On Tuesday, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s (R-N.Y.) bid to throw out a lawsuit brought by students of the so-called Trump University in California was rejected.
The lawsuit, one among many against the defunct school, was brought on by students who were defrauded by the school’s real-estate seminars.
The students had paid up to $35,000 for access to Trump’s expertise on real estate investing, which was supposed to be taught by hand-picked instructors. However, evidence seemingly confirms that Trump had never personally met, or been involved at all in the hiring process of Trump University’s instructors. According to Reuters,
“U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel said in a written ruling that there was a ’genuine issue of material fact’ as to whether Trump knowingly participated in a scheme to defraud the students.”
The lawsuit was filed in 2013 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. Trump’s lawyers had argued for the lawsuit to be dismissed, since he had indeed been personally involved in developing the concept and curriculum. By the time the plaintiffs bought their seminars, however, others had taken over to manage and carry out the concept of Trump University.
As far as the references in marketing materials to the course’s “secrets,” “hand-picked” instructors and “university,” these statements were only sales “puffery” according to Trump’s lawyers.
Incredulously, Trump’s lawyers don’t consider sales ”puffery” as an intention to defraud students, even when the ”puffery” consists of downright lies.
An exclusive interview on CNN last month with one of Trump University’s top instructors provides insight to the school’s lax relationship with the truth.
Separately, Trump’s lawyers have been battling against the release of video excerpts of Trump testifying under oath, to prevent media and others to exploit the excerpts during the presidential campaign.
Trump made headlines in May by accusing Judge Curiel of being biased against him. Judge Curiel was born in Indiana and is of Mexican descent, and the candidate has called Mexicans rapists and pledged to build a wall between the United States and Mexico, to prevent crime and illegal immigration.
In the end, Judge Curiel rejected the effort to make the video excerpts public, but he also denied the bid by Trump to dismiss the Trump University lawsuit in California.