Ivanka Trump Speaks Out on Father Donald’s Legal Issues: ‘Wish It Didn’t Have to Be This Way’

The former first daughter said her father's various criminal investigations have been "painful to experience"

<p>James Devaney/GC </p> Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump

James Devaney/GC

Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump

Ivanka Trump opened up about former President Donald Trump’s myriad legal issues.

While appearing on the July 2 episode of the Lex Fridman Podcast, the businesswoman, who served as a senior White House adviser from January 2017 to 2021, criticized the criminal charges against her father.

When asked about her feelings watching Donald go through "legal turmoil," Ivanka said on the podcast, "On a human level, it’s my father and I love him very much, so it’s painful to experience, but ultimately, I wish it didn’t have to be this way."

Lex Fridman, who started his podcast in 2018, expressed sympathy for her. "I like that underneath all of this, 'I love my father' is the thing that you lead with," he said. "That’s so true. It is family. And I hope amidst all this turmoil, love is the thing that wins."

Ivanka responded with optimism, saying, "It usually does."

Related: Supreme Court Says Donald Trump Is Partially Immune from Prosecution: What That Means for His Jan. 6 Charges

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Donald Trump and Ivanka Trump
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Donald Trump and Ivanka Trump

The former Trump Organization vice president took the witness stand last November in a civil fraud trial involving Donald, as well as her brothers Don Jr. and Eric.

The case accused the defendants of fraudulently inflating the former president's fortune by as much as $2.2 billion since 2011, and overvaluing many of its properties.

In Ivanka's testimony, she alleged that she did not know what valuations were included in her father's financial statements, adding, “Those weren’t things that I was privy to," per The New York Times.

<p>Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty</p> Ivanka Trump arrives to New York State Supreme Court

Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty

Ivanka Trump arrives to New York State Supreme Court

At the time, the New York attorney general insisted that Ivanka "clearly was involved" in securing loans for her father's company.

As a result of the case, Donald was ordered to pay $354.9 million in penalties. In addition, the judge demanded more than $4 million each from his adult sons, who are barred from holding top leadership positions at New York businesses for two years — and $1 million from ex-Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, who cannot hold an officer or director position for three years and is permanently barred from having financial control over a New York business.

Related: Why NBC Didn't Want Ivanka Trump to Replace Her Father on The Apprentice, According to New Book

MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images Donald Trump and Ivanka Trump
MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images Donald Trump and Ivanka Trump

Ivanka has taken a step back from politics since her father launched his third presidential campaign, stating in 2022, "I am choosing to prioritize my young children and the private life we are creating as a family."

In March, a source in Ivanka’s social circle told PEOPLE that she has "politics totally in the rearview mirror and so this time around, even if her dad is the leading Republican candidate, she basically doesn't care."

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer​​, from celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. 

In May, Donald was found guilty of 34 felony charges in Manhattan. The first-ever criminal trial of a former president determined that he falsified business records in order to conceal a conspiracy to corrupt the 2016 election.

After the jury revealed its verdict, Ivanka issued a comment on her Instagram Story. “I love my father, and I love my country. Today, I am pained for both. I appreciate the voices across the political spectrum expressing support and concern," she wrote.

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.