Consumer Confidential: Sadly, no one will get to testify on alleged fraud committed by Trump University

David Lazarus, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Business News

He said during the 2016 presidential campaign that "the people that took the course all signed -- most -- many -- many signed report cards saying it was fantastic, it was wonderful, it was beautiful."

I asked the White House for a comment on Tuesday's ruling. Nobody replied.

The appeals court ruled that an earlier district court decision to accept the settlement was fair and reasonable in light of the "significant hurdles" that would arise in bringing a sitting president to trial.

Unfortunately, this means the allegedly defrauded Trump University clients won't be able to testify about their experiences, and details of Trump University's operations won't be aired in court.

It means I won't get to testify either.

As part of the lawsuits, plaintiffs' attorneys introduced as evidence hundreds of pages of Trump University "playbooks" that were intended to guide Trump University employees in closing sales with seminar participants.


"When you introduce the price, don't make it sound like you think it's a lot of money," one playbook advised. "If you don't make a big deal out of it, they won't."

In one document, Ronald Schnackenberg, a witness for the plaintiffs who worked as a Trump University sales manager in 2007, said he believed the school was a "fraudulent scheme" that "preyed on the elderly and uneducated."

Prior to the settlement, I was placed on the witness list for a potential trial because of columns I'd written about Trump University. At one point, Trump's lawyers filed a motion to block me from testifying.

They were apparently nervous about my discussing what I'd seen and heard while attending a Trump University seminar at the Pasadena Hilton in 2007.


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