Donald Trump settles Trump University lawsuits
NEW YORK – Donald Trump has agreed to pay $25 million to settle three lawsuits against Trump University.
The deal will keep the president-elect from having to testify in a trial in San Diego that was set to begin November 28.
The settlement ends a suit brought by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, as well as two class action suits in California. About 6,000 former students are covered by the settlement.
Reuters reported that a settlement deal had been reached Friday.
Alan Garten, an attorney for Trump, told CNN an announcement will be made at a hearing scheduled for Friday afternoon in San Diego. But he refused to speculate on what that was.
Last week, one of Trump’s lawyers said he would “chat” with Trump about the prospect of a settlement at the urging of the judge.
At Friday’s hearing, U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel was expected to rule on a motion from Trump’s attorneys to delay the trial until after the presidential inauguration on January 20. Attorneys for the plaintiff have pushed back on the delay.
Trump University is the defunct, for-profit real estate seminar business Trump created in 2005. Former students say they were hoodwinked and claim that Trump University teachers were not hand-picked by Trump as advertised. Some paid tens of thousands of dollars to participate in the program and about 10,000 people enrolled before it closed in 2010.
A settlement would be a complete turnaround from Trump’s earlier position on the lawsuits.
“This is a case I could have settled very easily, but I don’t settle cases very easily when I’m right,” he said in March.
But now that he has been elected, Judge Curiel has urged the parties settle the case to avoid the immense complications of a president-elect facing trial while preparing to take office.
Trump’s top lawyer on the case, Daniel Petrocelli, alluded to a possible settlement last week.
“We are in uncharted territory,” Petrocelli said at the time. “There are much more important obligations that President-elect Trump has and he will have to maybe be a little bit more flexible about the resolution of this case,” he said.
By Katie Lobosco and Drew Griffin, CNN