Trump Goes to Trial for Defunct University

Law books and a scale on a desk

The cases against Trump University will be going to trial in late November.
Image: Shutterstock

San Diego federal judge Gonzalo Curiel determined on Friday that Donald Trump will testify in November in the class-action lawsuit against his now-defunct Trump University.

There are three lawsuits in progress involving Trump University. Several students brought the lawsuits forward in 2010, alleging that the for-profit university was a scam, with students paying as much as $35,000 for real estate success secrets they never received.

The students also reported that they were encouraged to purchase more expensive courses taught by experts picked by Trump himself. However, these courses ended up being more like infomercials than actual classes.

While Trump noted that the school received primarily positive reviews, students pointed out that the school had a D-minus rating on the Better Business Bureau by the time it closed in 2010.

In addition, Trump pointed repeatedly to a 98% satisfaction rating on internal surveys from the university. The protesting students addressed this as well, saying that the surveys were conducted before they have gone through the entire program—and without removing the students’ names from their comments—so it’s likely they were concerned about saying anything negative about their courses or instructors while they were still earning a grade.

Though Trump’s lawyer Daniel Petrocelli said Trump would be present for most, if not all, of the trial starting on November 28, Trump himself has argued he can’t be held responsible for the quality of the university education, since he wasn’t involved in the daily operations. He will, however, be taking the witness stand.

But there’s a pretty big wrench in the proceedings: Trump is likely to become the Republican nominee for President. Needless to say, there’s likely to be a lot of hoopla around a presidential candidate—or the actual President, depending on how things go—showing up in court on a fraud charge.

“This will be a zoo if it were to go to trial,” Petrocelli said back in March. The situation has only gotten more complicated since then.




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