Trump And The DOJ Discrimination Lawsuit; October 1973

Donald Trump has been criticized for being a racist. That’s not a new thing. The Trump Organization has been accused of discrimination several times.

Below is an excerpt from The Trumps: Three Generations That Built an Empire 
By Gwenda Blair. Trump was accused of discriminating against Blacks but hired attorney Roy Cohn to file a countersuit. 

Cohn achieved notoriety in the 1950’s when he assisted Senator McCarthy as Chief Counsel in the witch hunt for Communists. And homosexuals. Ironically, Cohn died of AIDS. I’m assuming it was in a closet somewhere.

The excerpt shows a young Trump who already has an enormous ego.

     On October 15, 1973, the US Justice Department slapped the Trump Organization with a suit charging that blacks seeking apartments in Trump-owned buildings were turned away or quoted inflated rents. The Trumps had faced similar charges in Cincinnati, but the new president of the Trump Organization no longer followed his father’s policy of quiet diplomacy. Instead he held a press conference at the New York Hilton and announced that he had hired Cohn to fire back at the government with a $100 million damage suit. Denying any discrimination, Donald said that the government was trying to push major landlords into accepting welfare tenants despite their precarious finances.

     Five weeks later the presiding judge dismissed Trump’s counter-suit as “wasting time and paper,” but Cohn’s stalling tactics delayed the federal investigation for another year and a half. Donald Trump testified repeatedly that he had nothing to do with renting apartments, although in an application for a broker’s license filed at the same time he said that he was in charge of all rentals. In June 1975 he signed a settlement described by the Department of Justice as “one of the most far-reaching ever negotiated.” It required Trump to advertise vacancies in a black newspaper, to give first notice to the Urban League for a certain percentage of vacancies, and to include welfare payments when determining an applicant’s income.

     This time around, Trump simply declared victory and went on as before. He had seen that such a boast was unlikely to be challenged. He had also seen that being charged with discrimination did not seem to deter anyone in the public or private realm from doing business with him.