Former President Donald Trump is facing the prospect of having his family business and real estate empire completely destroyed as part of a $250 million civil fraud trial brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James.
That ongoing trial took an unexpected and provocative turn on Friday when presiding Judge Arthur Engoron ordered Trump's eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, to take the stand and testify next week, the Washington Examiner reported.
The decision prompted an outraged response from Trump on social media against the judge, particularly in light of the fact that Ivanka had previously been dismissed as a defendant from the trial by an appeals court decision over the summer.
ABC News reported that Judge Engoron on Friday ordered Ivanka Trump to testify in the ongoing civil fraud trial as soon as next week and told the court, "I want to see her in person. That is how we prefer testimony."
The former first daughter was not in the courtroom on Friday but her attorney, Bennet Moskowitz, was in attendance and argued that the judge's order was "a bridge too far" in that Ivanka had already been dismissed from the case based on claims that she hadn't lived or done business in New York since 2017.
However, prosecutors countered that her testimony was relevant and necessary since she had served as the main point of contact with lenders during Trump's purchase of the Old Post Office building in Washington D.C. which was transformed into a hotel along with the fact that she still purportedly owned properties and conducted business within the state of New York.
The judge agreed with prosecutors that "Ms. Trump owns property in New York and has done business in New York" and ordered her to testify next week, though he did allow her some time to file an emergency appeal of that order.
ABC News also reported that New York AG James will likely rest her case soon, albeit after four days of testimony from former President Trump himself and his three adult children -- Ivanka, Don Jr., and Eric.
Per State Attorney Kevin Wallace, the state intends to call Don Jr. to testify on Wednesday followed by Eric on Thursday and Ivanka on Friday, with the former president tentatively scheduled to take the stand on the following Monday, Nov. 6.
Judge Engoron apparently found that scheduling development to be humorous, as he reportedly joked to the court, "We like to keep families together."
Former President Trump, who has already been forced to pay $15,000 in fines for alleged violations of a gag order imposed by Judge Engoron, seemingly risked additional fines or even jail time for contempt as he exploded in rage against the judge's order for his eldest daughter to testify next week, according to Axios.
"My daughter, Ivanka, was released from this Fake Letitia James case by the Court of Appeals, but this Trump-Hating, Unhinged Judge, who ruled me guilty before this Witch Hunt Trial even started, couldn’t care less about the fact that he was overturned," Trump posted Saturday morning. "I also won on Appeal on Statute of Limitations, but he refuses to accept their decision. I truly believe he is CRAZY, but certainly, at a minimum, CRAZED in his hatred of me. This case should have never started, but now must be dismissed."
"Any other Judge in the Country would have thrown this case out on day one," he added of Engoron. "He’s an out of control 'Nut Job,' who fined me $10,000 over a ridiculous Gag Order so that the publicity for the day would take over from the fact that Racist James and the Judge’s Star Witness admitted LYING TO CONGRESS on the stand -- CASE OVER!"
In a separate post a short time later, Trump shared a link to an article about Ivanka's ordered testimony and lambasted Judge Engoron again as being "grossly incompetent" and a "partisan political hack" who had ignored the appeals court and preemptively ruled against him, and proclaimed, "This is a Biden Election Interference Scam! There were No Crimes & No Victims, and there is NO JURY ALLOWED. This Radical Trump Hater Must Be Taken Off This Case!"