Former First Lady Melania Trump may be able to save some of her husband Donald Trump’s New York real estate empire, as a recent ruling by New York Justice Arthur Engoron stripped the Trump family of control over some of their signature properties that helped create the former president’s early image. Engoron canceled the business certificates that the company uses for several properties in New York state, and if Trump is eventually barred from operating business in the state, he would likely have to transfer or sell his New York portfolio.
However, legal experts say Trump could still keep his hands on those properties with the help of family members like Melania or his eldest daughter Ivanka, both of whom were removed from the New York case and are thus not subject to Engoron’s ruling. Marcel Kahan, a New York University law professor, told the Washington Post that while Donald will “almost certainly” sell off his New York properties, “He could have a company that is owned by Ivanka, or other members of his family. They are not subject to this order.”
Trump could also transfer his New York properties to Ivanka, who was originally named as a defendant in the case but later called as a witness in the case against her father and his company. It remains unclear whether her role in the case was settled by Tuesday’s ruling or if her testimony was used for remaining parts of the case.
Melania may also be looking to separate herself from her husband in the case of a divorce. Recent speculation suggests that Melania is looking for more money and property from Donald in the case of a divorce. Page Six reported that Melania renegotiated her prenuptial agreement with Donald as he and his presidential campaign move closer to the 2024 election, and that a trust for their shared son Barron and property are among top items for the former first lady.
Trump is embroiled in a number of costly legal fights against his four indictments, the defamation case he lost to columnist E. Jean Carroll, and his recent defeat in the Trump Organization civil case. Former federal prosecutor and President of West Coast Trial Lawyers Neama Rahmani told Newsweek that Trump may be broke by the time the presidential election is over.