CNN mock trial dooms Trump U: ‘Veg-O-Matic university’ had ‘one purpose — to fleece the students’
CNN legal analyst Paul Callan argued on Thursday that Donald Trump’s so-called university was guilty of fraud because it’s only purpose was to “fleece the students.”
During a mock trial on CNN’s New Day, Callan explained that Trump’s first mistake was to attack the ethnicity U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel.
“This Trump University is the Veg-O-Matic of public universities,” Callan observed. “At least when [the pitchman] sold you the Veg-O-Matic, it was capable of cutting tomatoes. In this case, Trump is trying to sell these students on the idea that he’s personally going to be involved, that he has the secrets of successful investing and he’s going to pass it on to them.”
“What the evidence will show is that Trump University existed for one purpose: to fleece the students,” he asserted.
According to Callan, Trump University could legitimately be called a scam because students were told that the course would cost $1,600, but it ended up costing much more.
“Donald Trump never shows up, he never picks the professors as he promised he would,” Callan noted. “They fill out a credit application. On day two, they’re told it’s time to sign up for the Trump Gold Elite program. That may boost the cost to you, the student, from anywhere up to $30,000. There’s one student who paid $60,000.”
“Many of these people were elderly, they drained their 401K programs to pay the money,” he continued. “To learn what?”
“What’s his legacy going to be? He founded Trump University or ‘Who’s your daddy University’? Because the only way you get rich on the Trump formula is using your daddy’s money.”
Arguing for Trump’s defense, CNN legal analyst Danny Cevallos insisted that students who thought they were going to meet Donald Trump did not have a “reasonable expectation” for what the course would provide.
“The difference between puffery and fraud is a fine one,” Cevallos admitted. “But generally courts look to the specific claims about a product rather than general product claims. And whether or not those specific claims induced the plaintiff to rely on those promises.”
“In other words,” Callan interrupted, “the defense is Trump University is guilty but not that guilty.”
Watch the video below from CNN, broadcast June 2, 2016.