The Donald's ethics complaints trumped up: NY AG

by Ryan Smith04 Dec 2013
Billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump has filed an ethics complaint against the New York attorney general, accusing him of misconduct during a fraud investigation aimed at Trump’s real estate school.

Trump’s complaint was filed Monday with the New York Joint Commission on Public Ethics, according to a CNN report. In the complaint, Trump accuses New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman of soliciting campaign donations from the Trump organization while investigating the school.

In August, Schneiderman filed a $40 million lawsuit against Trump and his school – the Trump Entrepreneur Institute (formerly Trump University) – alleging that the school promised to teach students Trump’s real estate investing secrets and instead charged them thousands of dollars for lessons they never got. One student who paid nearly $35,000 to attend the “Trump Gold Elite” program said the information conveyed in the classes seemed to have been lifted from real estate website and the IRS website, according to a Vanity Fair report.

“More than 5,000 people across the country who paid Donald Trump $40 million to teach them his hard sell tactics got a hard lesson in bait-and-switch,” Schneiderman said in August. “Mr. Trump used his celebrity status and personally appeared in commercials making false promises to convince people to spend tens of thousands of dollars they couldn't afford for lessons they never got. No one, no matter how rich or popular they are, has a right to scam hard working New Yorkers. Anyone who does should expect to be held accountable.”

But Trump’s complaint alleges that Schneiderman personally requested that Trump contribute to his election campaign in 2010. The investigation into Trump’s school began shortly after Schneiderman took office in 2011, according to CNN.

“The lawsuit is nothing but a shakedown of a politically attractive target,” the complaint stated. “Mr. Schneiderman commenced a defamatory, unstatesmanlike and, ultimately, jury-pool-poisoning media campaign to publicize the lawsuit.”

But a spokesman for the AG’s office said Trump’s complaint was just a diversionary tactic.

“Donald Trump and his associates will say and do anything to avoid talking about the facts in this case,” the spokesman said. “Mr. Trump's outlandish conspiracy theories and outright distortions will not distract Attorney General Schneiderman from pursuing justice for the students victimized by Mr. Trump and his scam university.”


Should CFPB have more supervision over credit agencies?