Liberal Law Prof: Bill Clinton’s Relationship With Shady For-Profit College Should Receive More Attention
While the mainstream media focuses heavily on fraud accusations against Trump University, a controversial for-profit college that has paid Bill Clinton millions has largely gone ignored, a liberal law professor writes.
In a post at his blog, George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley drew parallels between Trump’s eponymously-named real estate university and Laureate Education, a for-profit online college that paid Bill Clinton $16.5 million as an honorary chancellor between 2010 and 2014.
Trump’s college, which operated from 2005 to 2010, is the subject of a class-action lawsuit and enormous media attention. The real estate training school, which was not accredited and did not confer college credit, has been accused of defrauding students. But Laureate has had similar claims filed against it but without anywhere near the same level of attention given to Trump’s school.
“As an academic, I find both Trump University and Laureate to be deeply troubling stories. Yet, only one has been pursued by the media to any significant degree,” he wrote.
Turley, an outspoken civil libertarian who has called for the prosecution of George W. Bush administration officials for war crimes, stops short of saying that Laureate “as a whole is fraudulent.”
“Moreover, there are distinctions that can be drawn with a university like Trump that is based entirely on the presumptive nominee and his promises in advertising,” he adds.
“However, the money given to the Clintons, the involvement of the State Department, and the claims of fraud make this an obviously significant story in my view.”
Turley points out, as others have, that while Clinton served as Laureate’s “pitchman,” his wife’s State Department “funneled $55 million to Laureate.”(RELATED: Why Are The Clintons Hawking A Seedy, Soros-Backed For-Profit College Corporation?)
Emails pulled from Clinton’s private server also show that she intervened to provide Laureate access to an education policy dinner involving high-level government officials.
“And [redacted] works for the fastest-growing college network in the world, Laureate Universities, started by Doug Becker who Bill likes a lot,” Clinton wrote in an Aug. 2, 2009 message. “It’s a for-profit model that should be represented.” (RELATED: New Emails Show Hillary Assisting For-Profit College That Paid Bill $16 Million)
“That would seem a pretty major story but virtually no mainstream media outlet has reported it,” Turley writes.
At the same time, the mainstream media has run “hundreds of stories on the Trump University scandal.”
Part of the focus of the Trump University story has been the GOP candidate’s comments about Gonzalo Curiel, the Mexican-American federal judge handling the class-action lawsuit.
Trump has asserted that Curiel, who was born in Indiana, should recuse himself from the case because his Mexican heritage biases him against the candidate because of his strong views against immigration.
Turley notes that like Trump’s school, Laureate has been sued over its Walden University Online course offering which, he writes, has been alleged by many to be “a scam designed to bilk students of tens of thousands of dollars for degrees.”
“Students says that they were repeatedly delayed and given added costs as they tried to secure degrees, leaving them deeply in debt,” he writes.
He also points out that a class-action lawsuit has been filed against Laureate.
“Travis et al v. Walden University LLC, was filed in U.S. District Court in the District of Maryland but dismissed in 2015,” he notes, adding that “it is not clear why it was dismissed.”
“However, the size of the contract to Clinton, the payment from State and the widespread complaints over alleged fraud should warrant a modicum of attention to the controversy. The controversy has many of the familiar complaints over fraudulent online programs that take advantage of hard working people.”