Forgetting the ‘Russia problem’ for Donald Trump, the President has continuing trouble over the alleged fraud case that has beleaguered his Trump University seminar program.
A plaintiff in the case, which Trump settled, has refused the $25 million settlement leaving open the potential for the President to face a fraud trial.
“Yes, that’s right,” Deepak Gupta, who is representing Sherri Simpson, told Vox Sunday. “Trump really could end up going to trial. We’re confident that the 9th Circuit will rule that any deal like this must allow people like Sherri to opt out if they want.”
And as Newsweek report, Trump’s experience with the US Circuit Court of Appeals is something he needs to worry about.
Already this year, the court has ruled against Trump’s travel ban and imposed an injunction against his order stripping money from sanctuary cities. In April, Trump said he had considered breaking up the court, calling it “outrageous.”
The Court is now set to deliver a decision on a bankruptcy attorney who spent $19,000 on tuition with the seminar program and whether he is able to independently sue the president for fraud.
Over 6000 people paid as much as $35,000 for the program.
Simpson’s lawyer, Gary Friedman, described the settlement made by the University as “laudable” when it was made in March, but he also said his client wanted to press for a full recovery, as well as punitive damages and other relief given what had occurred – or failed to occur.
Gupta, who practices law in Washington, was also part of a lawsuit alleging that Trump has violated the U.S. Constitution’s emoluments clause, called the Trump University seminar program an “elaborate scam.”
Simpson, the bankruptcy attorney, is inclined to agree.
“I believed in a jury trial,” Simpson told The Guardian last week. “It looked like we had such a strong case for trial after seven years of litigation.”
Simpson has received the support of amicus briefs filed by about a dozen law professors saying that she should have the right to opt out of the settlement.
Following the original seminar program settlement, Trump tweeted that it represented a “small fraction of the potential award.”
“Then Trump will have some decisions to make,” Gupta said. “Does he jettison the whole settlement and go into a big class-action trial facing $170 million in damages? Or does he stick with the deal for those members who want it and let others join Sherri’s team or go their own way? That’s all up to him, but either way, a trial is a real possibility.”
What are the chances of that occurring for a sitting president?
It’s not without precedent.
The Supreme Court ruled in a 1997 case involving a sexual harassment suit filed against then-President Bill Clinton by Paula Jones that the president has no immunity from civil law litigation for acts done before taking office that are unrelated to the office.
Source: Newsweek, The Guardian