Trump lawyers aim to delay fraud trial at hearing

November 18, 2016 7:08 AM EST

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump (L) walks with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., November 10, 2016. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts - RTX2T3FH


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By Dan Levine

(Reuters) - Attorneys for U.S. President-elect Donald Trump will try at a court hearing on Friday to delay a civil trial involving allegations from students that they were defrauded by the now-defunct Trump University.

The former students say they were lured by false promises to pay up to $35,000 to learn the New York businessman's real estate investing "secrets" from his "hand-picked" instructors. Trump owned 92 percent of Trump University and had control over all major decisions, the students' court papers said.

Trump denies the allegations and has argued he relied on others to manage the business.

U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel in San Diego has urged both sides to settle in advance of a trial scheduled to begin on Nov. 28. Trump's lawyers filed a motion last week asking to delay the case until after Trump's Jan. 20 inauguration, saying the presidential transition was "all-consuming."

They also proposed that Trump's trial testimony be recorded before trial.

The students opposed the request, saying Trump had already provided several hours of deposition testimony that could be presented to a jury.

"Any delay would be a slippery slope because President-Elect Trump's life is only going to get more complicated and unpredictable as time goes by," they wrote.

Curiel is presiding over two cases against Trump and the university. A separate lawsuit is pending, filed by New York's attorney general who has said over 5,000 students across the country were defrauded out of about $40 million.

Trump aroused controversy earlier this year when he said during his campaign that Curiel, who was born in Indiana to Mexican immigrant parents, could not be impartial because of Trump's pledge to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

(Reporting by Dan Levine in San Francisco; Editing by Peter Cooney)



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