Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Trump Digs In His Heels In Fight To Keep His Deposition Videos In Trump University Litigation From Being Released To The Public

In San Diego, California, Courthouse News Service reports:
  • Donald Trump [last week] called for the same treatment Hillary Clinton gets when it comes to privacy and litigation, comparing multiple class actions against Trump University to the litigation Clinton faces over her email scandal.

    In a brief filed late Monday [June 27] in support of amending the protective order covering two Southern California class actions brought by former students of now-defunct Trump University, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee claimed there is no "legitimate reasons" his deposition videos should be made available outside the courtroom.

    Trump also pointed out that courts "regularly protect" dissemination of video depositions, including for "public figures in cases of public interest."

    Case-in-point, Trump argues, is the current case against presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, where the videotaped deposition of her political aide was protected.

    "A district court recently considered a similar issue relating to the video deposition of a Hillary Clinton aide on a politically charged subject and refused to release the video of the deposition because a transcript was available," Trump pointed out.

    "There is no reason for a different result in this case."

    Clinton's aide feared release of her deposition video would allow others to "manipulate her testimony, and invade her personal privacy, to advance a partisan agenda," Trump argues in requesting "the same reasoning and result."

    Trump has not only dug in his heels to prevent the public release of his deposition videos taken in late 2015 and earlier this year, but he has also requested that U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel make the protective order even more restrictive: The candidate wants to prohibit the filing of any videotaped deposition unless it remains under seal, and bar the dissemination of any videotaped deposition.

    Trump's request comes amidst mounting pressure from a host of media outlets who have intervened in the case in order to get Trump's deposition videos released. The videos were filed along with hundreds of other documents and exhibits by plaintiff Art Cohen in his opposition papers to Trump's motion to dismiss that case.
    Trump said that disclosing the videos "would not further promote public understanding of this case," and claims there are no "secrets" hiding in the tapes, as the deposition transcripts are already available.

    But, the media outlets argue — with the plaintiffs' support — that releasing the videos will show Trump's nuances including facial expressions and gesticulating, which adds the context needed to fully understand his deposition answers.

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