SAN DIEGO (CN) — Donald Trump denounced a federal judge as “a hater,” and “we believe, Mexican” after the judge ordered Trump University to divulge its “playbooks” in a class action from students who claim he defrauded them of millions of dollars for classes that were little more than infomercials.
Trump devoted 12 minutes of an hour-long Friday-night campaign rally to denouncing the order issued that day by U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel.
“I have a judge who is a hater of Donald Trump, a hater. He’s a hater. His name is Gonzalo Curiel,” Trump told an enthusiastic crowd, after a warm-up speech by Sarah Palin.
“I think Judge Curiel should be ashamed of himself,” Trump said, adding that the judge should be investigated.
“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?”
Curiel has set trial in that case for Nov. 28, to avoid the political implications of starting it just before the presidential election. Trump’s attorneys have said he will testify.
Curiel ruled Friday after a motion hearing in which The Washington Post sought to unseal documents in one of the California class actions. The Post told Curiel it has received hundreds of documents from Trump’s attorneys, to which the public does not have access.
The Post intervened in April in lead plaintiff Art Cohen’s 2013 class action, saying Trump’s run for the presidency entitles the press to “access by default” to information about Trump University and its later incarnation, the Trump Entrepreneur Initiative. Trump changed its name in 2010, five years after the New York State Department of Education warned that he could not use the word “university” without a license.
Post attorney Dan Laidman with Davis Wright Tremaine told Curiel that Trump’s attorneys agreed to hand over many of the documents the Post sought, but about 150 pages of documents from four Trump University “playbooks” were still in dispute.
Laidman said those playbooks included the “roadmap” for Trump University’s marketing and sales strategy and live events. Trump’s attorneys claimed the documents contain trade secrets.
But Curiel noted in court that “Mr. Trump himself has placed this front and center” and that “it’s important for the public to have access.”