Ivanka Trump May Be On Investigators' Radar, & Here Are A Few Reasons Why
The investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into possible collusion between Russia and Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign has seen a flurry of public developments in recent weeks. As more and more information comes to light, the increased developments beg questions about who will be indicted next, and who the probe will eventually capture; chiefly, whether President Trump and his family will be on that list. So will Ivanka Trump be indicted in the Russia investigation? At this point, it's mostly speculation, and it's anyone's guess — as of late December, the first daughter hasn't been formally accused of or charged with any crime. But here are a few key points that might inform the public's predictions.
First, as an official adviser to her father, Ivanka has been literally in the room for some of the most pivotal moments in the administration — and it's not clear precisely what her role has been or how she might be legally exposed here. For example, as Politico notes, she was with her father in May 2017 the weekend he made the fateful decision to fire former FBI director James Comey, a move that prompted Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to appoint Mueller to take the reins on the Russia probe and open up a separate investigation into possible obstruction of justice by the president for removing Comey.
On Dec. 14, ProPublica also reported that Ivanka was involved in setting prices for the Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C. with the 2017 Inauguration Committee — a situation that could potentially amount to a violation. Per the outlet, a spokesperson for Ivanka's ethics lawyers said, "Ms. Trump passed the inquiry on to a hotel official and said only that any resulting discussions should be at a 'fair market rate,'" and added, "Ms. Trump was not involved in any additional discussions." Elite Daily reached out to the White House and Trump Organization for comment but did not hear a reply as of publication.
Aside from her work in the administration, Ivanka Trump was a key figure in the Trump Organization before her father took office and handed the reins over to his two eldest sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump.
In that capacity, Ivanka has also been present for key moments prior to Trump taking office, which are reportedly on Mueller's radar. The first was the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting, involving her husband Jared Kushner, Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and high-profile Russian nationals, who admittedly met on the premise of offering up "dirt" on political opponent Hillary Clinton. Per reports, Ivanka reportedly had an exchange with some of those Russians present for that meeting, though the interaction was described as an exchange of pleasantries. The Trump Organization did not immediately respond to Elite Daily's request for comment.
Next is Ivanka's role in the never-completed project to build a Trump Tower Moscow, brokered by Donald Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen. For reference, back in April, Elite Daily provided a roundup of how deep Ivanka and Cohen's ties go — and it's a lot. But lots has happened since then.
The project reportedly included plans for a luxury spa in Ivanka's namesake, in line with her fashion brand, which she announced she was closing in July after a series of public fallouts regarding the company. The Associated Press also reports that Ivanka and her older brother, Donald Trump Jr., were involved in the planning by Cohen to develop the Moscow building; the two were allegedly copied on emails and Ivanka had reportedly suggested an architect for the project. Elite Daily reached out for comment to the Trump Organization about this report, but did not receive a response.
But the Trump siblings' involvement in a Moscow project may have begun long before Cohen was on scene. Per Yahoo News, the two had been working independently from Cohen in efforts to build a Trump Tower Moscow. The Trump Organization didn't return Elite Daily's request for comment regarding this report.
In case we all forgot, this wouldn't be the first time she's facing a legal problem. In a joint investigation, The New Yorker, WNYC, and ProPublica reported in October 2017 that Ivanka and Don Jr. came within inches of being slapped with felony fraud charges back in 2012, again in regards to their work for the Trump Organization. (The case, per the outlet, was allegedly dropped after a donation by Trump Organization attorney Marc Kasowitz to Cyrus Vance of the Manhattan District Attorney's office; Kasowitz reportedly defended his donation and Vance said he'd planned to give back the money.) In a statement, a representative for Vance told Elite Daily that the case was dropped due to the alleged victims of the case dropping out. "In my seven years as district attorney, I've never allowed someone's wealth, power, race, or campaign contributions to influence my decisions," Vance also wrote in a 2017 op-ed. The Trump Organization did not immediately respond to Elite Daily's request for comment.
Finally, beyond the Moscow project, Ivanka Trump is also in the hot seat with Congress, which has signaled its intention to investigate her use of a private email to conduct official business. The White House did not respond to Elite Daily's request for comment at the time.
So, there are a lot of potential causes for concern for Ivanka's lawyers, but nothing is official yet. As to whether Ivanka (and her older brother, for that matter) will see any real trouble, only time will tell.