Back in September, law professor Christopher Peterson, of the University of Utah, told KUTV that he has found ample evidence to charge Donald Trump with fraud and racketeering, both of which are considered felonies within state and federal law.
In an analysis titled “Trump University and Presidential Impeachment,” Peterson states that should Trump take office, the chances of Trump being impeached successfully are pretty high. Specifically because of the Trump University trial, which will begin on November 28.
If you're unfamiliar, students spent in the area of $30,000 each to learn about practicing real estate from the man himself. The for-profit college advertised curriculum and instructors handpicked by Trump, but it quickly became apparent that wasn't the case.
Peterson agrees that the university was "unaccredited and taught students get-rich-quick schemes." And despite closing down in 2010, the university still faces numerous lawsuits from dissatisfied students.
The plaintiffs state that Trump University gave seminars and classes that were more "like infomercials, constantly pressuring customers to buy more and, in the end, failing to deliver."New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has also filed a $40 million civil suit against the University saying that the company "misrepresented itself and bilked students individually of thousands of dollars and collectively of $40 million."
During the presidential race, a judge ordered that Trump release documents relating to Trump University. One "sales playbook" outlined how staff should guide customers through "the roller coaster of emotions" once they have expressed interest in the courses. "You don't sell products, benefits or solutions you sell feelings," the same document states.
It goes on to advise staff to encourage customers who have hit their credit limits to dip into their savings. Clinton was quick to call Trump University "a fraudulent scheme used to prey upon those who could least afford it."
Peterson concludes his findings by stating...
“In the United States, it is illegal for businesses to use false statements to convince consumers to purchase their services. The evidence indicates that Trump University used a systemic pattern of fraudulent representations to trick thousands of families into investing in a program that can be argued was a sham. Fraud and racketeering are serious crimes that legally rise to the level of impeachable acts.”"Unlike his promised crimes yet to come, the illegal acts in Trump’s high pressure wealth seminars have already occurred. Indeed, a federal judge appointed under Article III of the U.S. Constitution has already determined that Trump’s alleged actions, if true, constitute fraud and racketeering...""Congress would be well within its legal rights under the Constitution to insist upon a President who is not a fraudster or a racketeer as defined in its own law."
Peterson explains that Congress can push for an impeachment in civil cases. The president doesn't need to be criminally convicted, nor does he need to commit the crime while in office. That leaves the very real possibility that attempts could be made to impeach Trump as soon as he takes office in January. You can read the full report here.