President-elect Donald Trump has famously claimed he never settles lawsuits brought against him or his companies, but he actually does—and now it looks like the fraud cases besmirching Trump University's sterling reputation may be settled as well. Update: Trump has settled! More details below.
Lawsuits in New York and California have accused of Trump's school of not being a real university, falsely promising courses on real estate techniques, and tricking students into paying for additional courses.
The Daily News reports, "Under the emerging deal being negotiated by Trump's lawyers, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and the law firm that brought a class action lawsuit regarding Trump University in California, the president-elect will agree to pay between $20 million and $25 million to settle the matter, a source with knowledge of the situation said."
The settlement talks are still ongoing, but a source tells the Wall Street Journal that Trump won't be required to admit any wrongdoing as part of the current agreement.
Earlier this year, Trump was confident that there was no case. The Daily News source said the settlement talks are "a complete 180 (degree turn) by Trump." According to Politico, "The proposed settlement would likely lower the profile of the Trump University controversy by scuttling a jury trial set to open later this month in federal court in San Diego. However, the deal itself would lead to further court hearings and litigation likely to drag on for months or even years."
Trump had previously attacked the federal judge in the California case, Indiana-born Judge Gonzalo Curiel, for his Mexican heritage.
A spokesman for Schneiderman said, "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."
Update: Schneiderman released a statement announcing a $25 million deal:
In 2013, my office sued Donald Trump for swindling thousands of innocent Americans out of millions of dollars through a scheme known at Trump University. Donald Trump fought us every step of the way, filing baseless charges and fruitless appeals and refusing to settle for even modest amounts of compensation for the victims of his phony university. Today, that all changes. Today's $25 million settlement agreement is a stunning reversal by Donald Trump and a major victory for the over 6,000 victims of his fraudulent university.
I am pleased that under the terms of this settlement, every victim will receive restitution and that Donald Trump will pay up to $1 million in penalties to the State of New York for violating state education laws. The victims of Trump University have waited years for today's result and I am pleased that their patience--and persistence--will be rewarded by this $25 million settlement.
In fairness, what President hasn't had to pay $25 million to make a massive class action fraud lawsuit go away before assuming office?
— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) November 18, 2016