Rita Barros/Getty Images and Joe Raedle/Getty Images
- Trump was arraigned on Tuesday and faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.
- His father Fred Trump was also arrested: Once in 1927 and again in 1976, per archived news reports.
- The former president has denied Fred Trump’s 1927 arrest and said he was unaware of the second.
Former President Donald Trump was indicted on Thursday and arraigned in New York on Tuesday, making him the first US president to be charged with a crime.
However, he’s not the first person in his family to be arrested, according to archived news reports.
His father, real estate mogul Fred Trump, was detained by the police twice: Once in 1927 and another time in 1976, per newspaper articles published in those years.
Trump, the former president, wasn’t born yet when the first arrest occurred, but he was 30 and working for his father’s firm at the time of the second, The Washington Post’s Gillian Brockell reported.
1927 arrest: Ku Klux Klan riot, New York City
Fred Trump was arrested in 1927 during a Ku Klux Klan riot in Queens on Memorial Day, per The New York Times.
That day, 1,000 Klansmen marched in Queens to decry the deaths of two Italian fascists in the city, The Times wrote. They’d earlier littered the streets with handbills accusing the police of beating “Native-born Protestant Americans,” and called for residents to “take your stand in defense of the fundamental principles of your country.”
“Liberty and Democracy have been trampled upon when native born Protestant Americans dare to organize to protect one flag, the American flag; one school, the public school, and one language, the English language; also when they march peaceably through the streets in honor of their forefathers,” the handbills read, per The Times.
The Klansmen were met by some 100 policemen, and both parties clashed in a “free-for-all battle,” The Times wrote. When the dust settled, Fred Trump was one of seven men arrested, per The Times.
It’s unclear in the report what role he played in the riot. “Fred Trump of 175-24 Devonshire Road, Jamaica, was discharged,” is all The Times mentioned of his name.
A 2015 report by tech blog BoingBoing.net said the New York City police department didn’t have records of the arrest, since it did not preserve arrest reports that went back as far as 1927.
But in 2016, The Washington Post’s Philip Bump identified the former president’s father in a 1930 census, which showed that he lived in the same address as the one cited in The Times.
In a 2015 interview with the Daily Mail, Trump denied the 1927 report about his father’s arrest.
“This is ridiculous. He was never arrested. He has nothing to do with this. This never happened,” he said. “This is nonsense and it never happened. This never happened. Never took place. He was never arrested, never convicted, never even charged. It’s a completely false, ridiculous story. He was never there! It never happened. Never took place.”
1976 arrest: Housing code violations, Maryland
Fred Trump was also arrested in Maryland for not complying with housing code violations, according to a 1976 report by The Washington Post’s Karen DeYoung.
Officials arrested Fred Trump just after he flew into Prince George’s County from New York in September that year, The Post reported. The businessman owned a 504-unit complex in the county called Gregory Estates and was at the property when he was taken into custody, per the outlet.
Local authorities said they found the property had broken several regulations, including violations for broken windows, defective rain gutters, and a failure to install fire extinguishers, DeYoung wrote.
It was rare for the county to make arrests for building code violations, an inspector supervisor named Joseph Healey told DeYoung at the time.
“We probably haven’t issued four arrest warrants in the past five years,” he said, adding that the county would have worked with owners who made an effort to comply with regulations.
But the county housing department’s chief inspector, C.H. Bennett, signed the arrest warrant after speaking on the phone a few times with Fred Trump, The Post reported.
Fred Trump was eventually released on a $1,000 bond and was free to return to New York, The Post reported.
Henry Arrington — the mayor of Seat Pleasant, Maryland, at the time of Fred Trump’s arrest — told the Post in a separate 2016 report that he received a call from jail, where the irate businessman was being held.
“Come get me out of jail,” the businessman said over the phone, per Arrington.
Trump, the former president, told The Post in 2016 that he was unaware of his father’s 1976 arrest.
The younger Trump now faces 34 low-level felony counts of falsifying business records, filed against him by the Manhattan district attorney’s office. He is set to appear in court again on December 4, just two months before the Republican primaries officially kick off for the 2024 presidential campaign.
Notably, Trump isn’t the first US president to be arrested. That record goes to former President Ulysses S. Grant, who was arrested in 1872 for speeding in a horse-drawn carriage. He was released on a bail worth $500 today.
A representative for Trump did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment sent outside regular business hours.