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Palm Beach officials discuss banning Trump from Mar-a-Lago resort


  • Palm Beach officials will discuss whether Donald Trump can continue to live at his Mar-a-Lago resort.
  • Some neighbors say Trump can’t legally live there because it is a members’ club.
  • Trump’s attorneys insist he can because he is an employee of the club.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Palm Beach officials will formally discuss whether former President Donald Trump is allowed to remain living at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida after some of his neighbors complained that he wasn’t legally entitled to, because of a decades-old agreement.

Meeting notes for the Palm Beach town council meeting on February 9 show that officials are due to discuss the matter on Tuesday by video conference after a presentation on the subject from John C. Randolph, a town attorney.

It comes after attorney for neighbors of Trump wrote to Palm Beach authorities last month requesting that the town council inform the former president he was not allowed to live at the resort, saying it would avoid an “embarrassing situation” in which he is evicted.

They say that a 1993 agreement converting the site from a private residence into a members’ club prevents the former president or anyone else from living there for more than three times a year for up to a week.

Trump has lived at the luxury resort, which he billed his “winter White House,” since leaving office in January. He is a lifelong New Yorker but last year switched his primary residence from Trump Tower in Manhattan to Mar-a-Lago. The move was said to be primarily tax-related, but Trump spent a large amount of time at the Florida resort during his presidency.

John C. Randolph, the town’s attorney, indicated in a memorandum sent last week to the Palm Beach mayor and town council that Trump’s legal right to reside at Mar-A-Lago could hinge on whether Trump is technically employed by the club. Local laws state that “a private club may provide living quarters for its bona fide employees only.” 

“This issue, therefore, hinges primarily on whether former President Trump is a bona fide employee of the club,” Randolph writes.

Randolph added in the memorandum, dated January 28, that Trump’s neighbors and their attorneys and representatives for Trump should all be able to make presentations at the meeting.

Trump’s attorneys insist the legal case has “no merit” because the 1993 usage agreement for Mar-a-Lago did not state that the owner of the property could not reside there.

In a January 28 letter sent to John C. Randolph, they said that Trump has previously lived at Mar-a-Lago for extended periods without protestation from Palm Beach authorities.

They argued that while the agreement prevents the use of guest suites for more than three non-consecutive weeks a year, Trump uses the Owner’s Suite, which is not subject to the same limits.

They also insist that Trump is an official employee at the club, given his role as club President.

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