Palm Beach Conducting ‘Legal Review’ Of Trump’s Use Of Mar-A-Lago As A Residence
A security boat patrols near the Mar-a-Lago Florida Resort on January 20 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo: Lynne Sladky / ASSOCIATED PRESS)
The city of Palm Beach, Florida is examining Donald Trump's use of his Mar-a-Lago club as a residence, even if the former president is said to again violate a length of stay that he himself agreed three decades ago.
At 11:32 a.m. on Wednesday, Trump will have been on his property for more than seven consecutive days in 2021, having arrived a week earlier, half an hour before his successor Joe Biden was sworn in at the U.S. Capitol.
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A 1993 "special exemptions" permit signed by Trump, which allowed him to convert the mansion into a nonprofit, stipulated that only 10 guest accommodations were allowed and that no one would stay there longer than seven days and no more than three times in the year.
Palm Beach Mayor Kirk Blouin told HuffPost that Trump's apparent decision to live there permanently is under scrutiny by the city's attorney. "This matter is currently under investigation by our city attorney, John 'Skip' Randolph," Blouin said, adding that the matter may be brought to the city council at its February 8 session.
Randolph confirmed that he is looking into the issue but said he had not got any preliminary results.
The Trump Organization - Trump's family business that runs Mar-a-Lago, its golf courses, hotels, and its various other properties - said in a statement: "There is absolutely no document or agreement that allows President Trump to use Mar-a-Lago. a-Lago prohibits. a-Lago as his residence. "
The twice-indicted former president bought the winter property in 1985. In 1993, he struggled financially after bankrupting his casinos and struggled to maintain the 118-room mansion. The city agreed to have it converted into a social club as long as Trump agreed to a number of restrictions, one of which was not to make it a hotel or a divided residence.
"The use of guest suites is limited to a maximum of three (3) non-consecutive periods of seven (7) days by a member during the year," states the August 10, 1993 agreement.
Even before he became president, Trump routinely violated this promise, according to his former lawyer Michael Cohen, who, among other things, arranged for him to arrange secret hush money payments to women who had done affairs with Trump shortly before the 2016 election, among other things.
"He cannot live in Mar-a-Lago as a full-time permanent resident," Cohen said Tuesday. “Now he can go there every day. It's his club. "
Still, Trump broke the seven-day limit three times during his four-year tenure, according to a HuffPost review of his travel plan. In 2020, Trump had an eight-day stay there. In 2019 he had a 16-day stay and in 2017 a 10-day stay.
It is unclear how the three-visit limit should be interpreted, but Trump visited ten times in 2017 for a total of 31 nights, eight times in 2018 for 24 nights, eight times in 2019 for 31 nights and five times in 2020 for 20 nights.
It is also unclear why Trump insists on living in Mar-a-Lago in violation of his agreement. He owns three properties in close proximity to the resort: a 10,000-square-foot oceanfront home on 1125 South Ocean Blvd., north of Mar-a-Lagos Beach Club, which he bought from his sister Maryanne Trump Barry in 2018 for $ 18.5 million Dollar; a 6,000 square foot home across the street at 1094 South Ocean Blvd. valued at $ 10.4 million; and a 3,000 square foot home to the west at 124 Woodbridge Road valued at $ 3.3 million.
Trump generated rental income from all three properties, according to his 2020 financial reporting.
Trump will violate the Palm Beach Deal by staying in Mar-A-Lago for too long. Once again.
Mar-A-Lago should be closed for violating COVID-19 regulations, Florida lawmakers say
Trump is leaving the White House for the last time as president
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.
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