Former President Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, expressed pain on Friday following news that her father had been indicted and is facing prosecution by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office.
“I love my father, and I love my country. Today, I am pained for both,” Ivanka Trump said in a statement she posted to her Instagram story. “I appreciate the voices across the political spectrum expressing support and concern.”
The indictment against the former president remains sealed, but comes after Bragg’s office had been investigating Trump for his alleged involvement with a $130,000 payment in 2016 to adult entertainment actress Stormy Daniels by his lawyer at the time, Michael Cohen. The payment allegedly was made to stop Daniels from going public with her claim of an affair with Trump before the 2016 election. Trump denies the alleged affair.
Bragg’s office may argue the payment should have been classified as a campaign expense but was wrongly classified as a business expense by the Trump Organization—in violation of Section 175 of New York law—which classifies the falsification of business records as a Class E felony. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) had already declined to prosecute the 2016 payment to Daniels as an election law violation.
The indictment comes as Trump has already begun campaigning to retake the White House in 2024 and leads in numerous Republican presidential primary polls.
Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner had advised Trump during his first presidential term but appeared to rule out involvement in her father’s political career moving forward.
“This time around, I am choosing to prioritize my young children and the private life we are creating as a family,” she told Fox News in November after her father launched his 2024 campaign. “I do not plan to be involved in politics. While I will always love and support my father, going forward I will do so outside the political arena.”
Voices From ‘Across the Political Spectrum’
Ivanka Trump did not elaborate further on the messages of support and concern she said had come from “across the political spectrum” after news broke of her father’s indictment.
Numerous Republican politicians, including several known and potential 2024 presidential primary opponents, criticized Bragg’s efforts to prosecute Trump.
Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz, a self-described liberal Democrat, has also criticized Bragg’s case against Trump, calling it “the worst case of prosecutorial abuse I have ever seen.”
A recent Quinnipiac University poll of Americans found 62 percent of respondents thought Bragg’s case against Trump is mainly motivated by politics, while 32 percent said the case is mainly motivated by the law. The poll found 93 percent of Republicans and 70 percent of Independents felt Bragg’s case to be primarily political in nature; 29 percent of Democrat respondents also said that the case was primarily political.
Bragg’s office pushed back on criticism of his case against Trump on Friday. Leslie Dubeck, general counsel for Bragg’s office, said, “The charges filed yesterday were brought by citizens of New York, doing their civic duty as members of a grand jury, who found probable cause to accuse Mr. Trump of having committed crimes in New York.”
“Like any other defendant, Mr. Trump is entitled to challenge these charges in court and avail himself of all processes and protections that New York State’s robust criminal procedure affords,” Dubeck continued. “What neither Mr. Trump nor Congress may do is interfere with the ordinary course of proceedings in New York State.”
Case Moving Forward
The former president is scheduled to appear before New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan on April 3.
On Friday, a spokesperson for Bragg’s office announced they are coordinating with Trump’s attorneys for his “surrender.”
Trump’s attorney, Joseph Tacopina, said Trump is “angry, disappointed, but he’s ready to fight” in the case.
Trump has already openly criticized Bragg as well as the judge who will preside over his case. The former president said Merchan “hates me” and noted Merchan’s role in a previous case against Allen Weisselberg, the former chief financial officer of the Trump Organization. Trump claimed Merchan “railroaded” Weisselberg into taking a plea agreement.
Weisselberg pleaded guilty to 15 felony charges, including tax fraud. The Trump Organization and another Trump company were also convicted in the case and were fined $1.6 million.