Day 1,426: Trump’s South Florida neighbors don’t want him around once he’s out of office either
Donald Trump needs to find a new residence next month, and his proposed choice, his private South Florida club, is receiving heavy pushback from locals.
According to a Washington Post report, his deep-pocketed neighbors are pointing to numerous agreements, signed by Trump, that would prevent Trump from living there full time.
That message was formally delivered Tuesday morning in a demand letter delivered to the town of Palm Beach and also addressed to the U.S. Secret Service asserting that Trump lost his legal right to live at Mar-a-Lago because of an agreement he signed in the early 1990s when he converted the storied estate from his private residence to a private club. The legal maneuver could, at long last, force Palm Beach to publicly address whether Trump can make Mar-a-Lago his legal residence and home, as he has been expected to do, when he becomes an ex-president after the swearing-in of Joe Biden on Jan. 20.
The current residency controversy tracks back to a deal Trump cut in 1993 when his finances were foundering, and the cost of maintaining Mar-a-Lago was soaring into the multimillions each year. Under the agreement, club members are banned from spending more than 21 days a year in the club’s guest suites and cannot stay there for any longer than seven consecutive days. Before the arrangement was sealed, an attorney for Trump assured the town council in a public meeting that he would not live at Mar-a-Lago.
At the time, the town’s leaders were wary of Trump because he had sued them after they blocked his attempt to subdivide the historic Mar-a-Lago property into multiple housing lots. Placing the limitations on lengths of stays assured that Trump’s property would remain a private club, as he had promised, rather than a residential hotel.
The 1993 Palm Beach agreement isn’t the only document that raises questions about whether Trump can legally live at Mar-a-Lago. He also signed a document deeding development rights for Mar-a-Lago to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a Washington-based, privately funded nonprofit organization that works to save historic sites around the country. As part of the National Trust deal, Trump agreed to “forever” relinquish his rights to develop Mar-a-Lago or to use it for “any purpose other than club use.”
While Palm Beach looked the other way while Trump has been in office, it appears that the hammer is set to come down and the agreements will be enforced once January 20 rolls around.
The irony here is that the neighbors want Trump gone not for his shenanigans over the past few years, though the report notes that his visits weren’t particularly warmly received. Rather, it’s a nearly 30-year dispute and longstanding despisement of Trump that has caused the issues to foment.
Trump has similarly worn out his welcome in New York, leaving the very awkward position of an ex-president being unwelcomed in the two places that he has likely spent more of his adult life than any other place in the world.
1,426 days in, 36 to go
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