“Winning” Donald Trump Claims He Got A Deal On Trump U. Lawsuit Settlement – Update

Dominic Patten
Deadline

UPDATE, 9:48 AM: Daniel Petrocelli might want to remind his client Donald Trump that the proposed $25 million settlement in the Trump University fraud case has not actually been approved by the court – at least before the President-elect decided to bang off a couple of distinctly not contrite tweets this morning on the deal that was announced on Friday.

With the November 28 trial starting now benched, presiding Judge Gonzalo Curiel said yesterday in San Diego that he would look at the proposed settlement to make sure it is “fair, adequate and reasonable.” Having been attacked repeatedly as biased because of his Mexican ancestry during the campaign by the ex-Apprentice host over the six-year lawsuit from ex-students of his pricey and unaccredited higher education venture, the Indiana-born U.S. District judge also made a point of noting that the end of the suit could be the “beginning of a healing process that this country sorely needs.”

Even though the agreement saves Trump from ever having to admit wrongdoing in the apparent scam of students, healing doesn’t seem to be how the future POTUS sees it – especially after long saying he would never settle:

By the way, New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has estimated that the total cost of the defrauding Trump U is accused of comes out to around $40 million – so the settlement is actually over half of that.

The tweets from the President-elect early Saturday also included some seething over the boos and words VP-elect Mike Pence received last night while attending a performance of Broadway blockbuster Hamilton in NYC – let’s just say Trump didn’t approve.

PREVIOUSLY, NOV. 18 PM: After all the posturing, delays and motions, the legal saga of Trump University seems to have come to an end with a big payout from President-elect Donald Trump a mere 10 days before a very distracting trial was set to begin.

Trump has agreed to hand over $25 million to settle the six-year-old class-action fraud case against his much-maligned effort in higher education. With most of the plaintiffs seeing a fair chunk of their tuition returned, the former Apprentice host will not have to admit any wrongdoing in the matter, according to sources.

The San Diego-based trial was set to start November 28, despite recent attempts by Trump’s lawyer and Hollywood heavyweight Daniel Petrocelli to get a delay until after the Republican took office January 20. U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who Trump personally attacked during the campaign, had not yet ruled on the delay issue, but the plaintiffs were strongly opposed to the idea, saying the soon-to-be POTUS was only going to be busier after the inauguration.

A multimillion-dollar portion of today’s settlement also will go to the claims against Trump U. that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman first brought forth in 2013.

“Donald Trump fought us every step of the way, filing baseless charges and fruitless appeals and refusing to settle for even modest amounts of compensation for the victims of his phony university,” Schneiderman’s office said Friday, accusing the President-elect of “swindling thousands of innocent Americans” via Trump U. “Today, that all changes. Today’s $25 million settlement agreement is a stunning reversal by Donald Trump and a major victory for the over 6,000 victims of his fraudulent university.”

Today’s settlement will see Trump “pay up to $1 million in penalties to the State of New York for violating state education laws,” Schneiderman added.

The suit from ex-Trump University students alleged they were misled over the years into the value of what was being offered educationally. They say there were also pushed into piling on big debts to take classes at the freshly minted California-based institution. As the NY AG’s statement makes clear, a similar case was filed back East on the same basis.

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