Trump’s attorneys seek to block release of video testimony in university lawsuit


Real estate mogul Donald Trump (R) speaks as university president Michael Sexton (L) looks on during a news conference announcing the establishment of Trump University May 23, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

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SAN DIEGO — Attorneys for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump filed papers Friday seeking to block the filing of a portion of his video-recorded deposition in a class-action lawsuit by former Trump University students, according to a published report.

The effort by Trump’s attorneys could prevent the public release of the videos, the Los Angeles Times reported.

If made public, the videos could be a powerful weapon in campaign advertisements targeting Trump, according to The Times.

A partial transcript of Trump’s testimony, which took place in December and January, was released earlier at the order of San Diego-based U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel.

Plaintiffs attorneys argue that the videos are important because they contain “many spontaneous and ad hominem remarks” that are not reflected in the transcript, according to The Times.

Also Friday, attorneys for CNN, Tribune Publishing, which owns the Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union-Tribune, The New York Times and other media outlets filed a motion asking that the complete transcripts and videos of Trump’s deposition be publicly released, The Times reported.

A nationwide class-action lawsuit and a California class-action suit accuse Trump University of engaging in deceptive practices and scamming thousands of students who enrolled, thinking it would make them rich in the real estate market.

Students at the shuttered real estate school paid as much as $35,000 to attend, according to documents in the class-action suit unsealed by Curiel at the behest of The Washington Post.

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 the billionaire, 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 succeed are themselves to blame.

Trump has said his attorneys have continually demonstrated that students who participated in Trump University were provided a substantive, valuable education based upon a curriculum developed by professors from Northwestern University, Columbia Business School, Stanford University and other respected institutions.

Over a five-year period, more than 10,000 paying students filled out surveys giving the courses high marks and expressing their overwhelming satisfaction with Trump University’s programs, Trump said.

For those students who decided Trump University was not for them, he said, the company had a generous refund policy, offering a full refund to any student who asked for their money back within three days of signing up for a program or by the end of the first day of any multi-day program, whichever came later.

Trial is scheduled for Nov. 28.

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