Trump lawyers seek to have damaging campaign talk barred from Trump U trial

By Eric DuVall  |  Oct. 21, 2016 at 3:17 PM
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SAN DIEGO, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- Lawyers for Donald Trump have petitioned a judge to bar inclusion of several damaging episodes from the campaign in a civil trial over his now-defunct Trump University, arguing it could taint the jury's opinion of the defendant.

Trump's lawyers filed a motion with federal District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel seeking to bar the plaintiffs from using a video recording of Trump crudely describing grabbing women's genitals, as well as other instances where Trump's character was called into question by opponents in the election.

Specifically, the motion seeks to ban "audio and video recordings made or publicized during the campaign" and other "personal conduct allegations."

Trump's legal team has sought to bar allegations he has not paid personal income tax for many years and remarks he made about Curiel himself, that he was not qualified to preside over the case because his parents are Mexican.

"Before trial begins in this case, prospective members of the jury will have the opportunity to cast their vote for president. It is in the ballot box where they are free to judge Mr. Trump based on all this and more. But it is in the jury box where they must judge him and this case only on evidence and argument relevant to the issues at hand," the motion states.

It goes on to state that events in the election have "no relevance" to the Trump University case.

Former patrons of Trump University, a for-profit business seminar program Trump ran that has since ended, have joined together in two class-action suits against Trump, arguing they paid thousands of dollars for seminars that were useless.

Trump's legal team has also sought to prevent jurors from hearing about the financial status of plaintiffs since taking the Trump University courses. Some of them have said they are nearly broke and unable to support themselves. Plaintiffs' lawyers have cast Trump University as a scheme that specifically targeted the "poor."

Trump's lawyers said those arguments are "inflammatory."

Curiel has not set a date for verbal arguments on the motions prior to trial, which is set to begin Nov. 28 in San Diego. Trump is expected to testify on his own behalf in both cases.

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