The Trump University lawsuit is back in the news this morning and so is U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, only this time it is not related to a Donald Trump insult. Instead, Curiel will decide whether to release Trump’s videotaped deposition testimony in the case. The depositions, taken on December 10 and January 21, include testimony from Trump about how the school was run. The majority of the written transcript of Trump’s testimony has already been released.
Earlier this year, plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed a motion to include portions of the videotaped testimony as part of the public filings in the case. Last month, several major media organizations filed a separate motion asking the judge to the release the videotaped testimony. The media organizations requested the release of the videotaped depositions of Trump as a matter of the “public’s right to know.”
Trump’s attorneys have objected to the release of the video, claiming it is unnecessary and duplicative since the written transcripts are already largely available. Furthermore, they do not object to the release of the remaining written portions on the transcripts. They argue:
Plaintiff’s sole justification for doing so here is his assertion that the video of Mr. Trump’s deposition contains “many spontaneous and ad hominem remarks that are not reflected in the paper transcript.” Plaintiff’s purposed reason for offering the veto as an exhibit is wholly insufficient given that a witness’s credibility is irrelevant at summary judgement.
Additionally, Trump’s attorneys have also cited a recent decision by U.S. District Court Judge Emmett G. Sullivan in the FOIA litigation brought by Judicial Watch over Hillary Clinton’s emails. Judge Sullivan only allowed the release of the written transcripts of depositions given by several top Clinton aides and State Department officials.
“A district court recently considered a similar issue relating to the video deposition of a Hillary Clinton aide on a politically charged subject and refused to release the video of the deposition because a transcript was available. There is no reason for a different result in this case,” Trump’s attorneys, including Dan Petrocelli, wrote in the court filing.
The hearing on Wednesday marks the first time Trump’s attorneys will appear before Judge Curiel since the likely GOP nominee blasted the Judge with insults back in May and June. Trump’s comments led to a great deal of criticism from legal experts and political pundits on both sides of the aisle.
The Trump University lawsuit was brought on behalf of former students of the now defunct real-estate school. The lawsuit alleges Trump University engaged in fraudulent business practices.