Trump University collapsed in 2010, but the failed experiment lives on in three lawsuits that threaten to damage the billionaire’s credibility. These cases are presided over by District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel, a man Donald Trump has criticized based on his Mexican ancestry.
Judge Curiel’s Latino heritage presents an “inherent conflict of interest,” argued Donald Trump.
His comment made matters worse, serrving only to fan the fire for those who would call Trump racist. But now, ex-attorney general Alberto Gonzales (also Latino) has stepped in to argue in the billionaire’s favor.
Curiel’s heritage is a non-issue, explains Gonzalez in the op-ed he wrote in the Washington Post. But there are legitimate reasons Trump should question the judge’s impartiality – including his membership to the National Council of La Raza, a radical Hispanic group associated with La Raza Lawyers of San Diego.
“Trump may be concerned that the lawyers’ association or its members represent or support the other advocacy organization,” writes Gonzales.
La Raza Lawyers of San Diego has donated more than half a million dollars to Hillary Clinton.
“Curiel appointed the firm in the case before Trump entered the presidential race, but again, it might not be unreasonable for a defendant in Trump’s position to wonder who Curiel favors in the presidential election,” continues Gonzales. “Regardless of the way Trump has gone about raising his concerns over whether he’s getting a fair trial, none of us should dismiss those concerns out of hand without carefully examining how a defendant in his position might perceive them – and we certainly should not dismiss them for partisan political reasons.”
Gonzales admits that some of Trump’s comments against Mexicans have made him angry, but he stresses that the case is about justice, not politics. “This is about our judicial system, and the right of every American citizen to get a fair trial before an impartial judge.”
Hearings and court dates are scheduled to continue throughout the summer before a November trial.