A U.S. federal judge overseeing a lawsuit filed against Donald Trump ordered the release of internal documents of Trump University, a defunct online education program co-founded in 2005 by the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. The documents reportedly include "playbooks" regarding running the enterprise and how to sell programs to customers.
The ruling, in which Judge Gonzalo Curiel ordered to release the internal documents citing heightened public interest in presumptive Republican presidential nominee Trump, was issued in response to a request by the Washington Post. Curiel ruled that the playbooks and other records, numbering about 1,000 pages, be released by June 2, allowing time to redact telephone numbers and other personal information about the company. Trump's lawyers have argued the information should not be disclosed because it involved trade secrets.
The class-action lawsuit, filed in 2014 by former Trump University customer Tarla Makaeff, claims the company scammed thousands of people who enrolled in a program by giving the impression it was an accredited academic institution. Some customers paid $35,000 to take seminars and become “elite” members, believing the program would help their careers in real estate.
On Friday at a campaign rally in San Diego, Trump defended Trump University and targeted several of the judges involved in the case.
"The trial is going to take place sometime in November. There should be no trial. This should have been dismissed on summary judgment easily; everybody says it. But I have a judge who is a hater of Donald Trump, a hater. He's a hater," Trump said of Curiel, CNN reported. "I could have settled this case many times, but I don't want to settle cases when we are right. I don't believe in it. And when you start settling cases, you know what happens? Everybody sues you because you get known as settler. One thing about me, I am not known as a settler."
Trump reportedly added, "The judge, who happens to be, we believe, Mexican, which is great. I think that's fine."
On the campaign trail last June, the candidate made offensive comments about Mexicans which have echoed in the media ever since.