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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

By Karen Freifeld and Anthony Lin

(Reuters) – Within a few weeks of winning the White House, President-elect Donald Trump could face another group of U.S. citizens, a federal jury in California, courtesy of a lawsuit by former students of his now-defunct Trump University who claim they were defrauded by a series of real-estate seminars.

A hearing in federal court in San Diego is set for Thursday, and the trial is scheduled to begin on Nov. 28, barring any delays or if Trump decides to settle the case.

While presidents enjoy immunity from lawsuits arising from their official duties, the U.S. Supreme Court has held that this shield does not extend to acts alleged to have taken place prior to taking office. The 1997 ruling came in the sexual harassment lawsuit filed against President Bill Clinton by Paula Jones, which was settled before it went to trial.

Lawyers said they could think of no similar situation like the one now involving Trump.

“I’m certain there is nothing comparable to this,” said Alan Dershowitz, professor emeritus at Harvard Law School.

Lawyers for both Trump and the plaintiffs declined to comment on Wednesday.

Dershowitz said the Supreme Court also held that a case cannot be delayed just because the defendant is president, though judges are still free to grant reasonable delays to any party.

Miami trial consultant Sandy Marks, who is not involved in the case, said he thought Trump might ask the presiding judge, Gonzalo Curiel, to postpone the trial in an effort to settle the case before taking office.

“I think the judge would be foolhardy not to give him a short (delay),” said Marks, “which would give him a chance to resolve the case with all these people and put it behind him.”

Trump repeatedly claimed on the campaign trail that he would win the lawsuit, and he accused Curiel of being biased against him because of his campaign promise to build a wall along the border with Mexico. The judge was born in Indiana to Mexican parents.

At the hearing on Thursday, lawyers will argue pre-trial motions, including one by Trump to block potential jurors from hearing comments made or publicized during the campaign, such as those about the judge. Lawyers for the students have argued the comments could help jurors assess Trump’s credibility as a witness.

Trump is listed as defense witness in the case and could be called to testify by the plaintiffs as well. He was previously deposed by the students’ lawyers.


Claims against Trump over the seminars date to 2010, with two class actions filed in federal court in San Diego and another case brought by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on behalf of students who claim they were misled into paying as much as $35,000 each to learn worthless real estate investing “secrets” from instructors “hand-picked” by Trump.

Trump has admitted he did not hand-pick instructors, but has argued the claim was marketing language not meant to be taken literally. He claims most students were happy with their courses.

If the trial goes forward, several legal experts said it would be hard to seat an impartial jury, since so many people already have strong opinions about the president-elect.

Parties often hire specialized jury consultants to pick jurors, but New York lawyer Robert Anello said they were not infallible. “If experienced pollsters can’t get it right,” he said, “how can a jury consultant who is not spending as much time studying the demographics?”

In an interview a day before the election, Jeffrey Goldman, a lawyer for Trump in the New York case, said the media’s “drumbeat of distortion” about Trump University would make it hard to find impartial jurors.

Several experts noted that jurors, who will answer a questionnaire in addition to being questioned by the lawyers and the judge, are generally taken at their word when they say they can be impartial. Boston jury consultant Edward Schwartz said he expects both sides to make an effort to vet jurors by their public social media postings.

Dershowitz noted that San Diego, though located in deep-blue California, is not as politically monolithic as, say, San Francisco. It has an ethnically diverse population and also has a large military presence.

“This is a jury consultant’s nightmare to pick in a case like this,” said Dershowitz. “It will be taught in jury consulting school.”

(Reporting by Karen Freifeld and Anthony Lin; Editing by Leslie Adler)

IMAGE: U.S. President elect Donald Trump speaks at election night rally in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 9, 2016.  REUTERS/Mike Segar

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40 responses to “Trump Due In Court For Fraud Case”

  1. bridgett.santiago says:

    One yr have passed since I decided to leave my last job and I am so happy now… I started working on-line, for this company I stumbled upon online, for several hours /a day, and my income now is much bigger then it was on my office work… Paycheck i got for last month was for 9 thousand bucks… The best thing about it is that i have more free time to spend with my family…

  2. Let the lawsuits begin. Trump and his lackeys want the spotlight, so we’ll turn it up real bright. I hope AgLander and others have sun tan lotion for his Highness.
    These cases alone will make for interesting case studies for future law students and historians.

    • Box says:

      Let justice carry on for ALL and that includes Trump.

      Trump will reopen emails and the FBI and DOJ will get new heads. FBI will also continue the case against Clinton Foundation. Maybe Clinton will get prison after all, she would have to for espionage if nothing else. 20 YEARS.

      Wikileaks is only getting started, 2/3 are yet to come.

      Oh yeah, definitely law student fodder for 100 years.

      • Elizabethmhoughton says:

        Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !mj358d:
        On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
        ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash358MediaSearchGetPay$97Hour ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★::::::!mj358d:….,…….

      • Still stuck in EMAIL mode, like a lab rat in a maze. No matter what day of the week it is, people like yourself will be stuck on Emails, hoping desperately for something, ANYTHING, to hang around Hillary’s neck. Your energies, like Comey’s have been wasted and your life fizzling out after having offered NOTHING in the way of helping the nation to keep from unraveling. You have to at some point come to your senses that Donald is the president of the “DISUNITED STATES OF AMERICA”, and not of America. The man is a lightning rod for controversy with global impact—emails and email servers have far less impact, except if Donald’s friend Putin is busily engaged in trying to hack servers in America.
        The threat of this division is what you should focus on most, and not try to divert us with emails.

        You talk of justice for ALL, but your real agenda is the Clintons—there’s something specific about them that has captured your imagination, much like a new bauble takes up much of a little child’s thoughts for the day.

      • jmprint says:

        Do you have a direct link to Assange as well? Is it through the Russian server that Trump has?

  3. “It’s going to be beautiful…”
    That is what many of us are thinking in light of the latest bungling by voters who have become so used to worshiping personalities that their judgement has become severely impaired. Not only do they focus on trivial charges against one candidate while ignoring more severe transgressions of Trump, but they have the temerity to thirst for blood, calling for lynching, and the tiresome chant “Lock Her Up”. Yet they are as quiet as church mice when Donald’s acts are brought to bear, and are quite willing to forget his sins or attribute them to having taken place in the past and all is forgiven now—but not Hillary’s missteps!!

    Which all boils down to the fact that so-called Christians think it’s fair to be vindictive against Hillary and not Trump; they vainly imagine that God was asleep and not aware of what Trump did in secret, or that God doesn’t apply the standard of Justice equally to all.

    AgLander, Jim Samaras, Box, “loveofcountry”(he the erstwhile Muslim one day, and something else the next), Patrick Henry, Godzilla, etc began quite early to crow and dance around like crazed banshees that Trump won, hoping that God is unaware of Trump’s lies and transgressions; the bulk of Trump’s supporters also are hoping that God is unaware and will ignore Trump’s behavior and give Trump a free lunch. I think its safe to say that such is not the case, and that there is a penalty that Donald will have to pay, before January, or shortly after being sworn in.

    I base this expectation on an aphorism below by Baha’u’llah. (By the way, these aren’t just trivial and neat little slogans that Baha’u’llah has revealed. They are, in His words “.. that which hath descended from the heaven of Might, revealed with the tongue of power and might, and revealed unto the Prophets of old. We have taken the inner essence thereof, and clothed it in the garment of brevity…”).

    So, in reference to the exultation of racists, bigots, haters, gloating about clinching power, and those who howl for blood and vengeance, consider this:

    “O OPPRESSORS ON EARTH! Withdraw your hands from tyranny, for I have pledged Myself not to forgive any man’s injustice. This is My covenant which I have irrevocably decreed in the preserved tablet and sealed with My seal.”

    Racism, cheating others out of their money, deny service based on race, projecting a racist sentiment towards others, groping women, and accusing someone without evidence, are forms of oppression and tyranny. And as you see, this is something, as Baha’u’llah indicates, something that God will hold against those who commit wanton injustices against others. I’m just saying all this because the AgLanders need to be given the opportunity to be informed.

    Just something for those quick to accuse others should think about, or who insist on being haughty, racist, and proud.

    • Box says:

      You talk exactly like a person who lived outside the country for 60 years and just arrived back and rattles on like nothing has changed. You dont even understand what happened yesterday. Nobody on Trumps side worshiped a personality, they voted for a long overdue reset that Hillary couldnt even promise.

      You say worship but who buried their nose in CNN for the truth? If CNN was right and told you the truth, Hillary couldnt lose. Yet she did, not by accident but because you were WRONG. Please wake up. Listen to the people who saw this coming for years and reported about it daily. It wasnt CNN or Fox.

      Aggie doesnt need an education, everyone else does. Why are you resisting? Its over now, reset yourself along with the country and start fresh.

      • bobnstuff says:

        Lest look at the numbers here for a minute. 55% of the registered voters voted Trump got half of those votes so 27% of the voters voted for him. More people voted for Clinton. So does Trump have any mandate, No. Did Trump get a big win, No. Did Trump get a lot of help from the FBI and Wikileaks, yes. Trump likes uneducated people and it looks like they liked him.

        • InformedVoter says:

          Sorry Bob, but 302 votes for Trump and only 232 for HilLIARy. That, sir, is a mandate!
          Even in the popular vote, the difference is barely .02% with large amounts being California and New York. That’s why the founders put in the Electoral College system – to prevent urban areas from dominating rural areas.
          Take a look at this map and tell me again that HilLIARy should have won.

          • Vid Beldavs says:

            Not really a mandate at all. The electoral college was not only about rural areas. More it was to prevent the rise of demagogues so that the elite could still have a fail safe. Perhaps the memory of the French revolution was still in the minds of some of the Founding fathers.
            The country is extremely divided. As Hillary Clinton said, let’s give him a chance.
            The Republicans never gave Obama a chance however. They saw their job was to cut him down rather than fulfilling their obligation to serve the country. Some may even call it treasonous as the country struggled to emerge from the worst economic cataclysm since the Great Depression.

          • InformedVoter says:

            What a naive history of Obama’s failed presidency. Obama had control for his first two years. Because he insisted on ramming Obamacare on the country, the folks of Mass. elected Brown to replace Kennedy. They did that to kill Obamacare!
            Obama had no idea how to be president then and still doesn’t know how to get things done. Having a pen and phone is not leading, it’s bullying. 306 to 232 is a mandate. Also, look at the results map of who voted red and who voted blue. It’s a mandate!

          • Vid Beldavs says:

            Voinovich and other Republicans have stated clearly that from the get go the plan of the Party was to deny Obama any success.
            Obama chose to address tough problems including the relationship with Iran, Cuba, Climate Change, healthcare, others. There were no rule books how to do this. His leadership enabled the country to recover from the disastrous Bush 42 administration. Trump has a much easier job coming in as a result than the catastrophe that Obama had to face.

          • bobnstuff says:

            Less then halfv the votes and only a little of a q

          • InformedVoter says:

            And neither did HilLIARy (get 50% of the votes) 306 to 232 is a mandate! How can you look at the red vs. blue on the map I posted and not say it’s not a mandate. You’re grasping for any excuse to not recognize that folks voted against HilLIARy when they voted for President Trump (that sounds good)

          • bobnstuff says:

            Sorry guy but do you understand what a mandate is? I means that a majority of the voters support you and your actions. Since we only had a 55% turn out and Trump didn’t even get half those votes I don’t believe it would qualify as a mandate. If we didn’t have the electoral college he wouldn’t even be president. There are very few red states or blue states this time. Most states were purple. I guess the concept of a democracy is lost on you. It doesn’t make much difference since Trump is going back on all his campaign promises.

          • InformedVoter says:

            My colleagues are having a good chuckle over your comments. Hardly any election gets more than 50% of the electorate out to vote. Hence, most victors have barely 27-30% of the possible electorate vote, yet all are considered winners. School districts regularly schedule millage votes for the beginning of August, in non-election years. That is the highest vacation time too. Most of these elections only get 10% of the electorate showing up, so it’s easy to get the tax increases passed with generally just over 5% of the electorate voting for the increase.
            Purple states? Nope, not really. Guess how many states have a Dem governor and Dem congress? Try 4! And 34 states have GOP governors! Anyone looking at the map I provided sees RED, even in the heavy blue states like NY and CA, the states look more red than blue.
            Going back on his campaign promises? I think not! The media would like the public to think that, but it’s nothing but their spin and they’re still hurting from their destruction about their coverage of the election.
            Anticipating you trying to prove President Trump is going back consider these FACTS:
            The 60 Minutes comment about the fence that claims that President Trump is now saying fence not wall; you have to see the entire discussion. He said that a fence, in some places would be appropriate, but the wall would be built in most places and he said “I know how to build”. FYI, there are 650 miles of fence already in place.
            For deportation, he said he would secure the borders and deport the 2-3 million illegal criminals (the left puts the number closer to 800,000) and then determine what to do with the rest. This is hardly saying he softened his position. For the ACA, he said he would throw it out and that any ideas that were pluses, he would consider including in the new plan. He also indicated that those with pre-existing conditions or children over 21 included would probably be included, but that the coverage would come with a premium for those who use these portions.
            He reiterated the appointment of pro-life judges and constitutional bound judges. Over time, the new judges will overturn all the judgments he is opposed to.
            As to the appointment of a special prosecutor to go after HilLIARy, the president or congress only appoint a special prosecutor when the AG does not start an investigation. Remember the Clinton years? Bill’s own AG would not investigate his sexual acts, so congress appointed Ken Starr. Since President Trump will be appointing his choice for AG, it’s safe to assume that his choice for AG will open the investigate against HilLIARy. Thus, this takes President Trump off the hook.
            So President Trump going back on all his campaign promises is more lefty media spin and it’s crap like the fake polls they posted that cost HilLIARy and the Dems the huge defeat.
            Yep, it’s a MANDATE alright!

          • bobnstuff says:

            This was the worst turn out of the last five presidential elections. We always get more the 50% turn out for these election, I don’t know where you get your information from but in 2008 we had a 62% turn out.

            I watched the whole interview so I know what he said, did you watch it or are you taking someones word for it.

            Just for the record we also have as very impressive walls on the border, go look at the one in San Diego. Very impressive but even more impressive was the tunnel that was dug under it.

            Now tell me how a person who didn’t win the popular vote has a mandate.

      • You both need an education on civility, moderation, and rational thought. The worship of Trump is a misguided tragic fools errand on your part.

    • Box says:

      I’ll add…I wont speak for others but I know Trumps warts and he has plenty. I certainly do not run from them. But he proposes a new path and reset of priorities. I dont agree that the focus should be on LBGT bathroom rights, Obamaphones or the rise of Communism or globalization/sovereignty or UN rule of USA. Hillary is for those things, Trump is against. He got my vote.

      I’ll say for the 100th time that Trump never said ALL immigrants or races. He said the BAD ones and the blocking and removal of them. How could you be against the ridding of criminals? He got my vote for that. Come to USA the honest way, through the front door and be prepared to ADD to the country and work to become an american. COME ALL.

      I’ll come back to this part another time but you forget that im a Democrat who noticed that between 1932 and 1980 the Democrats ruled, and from 2008 to now, and what worked and what failed? If Obama, who I voted for, was so great, why is the country so bad now? Why do the Democratic policies always fail in the end? If the say they just needed more time, like now, you will try to say 56 years of the last 100 wasnt enough? 56 years and im BROKE.

      In NM people say that Obama raised employment every year. But are you aware that the increases came from part-time jobs and government jobs? Govt jobs are 9 million more than private jobs. What was so great to brag about?

      Its all wrong and whats needed is a gigantic SWEEP. Here we are.

      • jmprint says:

        This country is not bad at all, that’s the whole point, there are a bunch of ingrates, they sit on there tooch and expect jobs to come to them. The giant sweep will be on our rights, nothing more.

      • bobnstuff says:

        Trump has said a lot of things about immigrants including but not limited to all illegals, just the bad illegals, the children of illegals born here, but you really won’t know till he does something because he has changed what he will do a number of times.

        In the nation the number of part time workers as a percentage of the work force has not changed for years, the new jobs being created are the same mix as it has been for decades. The government on a whole is not adding large numbers of jobs either.

        The Obama administration has been deporting the “bad ones all along and have not been protecting them, Obama has been given the nick name deporter an chief.

        If we pull the 8 million illegals out of the work force our economy will be in trouble since there are not people to fill those jobs.

        So are you having a hard time? Are you out of work? Have you lost all your savings? Do you know anyone who is employable that needs a job? You say the country is in trouble, in what area is it in trouble? The economy is growing, unemployment is dropping. Crime is down, what is this great decline you are talking about?

      • Bill P says:

        Your claim of gov’t jobs being a major part of job creation during the Obama administration is pure bs. , Gov’t job creation was about 75,000 hardly a significant amount out of 15 million.

    • Mama Bear says:

      Amen. I believe there is a law in this universe that we cannot break without it coming home to roost. Some call it Karma.

    • TiredOfTheHaters says:

      I’m Looking forward to his impeachment.

  4. AgLander says:

    A harassment suit organized by the corrupt Clinton campaign machine… will go nowhere now that Hillary’s naked quest for power has been so soundly defeated. She has no energy or motivation to pursue these phony scandal court intimidations. Even revenge is not a factor, because she’s just too tired to go forward now that her wish of becoming the next Eva Peron has been dashed. We should buy her some cough drops and just let her fade away into geriatric oblivion while Trump energetically returns America to greatness.

    • FireBaron says:

      Sorry, Ag, but this is the California one, not the New York one. It has been brewing for over five years.

    • hootch554 says:

      I am one of the victims of his scam. It is real. I was smart enough after the first round that I did not allow myself to be coerced into going to the next level. It only took you so far. If you wanted more advanced information you had to pay to go to the next level. I still have the notebook/information for the first session. Instructors were inexperienced. Knew little or nothing about real estate. I am a realtor & I had to find them a home as part of a demo on flipping foreclosures. They had nothing lined up, were not brokers, or had little or no knowledge about real estate. They handed out applications prior to end of class to enroll in the next level for $5000. I discovered there were many levels that were at least twice that amount and more. It was something I could not afford after feeling like I was being scammed at the end of the first one. They instructed you how to use “other people’s money” or OPM. I only say this because you will recognize that as his modus operandi for all his business. Unfortunately the OPM was mostly from people like me who could not afford to nothing for their money. He uses other people’s money for everything, even from his foundation. This was not born of the Clinton campaign. It has been ongoing for many years. Most people are too ashamed to admit they were scammed by a man they thought was a reputable man by his name alone. We found out differently. We were told he would be involved. The instructors kept telling us that today he would “drop by”. It was a big scam. He bilked a lot of people out of their hard earned money. He made them believe he would teach them his trade secrets & he would be personally involved. He is a fraud. You can’t change a zebra’s stripes. This is just the tip of the iceberg. I’m sure he will find a way out of it. He said himself that he could stand in the middle of 5th Ave in New York City & shoot someone & would not lose a voter. I assure you. It is real & was not conjured up by any campaign.

