WASHINGTON, November 18, 2016 — Donald Trump has agreed to a $25 million deal to settle three lawsuits involving Trump University. The announcement comes just two months before he will be sworn-in as President of the United States.
BREAKING: NY AG announces $25M settlement in Trump University case. pic.twitter.com/7xwvyOgbDe
— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) November 18, 2016
Trump’s decision to settle is an indication of his taking the presidency seriously – above and beyond his personal image that had him saying he would never settle and that he even considered reopening the school.
The lawsuit facing Trump University was scheduled to begin in California despite attempts from Trump’s lawyers to delay it until after the inauguration.
I settled the Trump University lawsuit for a small fraction of the potential award because as President I have to focus on our country.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 19, 2016
Trump University has been a impediment for the nominee that Republicans did not want carried over into the new administration. Both Republican and Democratic candidates attacked him for running an alleged scam with a phony school.
Trump and Trump University faced two lawsuits from California and one from New York. Former students claimed they were drawn to the university by false promises and ended up paying more than $30,000 in hopes of learning Trump’s secrets of real estate investment.The New York suit was initiated by New York’s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
Trump later criticized Schneiderman for filing his lawsuit on a weekend afternoon.
Trump’s detractors claim he did not personally select the teachers hired by Trump University, a claim made by the school’s marketing materials. While Trump has agreed to settle, he denies any wrongdoing.
California District Judge Gonzalo Curiel encouraged both sides to settle. Curiel is the judge Trump attacked because of his Hispanic heritage. He claimed that Curiel, born in the U.S., could not be impartial.
Trump University was just one of the legal issues facing Trump that he must resolve before his inauguration puts him under increased criticism. Democrats are also questioning the extent to which his children are involved in his transition team.
The settlement at least allows him to move forward by eliminating an issue from his past.