Video of sworn testimony given by Donald Trump on June 16 related a lawsuit filed by the New York businessman was released Friday to several news organizations after a Superior Court judge ordered the footage be made public late Thursday.
The Republican presidential nominee was questioned by an attorney for renowned American chef and restaurateur, Geoffrey Zakarian, who Mr. Trump sued in 2015 for prematurely terminating a signed contract to lease space in the new Trump International Hotel in Washington.
Mr. Zakarian ended plans to open a restaurant in the hotel at the site of the Old Post Office after Trump announced his presidential run in June 2015, citing offense taken at the real estate mogul’s reference to Mexicans as “rapists”.
In the June testimony, conducted at a Washington law office, Trump referenced his controversial comments and insisted “all I’m doing is bringing up a situation which is very real, about illegal immigration.”
Lawyers for media outlets, including the Washington Post, CNN and NBC, filed a request with Judge Brian Holeman in August to release the video. Trump’s attorneys argued that testimony footage should remained sealed on the grounds that its release could hurt Trump’s election chances, a contention Holeman rejected.
U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel, however, who is presiding over two federal fraud lawsuits against Trump University in California, turned down a nearly identical request by news outlets in August to have Trump’s video testimony in one of the cases be publicized.
Trump is in the midst of another lawsuit against Washington-based chef Jose Andres. Mr. Andres backed out of a deal to lease space for an eatery at the new Trump International, which opened in September.
[Politico] [CBS News] [Photo courtesy John Moore/Noel Vasquez/Getty Images/Yahoo News]