A group of major news organizations are petitioning a federal judge to release videos of Donald Trump being questioned under oath in lawsuits over his Trump University real estate seminar program.
They are petitioning the Indiana-born California judge who has been the target of Trump's 'Mexican' comments.
In a motion filed Friday afternoon in U.S. District Court in San Diego, The Washington Post, ABC News, NBC News, CBS News, The New York Times and other major news organizations asked Judge Gonzalo Curiel to remove "confidential" designations that prevent public disclosure of portions of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee's deposition testimony.
"Defendant is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, and has made his business acumen an important element of his campaign" says a brief supporting their motion. "This lawsuit not only raises important questions about Defendant and his organization, it has become a prominent electoral issue ... Opposing candidates have pointed to the allegations in this case in criticizing Defendant’s qualifications for the presidency; Defendant has cited TU as an example of his business success, and made this litigation itself a campaign issue."
"Given the undeniable and substantial public interest in these proceedings, the need for transparency could not be greater," the media brief adds.
As Politico, among the first to report the story, points out:
"While the new motion was brought by news outlets, it seems certain that if the Trump deposition videos are released they will feature prominently in attack ads aimed at the GOP White House hopeful."
Transcripts of some of these videos are already public, but the media motion argues the videos "would provide the electorate with valuable insight into [Trump's] demeanor."
On Thursday, the plaintiffs' lawyers again attempted to file the 48 video clips, but Trump's lawyers told Curiel Friday that they plan to oppose the videos being put on the public record. Every major TV news network is included in the petition except for Fox News.
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