. and Eric, whose wealth seems tied solely to the Trump Organization.
Trump himself is the sole owner of the company. Ivanka’s attorneys argued that she is not an employee, shareholder, or manager, nor does she have any other ties to the organization and hasn’t since January 2017.
She was certainly an employee-agent prior to working in the White House. Despite the fact that it’s Trump himself whose assets are most at risk (obviously), the kids could bear liability by their role as “agents” for the company, people with the apparent authority to enter and end deals, operating autonomously for the company. As such, they would be considered “jointly and severally liable” for any civil verdict handed down. “Jointly and severally liable” simply means that each person found liable is on the hook for the entire amount if everyone else is broke. It may sound unfair, but the law doesn’t care.
Ivanka Trump might have real concerns that her father cannot cover the entire verdict against the organization himself, nor against him or the boys personally, and thus the entire amount left unaccounted for in the verdict could come out of Trump’s personal funds if she was found to be acting on her own. Again, between her and Kushner, they have far more money at stake than anyone but Trump himself. It makes perfect sense for her to try to move money out and around.
It also makes perfect sense that the motion was denied. The case goes much further back than January of 2017. You will notice that Tiffany Trump is not named. There is a reason.
@JasonMiciak believes a day without learning is a day not lived. He is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is a Canadian-born dual citizen who spent his teen and college years in the Pacific Northwest and has since lived in seven states. He now enjoys life as a single dad of a young girl, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast. He loves crafting his flower pots, cooking, and currently studies philosophy of science, religion, and non-math principles behind quantum mechanics and cosmology. Please feel free to contact with any concerns.