As was previously reported, Donald Trump's eponymous university fell under fire after several students filed civil lawsuit charges against the school that offered to teach them how to flip "reliable" real estate. Now President-Elect Donald Trump has "agreed to a $25-million settlement to resolve three lawsuits in California and New York over Trump University."
Still, something tells me this fishy smell won't go away so easily.
A large portion of the settlement ($21 million, to be precise) will be paid out for two class-action suits filed in San Diego. The courts announced their agreement this past Friday.
U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who Trump originally called "a very hostile judge" and a "hater of Donald Trump," suggested that Trump and his team meet with U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Miller to work out a settlement.
Meanwhile, Trump's attorney, Daniel Petrocelli, made it clear the settlement "included no admission of liability." This, according to Law Insider, means that, while Trump may be paying his former students a large sum of money, this is by no means an admission of his guilt.
“I am pleased that under the terms of this settlement, every victim will receive restitution and that Donald Trump will pay up to $1 million in penalties to the state of New York for violating state education laws,” Atty. Gen. Eric Schneiderman said in a statement. “The victims of Trump University have waited years for today’s result, and I am pleased that their patience — and persistence — will be rewarded by this $25-million settlement.”
But Trump Was Going To Go To Trial, Right?
The settlement takes the place of a scheduled hearing where his lawyers were going to ask to delay the start of the trials, which were set to begin on November 28, 2016. All suits claimed Trump defrauded his students and made them think they would be getting quality real estate education from handpicked professionals.
"The task is momentous, exceedingly complex, and requires careful coordination involving the respective staffs and teams of both President Obama and President-elect Trump," Trump's attorneys wrote in a court filing. "In fewer than three months, the president-elect must be prepared to manage 15 executive departments, more than 100 federal agencies, 2 million civilian employees, and a budget of almost $4 trillion."
During a debate in February, the President-Elect admitted he could have settled the lawsuits at any time for "very little money" but had not done so "out of principle." This statement came after his steadfast rejection of any wrongdoing. He even claimed students had said they were mostly very happy with their educational experience.
According to the New York Times, Trump acknowledged his lack of involvement in the university instruction in court testimony.