And the hits keep coming against our dear overwhelmed president.
The FBI on Wednesday released almost 400 pages of documents related to the 1970s investigation of racial discrimination in housing owned by President Donald Trump’s late father, Fred Trump.
The Hill reports that the investigation, which took place from 1972 to 1974, was part of one of the largest of such discrimination cases brought at that time. It notes that the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division ultimately filed a suit in 1973 and that the Trumps settled with the government in 1975.
President Trump, who was 27 years old at the time, called the government’s allegations “such outrageous lies” during a press conference. The Trump Management Co. countersued the government, asking for $100 million in damages for false allegations of discrimination.
The FBI released the documents on an area of its website called “The Vault,” a section dedicated to topics for which the bureau has received a large volume of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. Many of the pages contain redactions for privacy and law enforcement reasons. Some of the documents are illegible.
The documents found that one employee told investigators that he or she had been specifically directed by Fred Trump to screen applicants and not “rent to blacks,” and to steer them to other buildings.
“[Trump] also wanted me to get rid of the blacks that were in the building by telling them cheap housing was available for them at only $500 down payment, which Trump would offer to pay himself. Trump didn’t tell me where this housing was located,” he said.
The employee also noted that he or she thought the rental office often wrote codes on the top of rental applications to distinguish between Black and White applicants. This employee was eventually fired.
These allegations—though some employees went on record to say they never witnessed any discrimination—are supported by court documents from the case.
A couple who rented out Trump properties said they had been told the Trump Management Co. “wanted to rent only to Jews and Executives’ and ‘discouraged rental to blacks.’”
“The couple told the government’s lawyers that they were advised that ‘a racial code was in effect, blacks being referred to as ‘No. 9,’” according to court documents.
According to a Politico report, a man who had previously been a doorman at one property said that a supervisor had instructed him to tell potential African-American tenants that the rent was “twice as much as it really was, in order that he could not afford the apartment.”
One former building superintendent, interviewed in 1974, told investigators that the “phony lease” technique had been used by other superintendents employed by Trump during his tenure with the company, but refused to name names. Again, many of those interviewed said they had no knowledge of such discriminatory techniques.
The Trump Management Company settled in June 1975. Both the federal government and Trump hailed the settlement as a victory.
The Trumps admitted no wrongdoing and were prohibited from “discriminating against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling.” They were also required to take out advertisements notifying minority individuals that they had an equal opportunity to seek housing at Trump properties.
SOURCES: The Hill, Politico, FBI
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