It is likely that the judge presiding over a lawsuit Donald Trump brought against a high-profile Washington, DC restaurateur will release video of the deposition Trump gave in the lawsuit, Politico reported Monday. Trump is suing Geoffrey Zakarian over his withdrawal from plans to open a restaurant in the Trump International Hotel in the Old Post Office, a decision the chef say he made because of Trump’s anti-Latino rhetoric during the presidential campaign. Celebrity chef Jose Andres and Trump are also involved in a legal battle over Andres’ decision to back out of his restaurant in the hotel.
The judge in the Zakarian case, D.C. Superior Court Judge Brian Holeman, turned down the Trump lawyers’ request that video of the deposition he gave in June to Zakarian’s lawyers be sealed. Unless Holeman shifts his approach or his decision is overturned by a higher court, the video could become public and thus be used by the Hillary Clinton campaign or Trump’s other political rivals for anti-Trump campaign material.
Politico notes that, based on the written transcripts released from the June deposition, the video is probably not as contentious or as damning as Trump’s deposition in a separate lawsuit in California, where he is being sued by students of Trump University.
The judge there, U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel, has signaled he intends to keep video of the deposition under seal. Curiel was the target of Trump attacks from the campaign stump for some of his other decisions in the case.
Trump’s smears against Curiel — who Trump insinuated was biased because he was “Mexican” (Curiel was born in Indiana) — were among the subjects he was asked about in the restaurateur lawsuit deposition. Trump said he had “been treated very unfairly” by the judge, according to the deposition transcripts. Nevertheless, the GOP nominee sought to shift the conversation away from some of the contentious comments ge has made against immigrants and towards his proposals on trade with Mexico, according to Politico.
Lawyers for Zakarian as well as Trump’s lawyer declined to comment in the Politico story.