New York’s Democratic attorney general claimed this morning that the lawsuit filed against real estate mogul Donald Trump isn’t “extortion,” as the possible GOP contender has claimed, but part of a larger investigation into for-profit schools.
“We have been looking into for profit schools. We had a $10 million settlement with another one a week or so ago. We started looking at Trump University and discovered that it was a classic bait and switch scheme. It was scam starting with the fact it was not a university. They never registered. They lied. Part of the charges are they lied to the State Department of Education repeatedly. They never got their teachers certified as required by New York law. They promised to teach people with handpicked experts by Donald Trump,” state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said this morning on CNN.
“The teachers were neither handpicked nor experts. Some of them had just come out of bankruptcy from their real estate ventures. It was really a bait and switch. People were told in the pre-seminar you have to pay for the $1,500 seminar. They said you have to go with these elite packages from $10,000 to $35,000. We got the play book, telling the Trump instructors what to say and they were clearly instructed that if one of them broke ranks and said you don’t need to buy the packages that would hurt the whole enterprise,” he added.
Schneiderman says his office has sworn testimony of the former president of the Trump University claiming that Trump himself wrote the curriculum.
“The president said he insisted on seeing all the promotional materials and he was the pitchman. He was in the videos. People came to the seminars thinking they would meet him. In fact, all they got the chance was top stand next to a poster of Mr. Trump. He clearly was involved,” the attorney general said.
Trump charged in a string of tweets that “Lightweight A.G. Eric Schneiderman, who has been a total failure in office, failed to report the 98% approval rating of students for courses.”
“Why is it that Eric Schneiderman is considered a lightweight by so many and has failed to go after Jon Corzine and big abusers for billions?” Trump continued. “Why did lightweight A.G. Eric Schneiderman come to my office on numerous occasions begging for campaign contributions? Also, recent asks? How can an Attorney General ask for campaign contributions during his evaluation of a case – a total sleazebag!”
Wow, l just found out that A.G. Schneiderman met with President Obama in Syracuse on Thursday — and sued me on Saturday! Same as IRS etc.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 25, 2013
Schneiderman retorted this morning that “the president and I had much more important stuff to talk about than Donald Trump.”
“He was giving a speech about education in Syracuse. Trump didn’t come up. I never discussed Mr. Trump with the president of the United States and he didn’t know anything about this case,” he said.
“This is a pretty straightforward case. The documents we have submitted already I think pretty much entitle us to a judgment. Again, we have the sworn testimony of the former president of the Trump University acknowledging pretty much everything I told you, that they didn’t comply with the law. He called it an oversight. This is a case that will move quickly.”