WASHINGTON (CN) – Six news organizations have asked a judge to release videos of Donald Trump’s deposition in his dispute with a celebrity chef.
In a motion to intervene filed Wednesday in D.C. Superior Court, the Washington Post, CNN and other news organizations claimed there is a “substantial public interest” in making the depositions of the GOP presidential candidate and his family members public, considering Trump’s ongoing campaign for the White House.
“The statements and demeanor in this litigation of candidate Trump and his adult children – who have active roles in Mr. Trump’s campaign and may continue as advisors if he is elected – as well as the testimony and demeanor of Mr. Trump’s other business and political advisors, are directly relevant to Mr. Trump’s presidential candidacy,” the companies claim in the motion. “The information in those depositions may inform voters’ views of Mr. Trump’s fitness for the high office he seeks.”
First reported by Politico, the motion to intervene does not yet appear in court records.
The video depositions were filed with Judge Brian Holeman on August 12, according to court records.
Trump has been embroiled in legal battles with chefs Geoffrey Zakarian and Jose Andres ever since they pulled out of restaurants they were supposed to open in the Trump Old Post Office in downtown Washington, which billionaire real estate developer is converting into a luxury hotel.
Andres and Zakarian backed out of the deals after Trump referred to Mexican immigrants as “bringing drugs,” “bringing crime” and being “rapists” in a speech announcing his run for president in June 2015.
Trump Old Post Office filed suit against Zakarian for breaching his subcontract with the hotel last August. Last week Holeman denied Trump’s request to seal the tapes of his deposition in the case, as well as those of his son Donald Trump Jr. and his daughter Ivanka.
Holeman said Trump’s candidacy makes the tapes of “heightened” interest to the public.
Clerks at the court are directing news organizations to file motions with Holeman in order to gain access to the videotapes.
In the meantime, transcripts of Trump’s deposition were made public Friday. In the transcript Trump says he does not have much knowledge of the case beyond Zakarian leaving the lease, apparently over comments Trump made at the start of his campaign.
Donald Jr. and Ivanka took the lead in negotiating the deal, Trump said. He said he wasn’t sure why Zakarian pulled out of the restaurant, saying it would have been a great business deal for the chef.
“I don’t understand why, why they did this,” Trump said in a deposition on June 16. “I’m running for office. I obviously have credibility because I now, as it turns out, became the Republican nominee running against, we have a total of 17 people that were mostly Senators and Governors, highly respected people. So it’s not like, you know, like I’ve said anything that could be so bad. Because if I said something that was so bad, they wouldn’t have had me go through all these people and win all of these primary races.”
Trump also answered questions about the value of his personal brand and how directly involved he is in his businesses. Trump has claimed in his campaign that he has a connection to working class voters because of his hands-on approach to his business.
“I was involved in the design of the building and the room sizes and the entrances and the lobby and the marble and the bathrooms and the fixtures and the bars,” Trump said. “A lot of things, I mean, you know, I’m involved very much with the hotel.”
Trump also admitted his campaign has had a “very positive impact” on his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, but denied that it has benefited his company as a whole.
- Diabetes Treatment
- California Conviction