A New York judge decided on Tuesday, April 26, that the lawsuit against Donald Trump’s self-styled “university” will go to trial.
New York state’s attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, filed a $40 million civil suit against Trump University – an online program for would-be real estate investors – in 2013, reports NBC News. Schneiderman claimed that the school used fraud and false advertising techniques to lure students with the promise that they too could get rich, just like Mr. Trump himself.
The so-called school has reportedly come under renewed scrutiny since Trump became the front-runner in the GOP presidential race.
In February, Trump claimed that the university received an “A rating” from the Better Business Bureau, according the NBC News, however, the agency said that Trump University no longer had a rating because it was believed to be out of business. While the university may have received “A” ratings in the past under a previous name of the Trump Entrepreneur Initiative, it also collected ratings of “D-minus.”
Trump’s lawyer argued Tuesday in Manhattan Supreme Court that the fraud case against the institution deserves a jury trial. Although the judge has yet to set a trial date, lawyers for both sides were encouraged to submit arguments in regards to a jury.
Schneiderman said he wants a trial to move quickly in court after “thousands of Mr. Trump’s alleged victims have been waiting years for relief from his fraud,” adding that the school’s president, Michael Sexton, is expected to be called as a witness.
“We believe that Mr. Trump and Mr. Sexton will be essential witnesses at trial. As we will prove in court, Donald Trump and his sham for-profit college defrauded thousands of students out of millions of dollars,” Schneiderman said in a statement Tuesday.
The unlicensed University first launched in 2004, charging students anywhere from $1,500 to $35,000 for access to web seminars.
Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, previously denied the allegations lobbed in Schneiderman’s suit, claiming that the attorney general’s office only wanted a campaign contribution. To combat the accusations, the Trump team created the website 98PercentApproval.com.
The New York suit isn’t the only one against Trump U, cases are pending elsewhere, including in California and Florida. Apparently, Trump said that he expects to testify and is looking forward to clearing the school’s name.
“Whenever it happens, it happens. But, you know, I would imagine the courts would make it not go on during a campaign,” Trump told Time in a recent phone interview about this history of litigation. “I would think that would be very unfair.”
As far as the Trump University case goes, Trump says he can’t imagine settling, even if it affects his presidential campaign.
“I just feel that I have to do what’s right. I always do what’s right, and the right thing to do is to not settle to lawyers that want to make a lot of money and don’t care about their clients. They care about their wallet,” Trump said in his conversation with Time. “We’ll go to court with that one. It will be a long case but it will end up in a victory ultimately because, again, almost all of them have given great reviews of the courses.”
[Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]