Donald Trump doesn’t settle, with notably rare exceptions:
Donald J. Trump has reversed course and agreed to pay $25 million to settle a series of lawsuits stemming from his defunct for-profit education venture,
Can we stop here? Trump University was not an “education venture” in any sense. It was not designed to provide information to its customers. Trump University seminars were offered with one purpose: to sell more worthless seminars and products until the marks ran out of money or got wise.
The settlement was announced by the New York attorney general on Friday, just 10 days before one of the cases, a federal class-action lawsuit in San Diego, was set to be heard by a jury. The deal, if approved, averts a potentially embarrassing and highly unusual predicament: a president-elect on trial, and possibly even taking the stand in his own defense, while scrambling to build his incoming administration.
It was a remarkable concession from a real estate mogul who derides legal settlements and has mocked fellow businessmen who agree to them.
It certainly is unusual that Donald Trump would make a statement that is not consistent with his future actions! Anyway, let’s examine the human cost to the people Trump conned:
Seven years ago, Kathleen Meese received a mail invitation to a free real-estate course, taught by the faculty of Trump University. It was at the historic theater in downtown Schenectady, a 40-minute drive from her house in upstate New York. The advertising materials claimed Donald Trump could “turn anyone into a successful real estate investor.” Meese, a teacher, was intrigued by the prospect of extra income from flipping houses; her son had Down syndrome and needed ongoing medical care. She decided to go.
A few months later, her savings had been wiped out, and she was in debt that would take years to pay off — with nothing to show for it. “There is no Trump University,” she ultimately concluded.
Trump used his name to take large amounts of money from desperate people in exchange for services he knew had no value. But at least he didn’t use a private email server!
What's got more critical coverage, a fraud scheme that resulted in $25 million in fines or raising money for a charity that saves lives?
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) November 18, 2016