WASHINGTON – A federal judge is ordering the release of Trump University internal documents in a class-action lawsuit against the now-defunct real estate school owned by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
The order by U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel in San Diego, which came Friday in response to a request by The Washington Post, calls for the documents to be released by Thursday. The Post reported the order in a story on its website Saturday.
Trump University has been cited in anti-Trump political ads during the primary campaign as evidence that Trump doesn’t fulfil his promises. Trump’s lawyers deny any wrongdoing in the case before Curiel as well as another class-action suit in San Diego and a $40 million lawsuit filed in 2013 by the state of New York alleging that more than 5,000 people had been defrauded.
The New York real estate mogul, for his part, has claimed that Curiel is a “hater of Donald Trump” and should be ashamed of how he has handled the case. Trump also has questioned whether Curiel, who is Hispanic, is biased against him because of his call for deporting immigrants in the U.S. illegally.
The lawsuit overseen by Curiel states that Trump University’s nationwide seminars and classes were like infomercials and pressured students to buy more but didn’t deliver as promised in spite of students paying as much as $35,000 for seminars. Curiel already has set a Nov. 28 trial date.
The Post reported that Curiel’s order to release an estimated 1,000 pages of documents cites heightened public interest in Trump and that he had “placed the integrity of these court proceedings at issue.” The judge appeared to reject the argument by Trump attorneys that the information had commercial value, saying that there was no support for the assertion that Trump University may resume operations.