In a statement released Friday by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, President-elect Donald Trump has agreed to settle the never-ending Trump University scandal by paying up big time and thus avoiding testifying in court. This is a complete turnaround from Trump’s stance that he would fight the lawsuit tooth and nail. In his statement, Schneiderman, who filed the suit in 2013 seeking $40 million in compensation for students of the fraudulent real-estate program, expressed his shock of Trump’s reversal:
“In 2013, my office sued Donald Trump for swindling thousands of innocent Americans out of millions of dollars through a scheme known as Trump University. 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. 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.”
“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. 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.”
In response to the settlement, a Trump Organization spokesman released its own statement saying the company is “pleased to announce the complete resolution of all litigation involving Trump University.”
But even when acquiescing, Trump is diligent in his belligerence of the courts. Today Tweeting:
“I just had a great victory against lightweight A.G. Eric Schneiderman. Most of his case re Trump U. was thrown out or gutted. Little remains.”
The settlement resolves three lawsuits by former students, many who spent up to $35,000 in fees, and comes just ten days before the first trial was set to begin in San Diego on November 28th.
The attendees of the program say they were misled to believe that with a name like Trump University, that they would be attending, you know, an actual credited university and that Trump would be, you know, involved in more than a financial way. Neither of which were true. Trump U was nothing more than a series of real-estate seminars put on by second rate instructors. In order to promote the for-profit school in 2005, Trump did appear in numerous ads and in a YouTube video proclaiming, “I can turn anyone into a successful real estate investor, including you,” and “Are you my next apprentice?”
Trump boasted repeatedly through his campaign that he would fight the charges at all costs.
“The phony lawsuit against Trump U could have been easily settled by me but I want to go to court,” Trump tweeted on March 3. “98% approval rating by students. Easy win.”
And at a rally in May, he said:
“I could have settled this case numerous times, but I don’t want to settle cases when we’re right. I don’t believe in it. And when you start settling cases, you know what happens? Everybody sues you because you get known as a settler. One thing about me, I am not known as a settler.”
So, if Trump doesn’t settle cases when he’s right, we can assume he is admitting he was wrong. OR perhaps he is calling open season to anyone who would like to sue him! Form a line to the left.
Featured image via Thos Robinson/ Getty Images