A federal judge in San Diego on Thursday denied a request for a five-week delay of a trial that will determine whether Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s now-defunct Trump University used deceptive practices to scam thousands of students who enrolled in the real estate program.

Donald Trump at his San Diego rally in May was critical of Judge Gonzalo Curiel (inset). Photo by Chris Stone

Lead Trump attorney Daniel Petrocelli had asked U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel to move the trial of two class-action lawsuits from Nov. 28 to Jan. 2 because the attorney has another trial scheduled to start Nov. 15.

An attorney for the plaintiffs, Jason Forge, argued that the judge had chosen the Nov. 28 trial date months ago because it won’t conflict with the presidential campaign or the holidays.

The class-action lawsuits accuse Trump and Trump University of ripping off students who dreamed of making it big in real estate and paid as much as $35,000 to enroll.

The lawsuits allege that Trump University falsely gave the impression that it was an accredited university, that students would be taught by experts hand-picked by Trump. and that they would get a year of mentoring.

Trump’s lawyers have argued that many students gave the real estate program positive ratings and those who failed to succeed were themselves to blame.

Earlier in his campaign, Trump 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.

— City News Service