Politics

Trump Lawyers Ask Judge To Delay Trump University Trial

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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Kevin Daley Supreme Court correspondent
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Lawyers representing President-elect Donald Trump have asked a federal court to delay the start of a Trump University civil trial, arguing the demands of the transition warrant a postponement.

The trial, currently scheduled to begin Nov. 28, will require a jury to determine if Trump and his eponymous real estate seminars defrauded participants of thousands of dollars through sensational promises. Judge Gonzalo Curiel, the federal district judge Trump lambasted for alleged bias during the general election, will preside. (RELATED: Trump Is Supposed To Appear In Court Before He Becomes President)

Trump lawyers filed a motion Saturday, asking Curiel to push the start of the trial until after the inauguration on Jan. 20. The motion reads:

On November 8, 2016 the people elected Donald J. Trump to be the 45th President of the United States of America. President-Elect Trump must now prepare to lead the nation when he assumes the Presidency on January 20th, 2017. The 69 days until his inauguration are critical and all-consuming. President-Elect Trump must receive daily security briefings, make executive appointments (ultimately, thousands) and establish relationships with appointees, members of Congress, governors, and foreign leaders. He must also develop important policy priorities.

Now that the election is over, we submit that the President-Elect should not be required to stand trial during the next two months while he prepares to assume the Presidency.

They further argue that separation of powers requires the courts to avoid interfering with unrelated matters of great political consequence in another branch of government, and that the plaintiffs will not be injured by a continuance.

Despite his election to the presidency, Trump still must resolve the case. Though the doctrine of sovereign immunity shields the president from civil claims, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled in 1997 that the president does not enjoy immunity in civil cases arising from events which transpired prior to his taking office.

Trump is scheduled to take the witness stand in the case, though he does not need to appear daily in the courtroom. The Saturday motion also asks that Trump be allowed to record his testimony in advance, instead of being made to appear.

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