Judge Under Fire From Donald Trump Was a Steely Drug Prosecutor

Source: New York Times | June 3, 2016 | Alan Rappeport

For much of a year, Gonzalo P. Curiel, then a federal prosecutor in California, lived officially in hiding.

He hunkered down for a while on a naval base and in other closely guarded locations under the protection of United States marshals. Even his siblings did not know exactly where he was at times.

The reason: In a secretly taped conversation inside a San Diego prison, a man accused of being a gunman for a Mexican drug cartel said that he had received permission from his superiors to have Mr. Curiel assassinated.

“It was kind of scary,” said Mr. Curiel’s brother Raul. “He had to be protected. He always had one or two bodyguards with him.”

Nearly 20 years later, Gonzalo Curiel, now a federal judge, is being targeted in a very different way.

The presiding judge in a lawsuit filed by former students of Trump University, he has been called a “hater” of Mr. Trump by the presumptive Republican presidential nominee himself. At a rally last week, Mr. Trump said the judge “happens to be, we believe, Mexican,” suggesting that he was biased because of Mr. Trump’s calls to build a wall along the border to prevent illegal immigration. Angry supporters have been calling the judge’s chambers.


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