President-elect Donald Trump has a more pressing and earlier engagement than his impending presidency, the civil trial over the alleged Trump University real estate seminar fraud trial.
It’s not the most auspicious start to the shock-result election, but Trump is personally named in the lawsuit for “promising, but not delivering access to” lessons about how to use his real estate techniques and taught by “hand-picked” instructors in the Trump University course, which is non-accredited.
It’s yet another first for the controversial businessman and politician, as the first president-elect to defend himself before a jury before he vows to defend the United States before God.
Politico reports that the class-action case set for trial the Monday after Thanksgiving is just one of a plethora of lawsuits and threatened suits Trump was entangled in during the campaign—litigation that doesn’t seem likely to disappear anytime soon and might even intensify with Trump headed to the White House.
The Trump University class-action lawsuit is set to begin jury selection Nov. 28 in San Diego, with Trump called as a witness by both sides. He is also certain to be cross examined on his university’s marketing practices.
There are some interesting allegations in the Low v. Trump lawsuit, including –
In 2005, Trump sent out bulk mailings of a “Special Invitation from Donald J. Trump” that would grant you access to “the free introductory Live Event,” with the end result being that “you’ll have what you need to succeed!”
“Almost immediately,” the New York State Education Department wrote Trump, issuing a warning not to illegally call his operation a “university” without a license, only for Trump to move the official location to Delaware while still operating in New York. In 2010, the NYSED wrote Trump a letter requesting that “[a]ll current students should be refunded” and threatened “disciplinary action.”
Advice from Trump University staff during breaks in the seminars was to tell students “to raise their credit card limits four times” to be able to buy real estate on the cards and asked them to prepare financial disclosures. The alleged reasoning for this was to determine how much money students had to spend on additional seminars and get them to charge the seminars to the cards that now had increased limits.
In addition to several suits over Trump University, Trump has threatened lawsuits against a dozen or more women who’ve accused him of sexual impropriety in recent months—and several of those women have threatened to countersue if he comes after them.
There’s also a New York state investigation into his charitable foundation and a reported federal investigation into some of his advisers’ ties to Russia.
All in all, a suitably controversial start to the barnstorming politician who has taken America by storm. Whether he can have the same success with a jury and the Feds is another question.