Donald Trump to Be Witness in Trump University Fraud Case
Donald Trump is set to take the witness stand in a civil trial for a fraud case being built against recently-shuttered Trump University that will take place sometime after May 6, which is the scheduled date of the final pre-trial conference in the case implemented by former students of the school.
According to court records, Trump has been called to be a witness for both sides. The case has made its way through the court system for the last five years with no trial date set as of yet, although it is expected that he will be called after May 6 but before the end of the primary season. Primaries are set for May in a number of states, including Nebraska, West Virginia, Oregon and Washington, with another scheduled for California on June 7.
Trump is expected to be questioned on allegations within the lawsuit that he participated in a number of deceptive trade practices as well as scamming thousands of students who enrolled in his school under the impression that he would help them become rich from the real estate market.
Daniel Petrocelli, the lead lawyer in the case who is well-known for representing one of the murder victims in the O.J. Simpson trial, has not responded to email requests for a comment on the expected testimony, nor has he said anything pertaining to how long Trump is expected to be on the witness stand.
The school ran real estate seminars referred to as a useless and expensive fraud by critics, as some students payed upwards of thousands of dollars to participate. However, attorneys for the school contend that the accusations hold no merit. The school did not offer degrees to its graduates, nor did it have an actual campus, writes Kimberly Hefling for Politico.
Student Bob Guillo put $ 34,995 on his American Express card to attend the school. “I really felt stupid that I was scammed by Trump. I thought that he was really legit,” he said, as the result of his studies was a meaningless certificate and a photo of him standing next to a life-size picture of Trump.
This is not the first time the case has impeded Trump’s political schedule as he runs for the presidency. Trump made headlines on December 10, 2015 after he promised to ban Muslim immigrants from the United States. On the same day he gave a closed-door pretrial deposition in the case. While what he said is still under seal, portions of his testimony were cited by lawyers for the other side to support their argument that he had threatened to financially ruin the plaintiff if she did not drop the lawsuit and that she would need protection from his “retaliation,” writes Michael Isikoff for Yahoo Politics.
A separate suit was filed against the school by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in 2013. The case is still pending.
“This is pretty amazing,” said Scott Reed, a veteran Republican Party consultant, about Trump’s upcoming due date in federal court. “Usually, you clean this stuff up before you run for president.”
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