Daily Beast - When an African-American showed up to rent an apartment owned by a young real-estate scion named Donald Trump and his family, the building superintendent did what he claimed he’d been told to do. He allegedly attached a separate sheet of paper to the application, marked with the letter “C.”
“C” for “Colored.”
According to the Department of Justice, that was the crude code that ensured the rental would be denied.
Details of this secret system, as well as other practices that the Trump organization allegedly used to exclude black residents from its buildings in Brooklyn, Queens, and Norfolk, Virginia in the 1970s, were recorded in a lawsuit brought by the DOJ against Trump and his father, Fred, in 1973 for alleged violations of the Fair Housing Act.
The Trumps responded to the Department of Justice with characteristic combativeness. They counter-sued the federal government for $100 million, while the family’s infamous lawyer—the Joe McCarthy aide turned mafia counsel Roy Cohn—attacked a prosecutor for being a “hot-tempered white female” while slamming the investigation as “Gestapo-like.” Extensive court documents, unearthed by The Daily Beast, provide a window not only into alleged discriminatory practices at the heart of Trump’s early real estate empire, but also into the family’s attack mode, which echoes Trump’s current slash-and-burn campaign for the White House.
The lawsuit—which Trump Management settled in 1975 with a consent decree, and which they noted at the time did not constitute an admission of wrongdoing—detailed numerous instances of a racial code that Trump-owned buildings allegedly used to indicate if an applicant was black or otherwise “undesirable.”
A super who worked for the Trumps, Thomas Miranda, allegedly told the DOJ that Trump Management staffers had instructed him to “attach a separate sheet of paper to every application submitted by a prospective ‘colored’ renter.”