Bureau tweets link to 1970s investigation of Trump’s housing crimes
by DAVID AXE
Someone at the Federal Bureau of Investigation really hates Pres. Donald Trump. On Feb. 15, 2017, whoever manages the Twitter account for the FBI Records Vault tweeted a link to the FBI’s lengthy dossier on Trump’s racist leasing practices back when the president was just 27 years old and a New York landlord overseeing some 14,000 apartments across the city.
“This release consists of FBI materials on an investigation conducted between 1972 and 1974 into allegations that the Trump Management Company had discriminated against applicants for apartment rentals on account of their race,” the Bureau tweeted.
In late 1973, the Justice Department filed a civil rights case accusing Trump’s company of steering non-white renters away from apartment buildings where most of the residents were white — all in violation of the 1968 Fair Housing Act.
Consider just one of the many damning witness testimonies:
I, [redacted], make the following voluntary statement to [redacted], who has identified himself to me as a special agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. No threats or promises have been made to me to induce this statement and I am aware that it may be used in a court of law.
I was employed by Trump Management Corporation from February 1970 to May 1971 as a doorman as 2650 Ocean Parkway, Brooklyn, New York. This building is also known as Ocean Terrace.
While employed in this capacity, I was supervised by an individual known to me as [redacted], who was employed by Trump Management Corporation as superintendent at 2650 Ocean Parkway, Brooklyn, New York.
[Redacted] told me that if a black person came to 2650 Ocean Parkway and inquired about an apartment for rent, and he, that is [redacted] was not there at the time, that I should tell him that the rent was twice as much as it really was, in order that he could not afford the apartment.
The legal battle over Trump’s racist renting dragged on for nearly two years. Apparently fearing he might lose a massive lawsuit, on June 10, 1975 Trump and his father Fred — who was chairman of the management company his son headed — settled with the feds.
The settlement barred the Trumps from “discriminating against any person in the terms, conditions or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling” and required the Trumps to “thoroughly acquaint themselves personally on a detailed basis” with the Fair Housing Act.
The agreement also required the Trumps to run ads informing minorities they had an equal opportunity to rent at Trump properties. While the settlement did not require the Trumps to formally admit to any kind of legal culpability, the Justice Department nevertheless viewed it as a major victory — “one of the most far-reaching ever negotiated,” according to the department.
Forty-three years later, the man whose company lied to black applicants in order to deny them housing — and which, in doing so, broke the law — is president of the United States. Someone at the FBI wants to make sure we don’t forget where Trump came from.
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