By Jonathan Allen and Adam KredoUpdated at 11:05 a.m.
ESTIn his first major interview since becoming President Donald Trump Donald John TrumpTop consumer bureau official blasts colleague over blog posts dismissing racism Trump admin official left post after receiving death threats after blog post went viralA new report released Wednesday shows the Trump administration has been targeting conservative groups and individuals with racial discrimination allegations in a way that may have helped Donald Trump win the presidency.
Trump’s Justice Department has filed numerous lawsuits over the last year alleging discrimination against conservative groups, including a lawsuit alleging the Ku Klux Klan and its affiliated organizations committed acts of discrimination in the 1990s.
The lawsuits allege Trump’s actions violated the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the 1965 Voting Rights Act and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.
In a series of tweets, Trump accused his critics of attempting to silence him with racial slurs, saying that the groups are “all trying to silence me with false accusations.”
The Justice Department is now working to intimidate, and to silence the great people of our country.
They are working so hard.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2021Trump also accused a group of the NAACP of being “anti-Semitic.”
The civil rights groups NAACP, American Civil Liberties Union and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, all joined together to file a federal lawsuit in May 2017 alleging that the Trump Justice Department was using discriminatory tactics to suppress political speech and to harass conservative groups.
The Trump Justice department has charged that the civil rights organizations, which represent thousands of African Americans, were engaged in an effort to “substantially burden the ability of [the] defendants to exercise their First Amendment rights.”
The DOJ has also charged that “the defendants’ actions are designed to suppress constitutionally protected speech,” and are designed “to suppress the right of free speech and association,” according to a DOJ press release.
The civil lawsuits have also been used to target other conservative groups with similar allegations of discriminatory actions.
For example, a case was filed in 2018 by the American Civil Rights Union and an Atlanta law firm against the conservative group Americans United for Separation of Church and State and its leaders, alleging that members of the group used racist and homophobic slurs in their political and public advocacy.
A number of the plaintiffs are also members of groups that support the president’s policies, including the American Conservative Union and Americans for Prosperity.
The American Conservative Action Fund, a pro-Trump conservative advocacy group, also filed a complaint with the Justice Department alleging that former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon was a racist and anti-Semitic.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the DOJ lawsuits.