A federal judge ordered the release of Trump University internal documents, including marketing “playbooks,” connected with an ongoing fraud lawsuit against the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s now-defunct series of courses on real estate and investing, The Washington Post reported.
In his decision, Judge Gonzalo Curiel ordered the documents, totaling about 1,000 pages, must be released by June 2.
The decision comes as a setback for Trump, whose lawyers have argued that the sealed records contain trade secrets and that the company would resume in some form after a resolution in the case.
At a San Diego rally the same day as Curiel’s ruling, Trump disparaged the judge. He spent 12 minutes of a 58-minute address delivering one of the most personal attacks of his campaign, according to the Wall Street Journal, and argued Curiel should be removed from the case.
“I have a judge who is a hater of Donald Trump,” Trump said. “His name is Gonzalo Curiel.”
Trump also condemned some of the students connected to the suit by name.
A spokeswoman for the Trump campaign declined to comment to the Wall Street Journal.
Trump has previously taken aim at Curiel, insinuating that his Mexican heritage may make him biased, especially considering Trump’s support for building a wall at the border, according to The Post.
When explaining the disclosure, Curiel pointed to a previous case which states courts must consider if a public official benefits from confidentiality and if the documents involve issues of public interest. He also noted that Politico published one of the “playbooks” from 2010 in its entirety in March.
Notably, the book instructed Trump University to rank students by their liquid assets to target those who could afford more coursework.
Trump is enmeshed in multiple lawsuits filed by former students of Trump University and faces a third fraud suit from New York’s Attorney General, which likely won’t go to trial until after the November election. The suits accuse Trump of defrauding thousands of students with worthless classes on real estate and investing.
For example, one suit alleges that Trump University engaged in “brainwashing schemes, outright fraud, grand larceny, identity theft, unsolicited taking of personal credit and trickery into [sic] opening credit cards.”
Trump and his lawyers, however, have continually defended the for-profit university, citing stellar student reviews. Some students, however, may have been pressured into writing them, according to the New York Times.
The suit being overseen by Curiel has a trial date set for November 28.
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