The Donald Trump Deposition Video Is Out, Even Though He Tried To Prevent It From Being Released
In a campaign season that's already been full of harrowing twists and unforeseeable turns, yet another surprise is about to drop. Thanks to an order by D.C. Superior Court Judge Brian Holeman, video of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's deposition about his anti-Latino and immigrant campaign rhetoric is going to be released to the public, dropped right into the thick of the 2016 race with just over a month to go. The Trump deposition video is finally here and you can watch the videos that BuzzFeed obtained.
The video was released on Friday, Sept. 30. The deposition was taken back in June, as part of a lawsuit the GOP nominee filed (already in the midst of his campaign, notably enough) against high-profile chef Geoffrey Zakarian. Trump sued after Zakarian withdrew from plans to launch a restaurant in Trump's soon-to-be-opened (and frequently plugged, sometimes in entirely inappropriate situations) new Washington, D.C., hotel.
As CBS News detailed, Zakarian said he pulled out of the plans over Trump's inflammatory and xenophobic comments about immigrants, with his branding of Mexicans as "criminals" and "rapists" in his campaign announcement speech at the very inception of his presidential campaign. And make no mistake: Such a video coming out right now could be big ― there's something about seeing someone, rather than simply reading their words, that can have a much more forceful impact.
Trump's team had argued that it should remain under wraps, due to the possibility that the Clinton campaign could cut it into unfavorable campaign ads. Here's how Holeman justified his decision to order the video released:
In any event, this Court finds that Plaintiff has not demonstrated that any subject video deposition contains scandalous, libelous, or other unduly prejudicial material warranting denial of media access. ... The public shall not be held captive by the suggested eventuality of partisan editing in a manner unfavorable to Plaintiff or the deponents. ... At this juncture, Plaintiff and the deponents are only able to imply future harm, based on “hypothesis or conjecture,” insufficient to defeat the “‘strong presumption’ in favor of access.
In other words, the "strong presumption" in favor of releasing the video into the public record overrides Trump's concerns about them being used for partisan advantage. Now that the video is out, I can easily imagine the Trump campaign might be feeling a little heartburn right now.