President-Elect Reverses Position, Settles Trump University Cases for $25 Million

Donald Trump agreed to a $25 million settlement to end litigation in three lawsuits related to the controversial Trump University.

Published Nov 18, 2016

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At least three lawsuits relating to President-Elect Donald Trump's Trump University dogged the candidate throughout the 2016 campaign, ending in a $25 million agreement announced on 18 November 2016:

The deal satisfied two class-action lawsuits as well as a civil suit, alleging the seminar-based business failed to live up to its promises:

President-elect Donald Trump has agreed to a $25 million settlement to resolve three lawsuits over Trump University, his former school for real estate investors, according to New York’s attorney general. The deal announced Friday by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman would settle two class-action lawsuits in California and a civil suit filed by Schneiderman ... The suits had alleged that Trump University failed to deliver the quality real estate investing education it promised. Schneiderman says the $25 million to be paid by Trump or one of his business entities includes restitution for students and $1 million in penalties to the state.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman commented on the deal when it was announced, adding that the arrangement included a penalty of $1 million to the state of New York for violating education laws:

Schneiderman said in [an 18 November 2016] statement that the settlement includes a $1 million penalty paid to New York state for violating the state’s education laws by calling the program a “university” despite offering no degrees or traditional education. Schneiderman said his office had sued Trump for “swindling thousands of innocent Americans out of millions of dollars” and that the settlement had come despite resistance from Trump. “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,” he said.

Schneiderman tweeted:

The Washington Post reported that the settlement ensured Trump would not be tied up by ongoing litigation as his January 2017 inauguration neared:

The settlement eliminates the possibility that Trump will be called to testify in court in the midst of his presidential transition. The deal ends three suits against him, including a California class action case that was scheduled to go to trial later this month, as well as a second suit in that state and the New York state action.

The Trump University settlement appears to fit a pattern in which lawyers for the president-elect are working to reduce the number of his legal entanglements before he takes office.

Earlier in 2016, President-Elect Trump stated that he had no intention of settling lawsuits related to Trump University, as he believed that doing so created an incentive for frivolous suits.

Kim LaCapria is a former writer for Snopes.

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