Society

Trump Requests Trial Delay Until After Inauguration

| by Denise Recalde

President-elect Donald Trump filed a motion to push back a class-action fraud lawsuit involving the now defunct Trump University until after the Jan. 20 presidential inauguration.

The extra months would allow for a settlement deal to be struck, said Trump lawyer Daniel Petrocelli in a motion filed the evening of Nov. 12 in San Diego. 

The president-elect needs the time to focus on carrying out his arduous tasks and duties as a president-elect transitioning to the White House, Petrocelli argued in the documents, CBS News reports. 

"This is an unprecedented circumstance," the attorneys said in their motion, CNN reports. 

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Former students of Trump University claim the defunct, for-profit real estate school failed to fulfill its educational promises and instead was fraudulent. Three civil cases have been filed against Trump for the controversial real estate education program, the first of which is scheduled for trial in San Diego Nov. 28. 

"The 69 days until inauguration are critical and all-consuming. President-elect Trump must receive daily security briefings, make executive appointments (ultimately, thousands), and establish relationships with appointees, members of Congress, governors and foreign leaders. He must also develop important policy priorities," Trump's lawyers said.

"Now that the election is over, we submit that the President-elect should not be required to stand trial during the next two months while he prepares to assume the presidency. The time and attention to prepare and testify will take him away from imperative transition work at a critical time."

The papers filed with the court state the plaintiffs have "a right to trial of their claims, but their rights will not be abridged if trial were continued to a date after the inauguration."

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Trump is not "seeking to stay this case indefinitely," but is requesting a "modest continuance" until after the inauguration, the motion said.

The lawyers also requested that Trump not testify on two separate occasions for two trials set to take place while he is sitting president. His testimony should be recorded and used instead, they argued.

"In this way, the court minimizes the intrusion on the President-elect, preserves his trial testimony, and guarantees plaintiffs their day in court without regard to a sitting President's unpredictable schedule," the attorneys said.

Sources: CNN, CBS News / Photo credit: Donald Trump/Instagram

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