Trump attacks judge presiding over Trump U case
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has again criticized the judge presiding over the civil case against ‘Trump University’ in San Diego as unfair due to his Mexican Heritage.
Trump called into question the impartiality of U.S. District Judge Gonzalo on the grounds that his Mexican heritage created a conflict of interest because of Trump’s stance on immigration reform.
Even though I have a very biased and unfair judge in the Trump U civil case in San Diego, I have thousands of great reviews & will win case!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 2, 2016
Trump said the judge, who was born in Indiana to Mexican immigrants, had an “absolute conflict” regarding the case because he is “of Mexican heritage” and was involved with a Latino lawyers’ association, the Wall Street Journal reported.
“I’m building a wall. It’s an inherent conflict of interest,” Trump told the Journal, referring to the wall he says he wants to erect between the U.S. and Mexican border.
I should have easily won the Trump University case on summary judgement but have a judge, Gonzalo Curiel, who is totally biased against me.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2016
Last month in a San Diego speech, Trump said Curiel should recuse himself and called the judge a “hater” nominated by President Barack Obama.
University of Pennsylvania law professor Stephen Burbank told the Wall Street Journal it was “absolute nonsense.”
“If this continues, I would hope that some prominent federal judges would set Mr. Trump straight on what’s appropriate and what’s not in our democracy,” he told the newspaper.
A nationwide class-action lawsuit and a California class-action suit accuse Trump University of engaging in deceptive practices and scamming thousands of students who enrolled, thinking it would make them rich in the real estate market. Students at shuttered real estate school paid as much as $35,000 to attend, according to documents in the class-action suit unsealed by Curiel at the behest of the Washington Post.
The lawsuits allege that Trump University falsely gave the impression that it was an accredited university, that students would be taught by experts selected by Trump, and that students would get a year of mentoring. Trump’s lawyers argued that many students gave the real estate program positive ratings and those who failed to succeed are themselves to blame.