Real estate mogul Donald Trump holds a media conference announcing the establishment of Trump University May 23, 2005 in New York City. Trump University will consist of on-line courses, CD-Roms and other learning programs for business professionals. PHOTO: THOS ROBINSON/GETTY IMAGES. The world may soon learn more about Trump University, a defunct online education program co-founded in 2005 by Republican presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump.
On Friday, the San Diego judge presiding over one of lawsuits against the former unaccredited institution said he would rule “very soon” on a motion filed by the Washington Post to unseal documents in the suit, according to local Fox affiliate KSWB.
Earlier, U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel set a Nov. 28 date for the trial, which Trump could be called to testify in as a sitting U.S. president should he win the general election. In 2014, Trump lambasted U.S. New York Attorney General Eric Schniederman, whose investigation into the unaccredited institution led to holding Trump personally liable for running an unlicensed business, a move Trump said was helped by the Hispanic ethnicity of the New York judge.
The class-action lawsuit, filed in 2014 by former Trump University customer Tarla Makaeff, claims the company scammed thousands of people who enrolled in a program by giving the impression it was an accredited academic institution. Some customers paid $35,000 to take seminars and become “elite” members, believing the program would help their careers in real estate.
Continue Reading Below
The newspaper argues that since Trump is running for president, information pertaining to potential wrongdoing by the candidate is in the public interest. Washington Post attorney Dan Laidman said the motion has secured the release of about 1,000 pages of documents in the suit, but that 153 pages of a 2010 Trump University business “playbook” remain in dispute.
Trump’s lawyers claim the playbook contains trade secrets pertaining to markets and sales of the defunct program.
Trump University has been the target of multiple class-action lawsuits as well as charges in New York, which include violating a state law that prohibits the use of the term “University” if an educational institution isn’t chartered. In 2010, Trump University was renamed the Trump Entrepreneur Initiative, which is no longer in service.