Trump U Lawyers Ask That Trial Be Postponed Until After Inauguration

Lawyers representing President-elect Donald Trump want to postpone an upcoming Trump University fraud trial until after he is inaugurated.

The suit, which was scheduled to be heard by Judge Gonzalo Curiel on Nov. 28, would be the first such trial for a president-elect, and Trump’s attorneys said Thursday that it would put too much on Trump’s plate, given his already mammoth task of assembling an administration by inauguration day.

“We’re in uncharted territory,” Trump attorney Daniel Petrocelli said, according to the Washington Post, later citing “very difficult circumstance for a sitting president—more so, I would say, for a president-elect.”

“This has been a gut-wrenching campaign, as everybody knows, and the nation is just beginning the long healing process,” he told reporters later, according to the same report. “And I think the last thing we need right now is to have a trial about events that occurred six years ago or seven years ago, in which Mr. Trump—President-elect Trump—is a personal defendant in matters completely unrelated to the momentous obligations that he now needs to deal with.”

The Post reports Trump’s lawyers want the trail postponed until February or March of 2017.

The trial is one of two class-action suits Trump faces over his real estate seminars. In both cases, former students allege they paid up to $35,000 for courses which did not have the instructors nor meet the depth they were promised. USA Today reports Trump faces as many as 75 pending lawsuits as he assumes the presidency.

When Judge Curiel urged both sides to consider, “given all else that’s involved,” settling the case out of court—a resolution which flies in the face of Trump’s repeated, if incorrect, claim that he never settles cases—Petrocelli showed interest.

“I can tell you right now: I am all ears, your honor,” he said of the suggestion, according to the Post.

Earlier on Thursday, Curiel said he would allow statements made by Trump during the presidential campaign in the trial.

Trump addressed the Trump University fraud case frequently in stump speeches, and even went after Judge Curiel himself, saying he would be unable to preside over the case fairly because his parents immigrated to the United States from Mexico.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

TPM Staff
Latest Livewire
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: