Trump agrees he cheated those students

In more bad news, Trump has settled the lawsuits against Trump “University.”

Donald J. Trump has reversed course and agreed to pay $25 million to settle a series of lawsuits stemming from his defunct for-profit education venture, Trump University, finally putting to rest fraud allegations by former students, which have dogged him for years and hampered his presidential campaign.

The settlement was announced by the New York attorney general on Friday, just 10 days before one of the cases, a federal class-action lawsuit in San Diego, was set to be heard by a jury. The deal, if approved, averts a potentially embarrassing and highly unusual predicament: a president-elect on trial, and possibly even taking the stand in his own defense, while scrambling to build his incoming administration.

It was a remarkable concession from a real estate mogul who derides legal settlements and has mocked fellow businessmen who agree to them.

But the allegations in the case were highly unpleasant for Mr. Trump: Students paid up to $35,000 in tuition for programs that, according to the testimony of former Trump University employees, used high-pressure sales tactics and employed unqualified instructors.

Also, teaching some tricks of the real estate trade does not constitute a university. A trade school, maybe; a university, no.

the position of Mr. Trump and his legal team appeared to soften soon after his election on Nov. 8. At a hearing last week, Daniel Petrocelli, a lawyer for Mr. Trump, expressed interest in moving toward a settlement. Mr. Trump’s lawyers were seeking to delay the trial in one of the California cases until after his inauguration on Jan. 20, while also requesting that he be allowed to testify on video.

“The time and attention to prepare and testify will take him away from imperative transition work at a critical time,” Mr. Petrocelli wrote in the request to the judge, Gonzalo Curiel, last week, noting the “thousands” of appointments that President-elect Trump needed to make in the weeks ahead.

Judge Curiel, of Federal District Court, who is hearing the two California cases, was thrust into the limelight of the campaign in May when Mr. Trump spent several minutes at a rally denouncing the judge’s decisions in the case, calling him a “hater” and questioning his impartiality because of his Mexican heritage.

That’s our shiny new president – a guy who cheats people out of as much as 35 thousand dollars for teaching them some marketing tricks they could learn from a pamphlet, and who incites xenophobia against a judge hearing the case against him. Don’t we feel proud!!

Trump University, which operated from 2004 to 2010, included free introductory seminars across the country, focusing largely on real estate investing and on learning Mr. Trump’s secrets. Students could then purchase more expensive packages costing up to $35,000.

Documents made public through the litigation revealed that some former Trump University managers had given testimony about its unscrupulous and exploitative business practices. One sales executive testified that the operation was “a facade, a total lie.” Another manager called it a “fraudulent scheme.”

Other records showed how Mr. Trump had overstated the depth of his involvement in the programs. Despite claims that Mr. Trump had handpicked instructors, he acknowledged in testimony that he had not.

That’s our shiny new president – a cheat and fraud who could take his place alongside the Duke and the Dauphin. If only he could share their fate.

Anyway. The settlement is bad news, because the trial would have made him look even worse.

So our shiny new president has admitted to cheating a lot of people out of a lot of money. Good start.

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