Trump Attacks Federal Judge in Trump U Case
The presumptive GOP nominee devotes 12 minutes of a 58-minute address to the suit
SAN DIEGO–In one of his most personal attacks against an apolitical figure since becoming the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump delivered an extended tirade about the federal judge overseeing the civil litigation against his defunct education program.
Mr. Trump’s attack on U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel was extraordinary not just in its scope and intensity but for its location: Before a crowd packed into a convention center here that had been primed for the New York billionaire with a warm-up speech from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
“I have a judge who is a hater of Donald Trump, a hater. He’s a hater. His name is Gonzalo Curiel,” Mr. Trump said, as the crowd of several thousand booed. “He is not doing the right thing. And I figure, what the hell? Why not talk about it for two minutes?”
Mr. Trump spoke for far more than two minutes about Judge Curiel and the Trump University case–he devoted 12 minutes of a 58-minute address to the litigation, which is scheduled to go to trial in San Diego federal court Nov. 28. Mr. Trump’s attorney said earlier this month that Mr. Trump would testify in the six-year-old case.
The plaintiffs in the Trump University case, whom Mr. Trump also condemned by name Friday, accuse him and the now-defunct school of defrauding people who paid up to $35,000 for real estate advice. Mr. Trump said Friday that Trump University received “mostly unbelievable reviews” from its 10,000 students.
To the San Diego crowd, Mr. Trump argued that Judge Curiel should be removed from the case because he is biased against him. The evidence Mr. Trump presented: Rulings against him and the fact that Judge Curial was appointed to the bench by President Barack Obama. The Senate confirmed Judge Curiel by a voice vote in September 2012.
An aide in Judge Curiel’s chambers on Friday said the judicial code of conduct prevents him from responding to Mr. Trump.
“We’re in front of a very hostile judge,” Mr. Trump said. “The judge was appointed by Barack Obama, federal judge. Frankly, he should recuse himself because he’s given us ruling after ruling after ruling, negative, negative, negative.”
Mr. Trump also told the audience, which had previously chanted the Republican standard-bearer’s signature “build that wall” mantra in reference to Mr. Trump’s proposed wall along the Mexican border, that Judge Curiel is “Mexican.”
“What happens is the judge, who happens to be, we believe, Mexican, which is great. I think that’s fine,” Mr. Trump said.
Judge Curiel was born in Indiana.
Mr. Trump told the crowd he looks forward to returning to San Diego for the trial in November and asked for an investigation into Judge Curiel for reasons he did not specify.
“I think Judge Curiel should be ashamed of himself,” Mr. Trump said. “I’m telling you, this court system, judges in this court system, federal court, they ought to look into Judge Curiel. Because what Judge Curiel is doing is a total disgrace, OK? But we’ll come back in November. Wouldn’t that be wild if I’m president and I come back to do a civil case? Where everybody likes it. OK. This is called life, folks.”
So presidential. No wonder I can't get more than a $10.00 bet against Hillary even after I sweetened the pot.