Documents In Trump U. Lawsuit To Be Unsealed, Including Playbooks

Washington Post asked for thousands of pages of documents to be unsealed; judge agreed Friday requiring redactions of only some email addresses and phone numbers.

Several Trump University playbooks will be released to the public after a San Diego judge ruled for them to be unsealed with limited redactions Friday.

The Washington Post asked U.S. Federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel to intervene in order to ask for thousands of pages of documents to be unsealed in one of the class-action lawsuits against Donald Trump and the now-closed Trump University.

In a San Diego courtroom, Judge Curiel issued the documents to be unsealed less than two hours after hearing from all parties involved.

In the class action lawsuits, Trump University is accused of misleading students with unfulfilled promises of teaching them the secret to being successful in the real estate business. The allegations outlined in court documents include Trump University, which took in over $40 million, was fraudulent and deceptive. Students paid up to $35,000 for real estate seminars, according to court documents.

Two class-action lawsuits against the now-closed Trump University are being heard in San Diego courtrooms, another lawsuit is based in a New York court. The San Diego cases include: Cohen v. Trump, a nationwide class action lawsuit and Makaeff v. Trump, a class action in California, Florida and New York.

Click here to read more about the Trump University lawsuits. 

Trump denies the allegations in the lawsuits. His attorney, Daniel Petrocelli said, “the case is unwarranted; (Trump) will defend himself fully."

The hearing Friday involved the Cohen v. Trump case.

Trump's attorney Jill Martin did not oppose the unsealing of most of the documents but argued specifically against unsealing some, including the Trump University playbooks.

She argued they contain trade secrets and if released would harm the business model of Trump University.

Dan Laidman, the attorney representing the Washington Post, argued for them to be released citing the public's right to know, among other things.

He said, “here there is a heightened public interest because Donald Trump is running for president and is making his business record a prime part of his candidacy. These records and this lawsuit illuminate important things about this record. Trump University has not been enrolling or holding live events since 2010; so, that undermines any argument for trade secrets.”

One of the attorney’s representing the members of the class-action said she agreed that the playbooks and other documents should be released and available to the public.

In his ruling, siding with the Washington Post, Judge Curiel asked for all documents except for the playbooks and a few other documents be unsealed immediately. Curiel ruled the playbooks should be unsealed by June 2 after phone numbers and non-corporate email addresses (those not ending in “”) are redacted.

Click here to read the unsealing ruling from Curiel. 

Earlier this month Curiel set a trial date in the other class-action lawsuit being heard in San Diego. It is scheduled for November 28.

During his rally in San Diego Friday, Trump said he will be in court for the trial. Trump also discussed the Trump University lawsuits at the rally.

“We are in front of a very hostile judge,” he said. “Frankly he should recuse himself.”

This is not the first time Trump has said Curiel is biased against him. In February he told Fox News, the judge is biased against him because of Trump’s call to build a wall along the border. 

Contact Us