A Trump University court case that might impede Donald Trump’s presidential run became less likely today, Reuters News reported.
“The mid-level appeals court ruled that Trump’s lawyers can argue to the state’s highest court that the fraud claims against Trump University brought by the state attorney general should be dismissed,” said Reuters.
Practically, this means that the case will probably not be heard until after the November election, and so will not be a distraction for the presumptive Republican nominee’s campaign to be the president of the United States.
BREAKING: New York's highest court to decide whether fraud claims against Trump University can proceed— Reuters U.S. News (@ReutersUS) May 17, 2016
This case, originally filed in 2013, alleges that Trump University misled consumers, getting them to pay $35,000 each to learn from Trump about how to be successful in business.
“It’s no surprise that Donald Trump is using every legal option to avoid standing trial for operating a sham for-profit university,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement.
"As our lawsuit makes clear, Mr.Trump’s phony university defrauded thousands of students through an illicit scheme." https://t.co/OOJ5FFerP0— Cheri Jacobus (@CheriJacobus) May 17, 2016
This is just one of the fraud cases related to Trump University — another case, a class action suit in California, will be heard November 28.
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What Was Trump University Like?
Trump University was a topic for discussion in the Republican debates. Then-candidate Marco Rubio brought it up at the February 25 debate.
US News And World Report reported in April that, at least from the point of view of several former Trump University students, “Trump’s failed venture into higher education plowed a persistent path of fraud and deception.”
Promoted as “better than the best business school,” Trump University had problems from the very beginning, starting with its name. According to New York State, it was not a school at all, and so could not be legally called one, in part because “the non-university did not even have a license to offer training or instruction within the state.”
As a result, US News reported, Trump moved the operations to Delaware, “Or so he told New York regulators.” Under continued legal pressure, the institution was renamed Trump Entrepreneur Initiative but then ceased to operate not long after that.
It was then that New York filed suit, claiming that Trump made “false promises to convince people to spend tens of thousands of dollars they couldn’t afford for lessons they never got.”
Trump responded by going after Schneiderman, calling him a “total lowlife, a sleazebag,” and “bad news.”
In the California case, Trump sued the plaintiff for defamation, but the judge dismissed it and ordered him to pay nearly $800,000 for his opposing counsel’s legal fees.
Former Trump University students are now taking Trump to court in an attempt to recoup their losses. According to National Review, Richard Hewson reported in his affidavit that he and his wife “concluded that we had paid over $20,000 for nothing, based on our belief in Donald Trump and the promises made at the [organization’s] free seminar and three-day workshop.” But “the whole thing was a scam.”
Another former student, yoga instructor Tarla Makaeff, says she was “scammed” out of $60,000.
In a video promo, Trump claimed that his namesake university “was about how to become successful.” He also said that this institution would have “the best of the best” faculty, and, “If you don’t learn from them, if you don’t learn from me, if you don’t learn from the people that we’re going to be putting forward — and these are all people that have been hand-picked by me — then you’re just not going to make it in terms of success.”
What do you think? Should the Trump University lawsuit go through now, or should it wait until after the election?
[Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images]