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Lawyers in Trump University case petition to keep deposition videos secret

By Eric DuVall
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gives the thumbs up as he arrives for the rally outside Pittsburgh on Saturday. Trump's lawyers have filed a motion in federal court seeking to keep the video tapes of his depositions in the Trump University case from being made public. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gives the thumbs up as he arrives for the rally outside Pittsburgh on Saturday. Trump's lawyers have filed a motion in federal court seeking to keep the video tapes of his depositions in the Trump University case from being made public. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo

SAN DIEGO, June 16 (UPI) -- Lawyers for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump are pressing to keep the video of his depositions in Trump University civil suits from being made public.

In a filing before federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel in California, the same judge Trump criticized for unfair treatment he said was due to his Mexican heritage, Trump's lawyers said the "media frenzy" surrounding the case meant the tapes should remain secret so as to prevent "annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue expense or burden" on Trump's behalf.

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While much of the testimony offered in depositions during the discovery phase of the trial is already public via transcripts included in court filings, the video of those depositions, recorded in December and January that could be used at trial, have not been released.

Trump's legal team said it should remain that way.

"Videotapes are subject to a higher degree of potential abuse than transcripts. They can be cut and spliced and used as 'soundbites' on the evening news or sports shows," Trump's legal team wrote, quoting a decision in a 2001 case in Indiana.

"And unlike in other cases where it was unclear that 'out of context snippets' would be broadcast because the 'media frenzy' around the case had died down ... the 'media frenzy' surrounding this case is certain to continue through the election," Trump's legal team added, quoting case law from federal district court in New York.

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In addition to the media frenzy, Trump's lawyers said releasing the videos could taint a potential jury pool.

Trump has three lawyers working the case: Daniel Perrocelli and David Kirman from the Los Angeles firm O'Melveny & Myers, and Jill A. Martin, a member of Trump's in-house legal team. He is facing two class action suits stemming from the real estate seminars some students paid thousands to attend, but later said were worthless. Those suits are being heard in federal court in San Diego, Calif. There is also an unrelated action being brought by the New York attorney general's office.

Curiel could hear the motion argued as soon as June 30.

Trump University motions

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