A New York Supreme Court judge Tuesday cleared way for a fraud lawsuit on Donald Trump’s now defunct Trump University to go to trial over scamming allegations. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who filed the lawsuit, suggested the Republican presidential hopeful was likely to take the stand in the case.
Schneiderman filed a $40 million civil suit against Trump University in 2013 alleging that the institute resorted to false advertising to attract students promising them they could get rich. In Tuesday’s ruling, Justice Cynthia Kern denied Schneiderman’s request for a summary judgment over allegations by the attorney general. The unaccredited Trump University was set up in 2004 and reportedly charged students between $1,500 and $35,000 for access to web seminars.
“We believe that Mr. Trump and Mr. Sexton will be essential witnesses at trial. As we will prove in court, Donald Trump and his sham for-profit college defrauded thousands of students out of millions of dollars,” Schneiderman said in a statement, referring to Michael Sexton, the man who approached Trump about starting the program.
Schneiderman said he wants a trial to be pushed quickly in court after “thousands of Mr. Trump’s alleged victims have been waiting years for relief from his fraud.”
However, Trump’s lawyer argued Tuesday in the court that the fraud case against the university deserves a jury trial, NBC News reported. Although a date has not been set for the trial, the judge said that lawyers for both sides can submit arguments in regards to a jury.
Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, had previously denied the allegations and said the attorney general’s office wanted a campaign contribution. In order to counter the claims, the website 98PercentApproval.com was set up by Trump's team.