June 13, 2016 – Politico
by Josh Gerstein
A coalition of news organizations is asking a federal judge to take steps that could clear the way for the release of videos of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump being questioned under oath in lawsuits over his Trump University real estate seminar program.
In a motion filed Friday afternoon in U.S. District Court in San Diego, several major news organizations asked Judge Gonzalo Curiel to remove “confidential” designations that prevent public disclosure of portions of Trump’s deposition testimony.
“Defendant is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, and has made his business acumen an important element of his campaign” lawyers for the media coalition said in a brief supporting their motion. “This lawsuit not only raises important questions about Defendant and his organization, it has become a prominent electoral issue … Opposing candidates have pointed to the allegations in this case in criticizing Defendant’s qualifications for the presidency; Defendant has cited TU as an example of his business success, and made this litigation itself a campaign issue.”
“Given the undeniable and substantial public interest in these proceedings, the need for transparency could not be greater,” the media brief adds.
While the new motion was brought by news outlets, it seems certain that if the Trump deposition videos are released they will feature prominently in attack ads aimed at the GOP White House hopeful.
Earlier this week, POLITICO reported that class-action lawyers suing Trump and his defunct educational venture on behalf of disgruntled students attempted to file 48 video clips of Trump’s depositions with the court, but Curiel rejected the filing on technical grounds. [READ MORE]