WASHINGTON – Donald Trump says he hand-picked only the best to teach success at Trump University. But dozens of those hired by the company had checkered pasts -- including serious financial problems and even convictions for cocaine trafficking or child molestation, an Associated Press investigation has found. The AP identified 107 people listed as speakers and staff on more than 21,000 pages of customer-satisfaction surveys the Republican presidential nominee has released as part of his defense against three lawsuits. Trump and his attorneys have said repeatedly that the surveys show the overwhelming majority of participants were satisfied. However, the suits allege his namesake real-estate seminars were a massive fraud designed to "upsell" students into buying course packages costing as much as $35,000.
This photo from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's Sex Offender Registry shows Ron P. Broussard Jr. Records show former Trump University staffer Broussard, 48, was convicted at court martial in 1994 of sodomy and indecent acts with a child. But dozens of those hired by the company had checkered pasts, including serious financial problems and even convictions for cocaine trafficking or child molestation, an Associated Press investigation has found. This photo from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's Sex Offender Registry shows Ron P. Broussard Jr. Records show former Trump University staffer Broussard, 48, was convicted at court martial in 1994 of sodomy and indecent acts with a child. Records also show Damian D. Pell, who helped teach at least 23 Trump University seminars from 2008 to 2010, pleaded guilty in Florida to a felony charge of trafficking cocaine.
Donald Trump has settled three Trump University lawsuits for $25m (£20m), the New York Attorney General has said. The US president-elect was being sued by former students who paid $35,000 (£28,000) for real estate "secrets" from his "hand-picked" instructors. Mr Trump had repeatedly said he would not settle the class-action lawsuits. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said the settlement was a "stunning reversal" by Mr Trump and a "major victory" for victims. The businessman faced three fraud lawsuits in California and New York.
Attorneys for Donald Trump are seeking to block the filing of a portion of his video-recorded deposition in a class-action lawsuit by former Trump University students, a move that could prevent the public release of the videos, according to a court document filed Friday. If made public, the videos could be a powerful weapon in campaign advertisements targeting Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, as he faces off against Hillary Clinton in the general election. A partial transcript of Trump's testimony, which took place in December and January, has already been released at the order of U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel. But the video will illuminate Trump's remarks in a way that words on a page cannot, said Larry J. Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics. "We all know Trump well enough now to imagine what he said and what his nonverbal cues were," Sabato said.
Following the release, earlier this week, of testimony filed in a federal lawsuit against Trump University, the United States is facing a high-stakes social-science experiment. Will one of the world's leading democracies elect as its President a businessman who founded and operated a for-profit learning annex that some of its own employees regarded as a giant rip-off, and that the highest legal officer in New York State has described as a classic bait-and-switch scheme? If anyone still has any doubt about the troubling nature of Donald Trump's record, he or she should be obliged to read the affidavit of Ronald Schnackenberg, a former salesman for Trump University. Schnackenberg's testimony was one of the documents unsealed by a judge in the class-action suit, which was brought in California by some of Trump University's disgruntled former attendees. Schnackenberg, who worked in Trump's office at 40 Wall Street, testified that "while Trump University claimed it wanted to help consumers make money in real estate, in fact Trump University was only interested in selling every person the most expensive seminars they possibly could."