The New York Daily News is reporting that Donald Trump may be about to pay settlements in the fraud lawsuits over Trump University, his highly suspect real estate seminar. The cases are a civil class-action suit in California and a criminal case brought in New York by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Just days ago, lawyers for Trump requested that a trial in California set for November 28 be delayed until after he is inaugurated.
Both the News and CNBC are reporting that Trump is nearing a settlement agreement, citing anonymous sources. Trump has defended Trump University and said in February that he wouldn’t settle because of his principles, whatever those are:
On November 15, Politico reported that Judge Gonzalo Curiel was encouraging both sides in the California case to consider settling. (In May, Trump accused Judge Curiel of being “a hater” and suggested the Indiana-born judge couldn’t be impartial because he is of Mexican heritage.)
In New York, Schneiderman has denounced Trump University as “a fraud from beginning to end.” He also ordered the Trump Foundation to stop soliciting donations in October, saying it doesn’t qualify as a real charity any more than Trump U qualified as a real school. But his office told the NYDN, “as Attorney General Schneiderman has long said, he has always been open to a settlement that fairly compensates the many victims of Trump University who have been waiting years for a resolution.”
The settlement, according to the News’ sources, wouldn’t require Trump to admit wrongdoing. Of course it wouldn’t.
Update, 4:15 p.m.:
Reuters is reporting that Trump has agreed to settle the cases for $25 million: the New York case, the California class-action suit, and a separate, related California class-action. Reuters reports that $4 million of that will go to settle the claims in New York and the rest to the California plaintiffs, whose attorneys aren’t seeking legal fees.
Schneiderman’s office issued a statement calling Trump’s agreement to settle a “stunning reversal.” Trump, usually a prolific tweeter, doesn’t have much to say at the moment. It does seem as though the settlement doesn’t require him to admit fault.