In a seemingly stunning request, Donald Trump’s lawyers apparently find his own conduct so toxic that they actually are asking the judge in the Trump University fraud case to exclude it from the trial.
The case drew national attention earlier this year when Donald Trump decided to claim the judge on the case, U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, is biased against him because of his Mexican heritage. That started a firestorm against Trump where Republicans and Democrats alike were highly critical of him, with people like House Speaker Paul Ryan calling Trump’s comments the very “definition of racism.”
Most recently, Trump has been under fire because of a leaked ‘Access Hollywood’ recording where Trump can be heard making extremely lewd comments and admitting to acts that can be interpreted as criminal sexual assault. He has also seen an avalanche of allegations by women from various times in his life who have made allegations that mirror Trump’s own comments.
The Trump University case involves fraud and racketeering charges brought by former students of the now defunct ‘university’ who claim that they were defrauded.
In the court filing on Thursday, Trump’s attorneys said that evidence and statements from the election campaign should be barred from the trial because they could unfairly prejudice the jury. Currently, the trial is set to begin on November 28.
The Republican nominee’s lawyers are asking that Trump’s campaign speeches, tweets, his tax issues and controversy over his charitable foundation should not be allowed into evidence. They are also seeking that all audio and video recordings publicized during the campaign be barred from the trial. This is certainly aimed at suppressing the ‘Access Hollywood’ recording along with other recordings which have surfaced of the candidate’s appearances on the Howard Stern radio show, among other damaging material.
Also of note is Trump’s lawyers’ request for Judge Curiel to exclude evidence of the students’ finances claiming that the affordability of Trump University is not relevant. Many of the former students in the case have claimed that they incurred enormous debt, particularly in relation to their income, in the hopes that Trump University would provide them knowledge not otherwise available to them.