A former official with the consumer protection division of the state attorney’s general in Texas is speaking out in a new video about how that state’s Republican officials dropped the ball on Trump University’s violations of the law.
John Owens said his office investigated Trump University in 2009 and believed the organization was “violating the law in so many ways.” He said his office recommended the state file a lawsuit against Trump’s company for “false, misleading and deceptive practices and acts,” and says he believes Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump was personally liable for scamming Texas residents since he personally approved marketing materials for the get-rich-quick real estate seminar.
But that all went away after the office of then-Attorney General Greg Abbott – now the governor of Texas – passed, after his campaign received a $35,000 donation from Trump.
“The entire consumer protection division of the Texas Attorney General’s Office recommended to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott that this suit be filed,” Owens says in the new video. “And they punted, they took a pass. There’s no question that the top echelon, the top people, Greg Abbott on down, basically declined to take action against Trump University or Donald Trump.” Owens says that at the time, his office never had any problem getting the AG’s office to take action against similarly situated real estate scams. “When we sent up the Donald Trump case, we didn’t get approval,” he says in the video. “It was politics.”
Trump faces similar allegations in Florida, where Attorney General Pam Bondi received an illegal donation from Trump’s charitable foundation (they paid a fine to the IRS for breaking the law) and also punted on an investigation into Trump University.
Trump and his campaign have repeatedly denied that there was any wrongdoing at Trump University, and Trump himself has said he would like to re-open the shuttered business, despite the still active investigation by New York’s state attorney general.
Featured image via screen capture