Published: Tue, November 22, 2016
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Donald Trump 'did not have time' to fight real estate university lawsuits

Donald Trump 'did not have time' to fight real estate university lawsuits

Donald Trump has agreed to pay a total of $25 million dollars to settle the series of lawsuits around the failed Trump University, which allows him to avoid testifying as President.

Settling the case removes a major distraction from Trump's ongoing transition to the presidency, and also spares the new president a potentially embarrassing courtroom defeat.

Tweet Embed: I settled the Trump University lawsuit for a small fraction of the potential award because as President I have to focus on our country.

The deal announced Friday by NY state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman would settle a lawsuit he filed three years ago, plus two class-action lawsuits in California filed on behalf of former Trump University students.

The settlement will cover three lawsuits against Trump University.

Trump has strongly denied the allegations and said during the campaign that he wouldn't settle.

The cases include two class-action suits in San Diego in addition to a separate suit brought by NY attorney general Eric T. Schneiderman.

During the campaign, Mr Trump brought attention to the suit by attacking the judge overseeing the San Diego cases, Gonzalo Curiel, by claiming his Mexican heritage made him biased.

Attorneys for the President-elect told U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel that Trump is busy making appointments and preparing to run the country and it was uncertain whether he'd be able to attend the trial - now scheduled for November 28 - in person.

The deal which has been agreed does not require Mr Trump to acknowledge any wrongdoing.

He said at the time: "I could have settled this case numerous times but I don't want to settle cases when we're right".

Last week, at a pretrial hearing in San Diego, Trump's lawyers said they were open to settlement.

"You know what, let's see what happens in court", he added. "Today, that all changes", Schneiderman said in his statement.

Donald Trump took to Twitter Saturday morning to comment on the $25 million settlement in the Trump University fraud case... that has yet to be approved by the court. Everybody sues you because you get known as a settler. The San Diego trial would have been pinned on whether a jury believed Trump misled customers by calling the business a university and by advertising that he hand-picked instructors. Critics, including former students and employees, have said the "university" targeted desperate people and pressured them into purchasing more and more expensive programs with less regard for actually teaching real estate business skills.

"We are pleased to announce the complete resolution of all litigation involving Trump University", a Trump Organisation spokesperson said.

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