Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee, released the following statement upon the announcement of New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s settlement with Trump University:
“I commend New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman for his vigilance and commitment to the victims who were defrauded many thousands of dollars by President-elect Trump’s phony for-profit university. Despite the President-elect’s blustering denials, initial refusals to settle, and countless attempts to undermine and deny his victims even the most modest compensation, AG Schneiderman successfully secured a $25 million settlement with the President-elect that will provide restitution to each of the victims– victims who have endured a very lengthy and emotionally taxing process.
Since my time in the California State Assembly, I have fought against fraudulent for-profit universities. My earliest legislation–the Maxine Waters School Reform and Student Protection Act–set a threshold for minimum job placement and graduation rates. Since that time, I have introduced several pieces of legislation that hold for-profit colleges accountable for predatory and fraudulent behavior. The CLASS Act, the Students Before Profits Act and the Quality Education for Veterans Act all put the interests of students and taxpayers first by eliminating mandatory arbitration agreements, holding for-profit executives financially liable for their actions and by closing the loophole that gives for-profit colleges the incentive to take advantage of student veterans.
Of course, we all know that this is not the first lawsuit brought against the President-elect and his businesses. For his part, the President-elect has shown no signs of remorse, even boasting on Twitter that he settled the fraud case for only “a fraction of the potential award.” While it is most disturbing to me that our nation’s next president is celebrating what he perceives as another victory against his victims, writing off $25 million as a meager sum, it seems to be further evidence of things to come from the next leader of the free world. While he maintained for many months that he would never settle or back down, clearly AG Schneiderman’s case was strong enough that the President-elect concluded he would fare better to resolve the claims now rather than have the extent of his fraudulent conduct exposed in court and in public.
I remain committed to holding bad actors accountable and I invite the next president to do the same and lead by example.”