Donald Trump fights racketeering lawsuit by pointing to Bill Clinton's 'university'

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Donald Trump has now drawn a spotlight on the Clintons in his ongoing defense of Trump University, the ill-fated institution that allegedly had students maxing out credit cards and emptying out 401(k)s to hear Trump's supposedly hand-picked professors teaching the secrets to getting rich in the real estate industry.

In new court documents filed Friday, Trump says that any references in Trump University marketing materials to "secrets," "hand-picked" and "university" "are classic examples of sales puffery common to advertising everywhere."

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The Republican presidential candidate is facing several legal actions over Trump University including a class action led by Art Cohen in California that claims a violation of federal racketeering law. In this case, Trump is now pushing for summary judgment in his favor. His attorney Daniel Petrocelli tells the judge that "If this case is allowed to proceed, it would represent an unprecedented and unprincipled expansion of civil RICO and transform virtually every alleged violation of consumer protection laws into a civil RICO claim and subject owners, officers, directors and others to personal liability for treble damages."

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Donald Trump fights racketeering lawsuit by pointing to Bill Clinton's 'university'
MANHATTAN, NY - Winning the New York primary, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to a packed room of supporters during the victory party at the Sheraton Hotel in midtown Manhattan, New York on Tuesday April 19 2016. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
MANHATTAN, NY - On New York state primary night, supporters of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cheer watching the primary results during the Hillary Victory Party at the Sheraton Hotel in midtown Manhattan, New York on Tuesday April 19 2016. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
MANHATTAN, NY - Winning the New York primary, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to a packed room of supporters during the victory party at the Sheraton Hotel in midtown Manhattan, New York on Tuesday April 19 2016. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
MANHATTAN, NY - Winning the New York primary, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to a packed room of supporters during the victory party at the Sheraton Hotel in midtown Manhattan, New York on Tuesday April 19 2016. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
MANHATTAN, NY - Winning the New York primary, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to a packed room of supporters during the victory party at the Sheraton Hotel in midtown Manhattan, New York on Tuesday April 19 2016. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
MANHATTAN, NY - On New York state primary night, supporters of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton watch the primary results and enjoy the party during the Hillary Victory Party at the Sheraton Hotel in midtown Manhattan, New York on Tuesday April 19 2016. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Dupporters of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton snap cell phone pictures of her as she enters a victory party after winning the New York state primary election, Tuesday, April 19, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton celebrate at her New York primary campaign headquarters, Tuesday, April 19, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton reacts as she arrives onstage at her New York presidential primary night rally in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., April 19, 2016. (REUTERS/Mike Segar)
Members of the media await the arrival of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to a New York primary night event Tuesday, April 19, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks following victory in the New York state primary on April 19, 2016 in New York City. Donald Trump scored a crucial victory in the Republican primary in his home state of New York on April 19, advancing his bid to clinch the party's presidential nomination, US networks projected. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures after speaking in New York on April 19, 2016. Donald Trump scored a crucial victory in the Republican primary in his home state of New York on April 19, advancing his bid to clinch the party's presidential nomination, US networks projected. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 19: Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump speakS at a campaign press conference moments after winning the republican presidential primary at Trump Tower in New York, NY on Tuesday April 19, 2016. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gives a thumbs up following victory in the New York state primary on April 19, 2016 in New York City. Donald Trump scored a crucial victory in the Republican primary in his home state of New York on April 19, advancing his bid to clinch the party's presidential nomination, US networks projected. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump's granddaughter Arabella (L), daughter Ivanka (C) and wife Melania (R) listen to him speak at his New York presidential primary night rally in Manhattan, New York, U.S., April 19, 2016. (REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)
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Petrocelli is a star litigator in Hollywood who once beat O.J. Simpson in a civil case and has represented pretty much every major studio. The O'Melveny & Myers partner is also a Democrat who is looking to save Trump from a trial right around the Republican National Convention. He recently previewed the defense to The Hollywood Reporter, saying that no one who signed up for Trump University thought "they were going to USC or UCLA. They were taking real estate courses over a weekend at a hotel. Those who pushed themselves found success, and those who lacked effort didn't ..."

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Now, in summary judgment papers (read here in full), Trump's attorney is making the case there's no racketeering activity and certainly no predicate act of "fraud" in how Trump University was marketed. As part of the presentation, he basically tears apart the meaning of the word "university," pointing to another university's press release that says there is no standardized definition of the term. "As a result, educational companies and business organizations of all types frequently use the word 'university' to market their products or services despite having no affiliation with a degree-granting university," states the brief.

Among the examples given is how the Clinton Foundation (founded in 2001 by Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton) launched "CGI University." According to the Clinton Foundation's website, "Each year, CGI U hosts a meeting where students, university representatives, topic experts, and celebrities come together to discuss and develop innovative solutions to pressing global challenges."

Trump's court papers showcase the logo.

Alongside talk of this Clinton University is Disney University, Hamburger University (run by McDonalds) and Motorola University. "Even Farmers Insurance runs a well-known series of commercials starring actor J.K. Simmons as 'Professor Nathaniel Burke' at University of Farmers, where they aim to 'make you smarter' about insurance coverage," adds the summary judgment motion.

The court papers say that Trump was indeed "personally involved" in hiring decisions, but that changed once Trump University business operations expanded. But the defendant in this racketeering case says there was never any representation that Trump University was a "university" equivalent to a four-year, degree-granting institution.

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