Trump set­tles Trump University law­suits

Mogul de­fends $25m de­ci­sion

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE -

NEW YORK: Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump yes­ter­day de­fended his de­ci­sion to set­tle law­suits over his Trump University real es­tate sem­i­nars for $25 mil­lion, say­ing he does not have time to fight the fraud cases in court now that he is headed to the White House. The law­suits cast a shadow over the Repub­li­can’s pres­i­den­tial cam­paign and led to one of the more con­tro­ver­sial mo­ments of his run for the White House when he claimed the judge over­see­ing two of the cases was bi­ased be­cause he was of Mex­i­can an­ces­try.

While deny­ing any wrong­do­ing, Trump agreed on Fri­day to pay $25 mil­lion

to set­tle the law­suits. “I set­tled the Trump University law­suit for a small frac­tion of the po­ten­tial award be­cause as Pres­i­dent I have to fo­cus on our coun­try,” Trump wrote on Twit­ter yes­ter­day morn­ing. New York At­tor­ney Gen­eral Eric Sch­nei­der­man has said over 5,000 stu­dents across the coun­try were de­frauded out of about $40 mil­lion, so Trump’s set­tle­ment of $25 mil­lion was around 60 per­cent of these es­ti­mated dam­ages. “The ONLY bad thing about win­ning the Pres­i­dency is that I did not have the time to go through a long but win­ning trial on Trump U. Too bad!” He said in a sec­ond tweet.

In an­nounc­ing the set­tle­ment, Sch­nei­der­man said the deal fol­lowed re­peated re­fusals by Trump “to set­tle for even mod­est amounts of com­pen­sa­tion for the vic­tims of his phony university”. In a state­ment, Sch­nei­der­man called the set­tle­ment a “stun­ning re­ver­sal by Don­ald Trump and a ma­jor vic­tory for the over 6,000 vic­tims of his fraud­u­lent university.”

Stu­dents had claimed they were they were lured by false prom­ises into pay­ing up to $35,000 to learn Trump’s real es­tate in­vest­ing se­crets from his hand­picked in­struc­tors. Trump’s lawyers de­nied this. The deal cov­ers three law­suits re­lat­ing to Trump University: Two class ac­tions suits in Cal­i­for­nia and a New York case brought by Sch­nei­der­man. US Dis­trict Judge Gonzalo Curiel in San Diego must still ap­prove the set­tle­ment. Dur­ing his elec­tion cam­paign, Trump said that Curiel, who was born in In­di­ana to Mex­i­can im­mi­grant par­ents, could not be im­par­tial be­cause of Trump’s cam­paign pledge to build a wall on the US-Mex­ico border to con­trol il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion.

BED­MIN­STER TOWN­SHIP, New Jersey: US Pres­i­dent-Elect Don­ald Trump (left) and Vice Pres­i­dent-Elect Mike Pence ar­rive at the club­house at Trump In­ter­na­tional Golf Club yes­ter­day. — AFP

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