SAN DIEGO – Students at now-closed Trump University paid as much as $35,000 to attend the real estate school, according to documents made public Tuesday in a class-action suit against presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and the university.
The Trump University 2010 “playbooks” — containing nearly 500 pages complete with a mission statement and costs to attend the school — detailed aggressive sales techniques and investing strategies taught at a seminar founded by Donald Trump.
U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel ordered the released of the documents, despite Trump’s attorneys request to keep them private on grounds that they contained trade secrets.
A nationwide class-action lawsuit and a California class-action suit Art Cohen v. Donald J. Trump allege the Trump University failed to deliver on its promises to provide real estate education with instructors picked by Trump. The documents are evidence in the suit.
Curiel noted the documents were of public interest since Trump “became the front-runner in the Republican nomination in the 2016 presidential race, and has placed the integrity of these court proceedings at issue.”
During a rally in San Diego on Friday, Trump pointed out that Curiel “happens to be, we believe, Mexican,” criticizing him for scheduling a trial for Trump University in November.
Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson suggested Monday that the judge’s Hispanic heritage and membership in a Latino lawyers association would affect his ability to judge the case.
“That’s ludicrous. Judge Curiel is one of the most outstanding people to ever have that position. He always follows the letter of the law,” said local federal defense attorney Gretchen Von Helms.
Trump University consisted of online courses, CD-ROMS and other learning programs for business professionals.
An “elite” membership included a three-day “in-field” mentorship, in which Trump mentors would walk the student through every step of a real estate transaction, according to the newly released documents.
The lawsuits allege that Trump University falsely gave the impression that it was an accredited university, that students would be taught by experts selected by Trump, and that students would get a year of mentoring.
Trump’s lawyers argued that many students gave the real estate program positive ratings and those who failed to find success did so by their own fault.
Trump is listed as a defense witness for a trial scheduled for Nov. 28.