      • KDJ54 says:

        Scanning is the most underrated crime in the United States. Most people are just too ashamed to come forward after getting scammed, because they are just too embarrassed. Others, fall for the same trick or believe that they can get their money back, if they just play along for awhile longer. I wish everyone would have read this book, The Confidence Game, by Maria Kournikova prior to the election. She spends a significant portion of the book explaining the psychopathic and psychological makeup of scam artists. Note the following quote: “narcissism entails a sense of grandiosity, entitlement, self enhancement, and overly inflated sense of worth, and manipulativeness.” Additionally, they are “lacking empathy, guilt, remorse, and fear, and unconcerned with their behavioral transgressions.” Does this sound like anyone we just elected? Unfortunately, Trump has just acquired a whole bunch of new marks to scam and he fits the clinical psychological definition of a con man.

    • LCR78 says:

      Real people are suing Trump and they might win. Not everything that happens to Trump is the result of some conspiracy.

  5. FireBaron says:

    After Teflon Donnie’s claims against Curiel, I severely doubt he will acknowledge ANY motions by the Trump camp.

  6. dianne.dugger says:

    It’s been 1 year since I decided to abandon my previous work and I never felt this good… I started to work on-line, over a site I found online, for a few hrs /a day, and I earn much more than i did on my last job… My last month check was for 9k… Great thing about this job is that now i have more time for my loved ones…

  7. James Alexander says:

    Lock his ass up

  8. Debra Oliver says:

    The 2016 presidential election can best be characterized as a second chakra slime fest. Yoga aficionados may recall that the second chakra governs sex, money and power. Both the major media and the troll-ridden blogosphere dished up daily smorgasbords of scandal, intrigue and voyeuristic prurience in a year-long food fight that was curiously devoid of measured, sober issues. And now we stand—both victor and vanquished—clad in the reeking, dripping goo of this campaign. We all need a shower!

    Only half-jokingly, I have proposed to friends that what the American people really need now is to launch a class action suit against the RNC, the DNC and the major media outlets for prolonged mental abuse, possibly resulting in brain injury, for the manner in which this campaign was conducted.

    As a case in point, Les Moonves, CEO of CBS, proclaimed before a klatch of Morgan Stanley investors that a Donald Trump candidacy “… may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS…” He called the campaign a “circus” replete with “bomb throwing,” and he hoped it would continue. “The money’s rolling in and this is fun,” he said. “Sorry. It’s a terrible thing to say. But, bring it on, Donald. Keep going,” Moonves crooned.

    Well, now the Donald is president. As Moonves laughed all the way to the bank, we awoke on November 9th (the anniversary of Kristallnacht!) with the horrifying realization that a madman will soon have the nuclear codes.

    This election has brought the utter moral bankruptcy of the RNC, the DNC and the major media into stark relief. Both major parties ran the most unpopular and scandal-ridden candidates in their roster and the media ran a 24/7 feeding frenzy that left the American public with a deeply divided country and adrenal exhaustion. This outcome was entirely predictable! So now, it’s midnight in America and the whole world is watching in disbelief. Meanwhile, our tired, our poor and our huddled masses still suffer from a long and bitter list of chronically unmet needs: jobs, housing, education, health care, a viable ecosystem and integrity in politics.

    So, let’s all take a breath and take a shower. Then—get organized.

    • TiredOfTheHaters says:

      You’re only half right. The RNC damaged us Democrats with years of false misogynistic smears against the most qualified but non conforming candidate which tainted her good reputation. So she lost to the most vile sub human male candidate of all times. That’s what made this election polarizing. So if any group needs suing for mental abuse and owes an apology it’s the RNC. They brainwashed people into believing that using classified or unclassified e-mail and preferring a qualified candidate over a socialist candidate are federal offenses instead of groping women and stiffing hard working people. Not saying Dems are perfect but they have way less skeletons than Repubs.

  9. Jon says:

    Trump has a long history of avoiding responsibility. I hope this is not one of them. The disgusting orange slob must be shown to be the scam artist he is and has always been.

  10. TiredOfTheHaters says:

    These two hashtags can’t say enough for how half of America including myself feel.
    To the Trump followers whom I know visit this liberal page: Don’t gloat too much. You will soon see the error of your ways sooner than you think!

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