When and if Donald Trump tires of fighting the inevitability of his departure from the White House, he will have plenty left to fight, including criminal charges awaiting him in New York. One of the most contentious fights for Trump will occur when he moves to Mar-a-Lago, where neighbors are letting Trump know he is not welcome.
The Washington Post is reporting that Trump put himself in this position. He signed an agreement in 1993 that made him choose between declaring Mar-a-Lago a home or a private club. Because he chose the club, his neighbors, the DeMoss family, allege that Trump lost his legal right to live at the club. Whoever thought a defeated president would have to fight to live in the place of his choice? This is certainly not a normal occurrence, but then, nothing is normal when it comes to Donald Trump. New York does not want him — well, the New York Attorney General does — and Palm Beach does not want him either. Where on Earth will he go? Not our problem. We did not want him in the White House, and we’ve accomplished that mission. It seems that the DeMoss family is fighting as hard as we did.
The family’s attorney sent a demand letter, requesting that Trump be notified that he cannot use Mar-a-Lago as a residence to save him the embarrassment of having to leave. “There’s absolutely no legal theory under which he can use that property as both a residence and a club,” according to Glenn Zeitz, another neighbor who has joined in the fight. Trump did it to himself, out of desperation. According to WaPo, Trump signed the agreement to help pay for the staggering costs of maintaining Mar-a-Lago because his finances were not in good shape. That should not be much of a surprise, as Trump has never properly handled his businesses and quickly turned them into money-bleeders. Under the agreement, members were banned from spending more than 21 days a year at the club and could not stay longer than 7 consecutive nights. To get Palm Beach to agree, Trump’s attorney claimed that Trump would never live at Mar-a-Lago. My, how times have changed, and Trump is scrambling for shelter.
WaPo revealed that yet another agreement may preclude Trump’s residency at Mar-a-Lago: Trump deeded development rights to Mar-a-Lago to the National Historic Trust, a non-profit centered around preserving historic sites. Since Trump served as president, Mar-a-Lago could be considered an historic site, further limiting Trump’s ability to do much of anything with the property. In signing this deal, Trump agreed to “forever relinquish his rights to develop Mar-a-Lago or use it for any purpose other than club use.” Oh, well. Once again, Trump stepped on his own foot. Now, he wants to change things.
Trump is in for a fight. The neighbors have already vowed to sue to uphold the agreement between Trump and the city. When asked about the demand letter and suit, Reginald Stambaugh, counsel for the neighbors said, “Palm Beach has many lovely estates for sale, and we are confident President Trump will find one which meets his needs.”
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years