Josh Gerstein reports that Donald Trump is struggling to stall the trial in the federal fraud lawsuit over his Trump University real-estate program. The trial would pull Trump off the campaign trail so he could testify. In Papers filed last night in federal court in San Diego Trump lawyers claim that the plaintiffs' lawyers are trying to schedule the trial to interfere with Trump's presidential campaign.
"Plaintiffs’ request to set a trial date in June or August of this year ... is a transparent attempt to prejudice defendants’ ability to defend this case at trial while Mr. Trump is running for President," renowned trial attorney Dan Petrocelli wrote.
The plaintiffs' lawyers urged the judge to conduct the trial in June or August because of the advanced age of some of those who paid as much as $35,000 for the Trump University seminars and a so-called mentorship program and because Trump said in a recent deposition that he was "dying to go to court on this case."
Trump could also get bogged down in a second Trump University trial this year in a similar state-court case filed by the New York Attorney General. Both suits claim the Trump University program used deceptive marketing with claims that Trump hand-picked the instructors but that he did not. Some of the instructors also appeared to have had little experience in real-estate investing.
The Trump University fraud allegations have shadowed Trump as fellow GOP candidates use the Trump University fraud claims to attack him as a "con man."