A San Diego federal judge Tuesday denied a media request to release hours of Donald Trump’s video depositions in a class-action lawsuit against the Republican presidential nominee and his now-defunct Trump University.
The Washington Post and other media outlets sought release of Trump’s depositions from late 2015 and early this year. They argued that releasing the depositions was important because Trump himself had made the suit a campaign issue.
The lawsuit accuses Trump and Trump University of deceptive practices and scamming thousands of students who enrolled, thinking it would make them rich in the real estate market.
In a hearing July 13, Trump attorney Daniel Petrocelli told U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel that releasing the video depositions would be like “parading evidence in a very graphic way” in advance of trial, scheduled for Nov. 28.
Petrocelli suggested that release of the videos would create a “media frenzy” and would add to the “unprecedented publicity” the case has already received.
Petrocelli argued that transcripts of the depositions are available to the public and release of the video depositions is unnecessary.
In addition, the potentially inflammatory material in the videos could be seen by potential jurors in the upcoming trial and make selecting a panel difficult, Petrocelli said.
An attorney for the media, Dan Laidman, said release of the video depositions would add accuracy to the case and complaints of possible harm to Trump were “abstract.”
Trump has criticized Curiel’s handling of the lawsuit, calling the Indiana-born former prosecutor a Mexican and asserting that his ancestry made him unfit to try the case. The statements on Curiel were widely condemned as racist, including by some GOP leaders.
–City News Service