Trump Fails Pinocchio Test on Claims About Judge
Washington Post gives him worst possible rating
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2016 9:53 AM CDT
Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at the Rimrock Auto Arena, in Billings, Mont.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

(Newser) – Donald Trump continues to publicly attack the judge handling the lawsuits against him over Trump University, arguing that the case against him is so weak that the judge should have tossed it out of court a long time ago. But the fact-checking blog at the Washington Post has just dismissed Trump's claims on the matter with a "Four-Pinocchio" rating, the worst possible. Trump accuses Judge Gonzalo Curiel of being biased against him because of the judge's Mexican heritage, and the Post doesn't touch that claim because it's Trump's opinion. Instead, it looks at Trump statements such as this one: "This case should have ended years ago on summary judgment. The best lawyers—I have spoken to so many lawyers—they said, this is not a case. This is a case that should have ended.” The newspaper concludes just the opposite.

Summary judgments allow a judge to dismiss a case before trial, but they're relatively rare, having been granted in fewer than 10% of federal cases in six key districts between 1975 and 2000. "Unless the case is a slam dunk for one side or the other, summary judgment is not appropriate," says a Stanford law professor. This one is nowhere near a slam dunk, says the Post. Among other things, former Trump U. students say they were duped into thinking they'd be learning business tips from Trump himself, and they presented advertisements featuring Trump saying, "You'll learn inside secrets from me" or from his hand-picked instructors. Rejecting a summary judgment was a no-brainer, writes the Post. The judge "made a straight-forward legal judgment as to whether two sides agreed or disagreed on facts, and whether or not they should be presented to a jury." Click for the full column.