Trump Cites Clinton Emails in Videotape Fight

     SAN DIEGO (CN) — Donald Trump on Monday called for the same treatment Hillary Clinton gets when it comes to privacy and litigation, comparing multiple class actions against Trump University to the litigation Clinton faces over her email scandal.
     In a brief filed late Monday in support of amending the protective order covering two Southern California class actions brought by former students of now-defunct Trump University, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee claimed there is no “legitimate reasons” his deposition videos should be made available outside the courtroom.
     Trump also pointed out that courts “regularly protect” dissemination of video depositions, including for “public figures in cases of public interest.”
     Case-in-point, Trump argues, is the current case against presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, where the videotaped deposition of her political aide was protected.
     “A district court recently considered a similar issue relating to the video deposition of a Hillary Clinton aide on a politically charged subject and refused to release the video of the deposition because a transcript was available,” Trump pointed out.
     “There is no reason for a different result in this case.”
     Clinton’s aide feared release of her deposition video would allow others to “manipulate her testimony, and invade her personal privacy, to advance a partisan agenda,” Trump argues in requesting “the same reasoning and result.”
     Trump has not only dug in his heels to prevent the public release of his deposition videos taken in late 2015 and earlier this year, but he has also requested that U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel make the protective order even more restrictive: The candidate wants to prohibit the filing of any videotaped deposition unless it remains under seal, and bar the dissemination of any videotaped deposition.
     Trump’s request comes amidst mounting pressure from a host of media outlets who have intervened in the case in order to get Trump’s deposition videos released. The videos were filed along with hundreds of other documents and exhibits by plaintiff Art Cohen in his opposition papers to Trump’s motion to dismiss that case.
     Former students of Trump University sued the presumptive nominee, claiming they were defrauded by marketing tactics used to position the school as a “get rich quick” scheme to make money off the foreclosure crisis. Two class actions out of San Diego, Low v. Trump University and Cohen v. Trump, fall under the same protective order currently in dispute.
     Among Trump’s arguments for keeping the tapes out of the public’s hands include whether the case meets the “good cause standard,” because the court has already rejected the plaintiffs’ improper filing of the videos. Trump argues the videos are irrelevant to the motions at hand, are already available in transcript form and that the plaintiffs merely want to “inject the videos into the public record” to “prejudice” Trump.
     “Their minimal relevance to issues before the court renders any presumption of access inapplicable unless and until the court reviews and relies on the videos in making a decision in this case,” Trump argued.
     Because the videos have not yet been admitted into evidence, Trump’s deposition is not a judicial record with right of public access, Trump said.
     But Trump acknowledges that his brief really comes down to his concerns over what the media will do with his deposition tapes if they are publicly released.
     Avoiding “unnecessary pretrial publicity” to ensure a fair trial is a “quintessential reason to preclude public access,” Trump said in the brief, adding that releasing his deposition would be “unprecedented” and would be “extensively” disseminated by the media in connection with the presidential campaign.
     Trump said that disclosing the videos “would not further promote public understanding of this case,” and claims there are no “secrets” hiding in the tapes, as the deposition transcripts are already available.
     But, the media outlets argue — with the plaintiffs’ support — that releasing the videos will show Trump’s nuances including facial expressions and gesticulating, which adds the context needed to fully understand his deposition answers.
     Striking back at the media interveners’ argument that Trump has made the lawsuits a campaign issue — giving the public a right to view his deposition videos — Trump placed blame on his opponents vying for the White House.
     “This litigation was raised initially and repeatedly by Mr. Trump’s political opponents,” Trump said in the brief. “Video depositions were not intended for broadcast media or to be used to further a political agenda. The court cannot allow judicial tools to be hijacked for these purposes.”
     A hearing on the motion to amend the protective order is scheduled for July 13.

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