The issue of the small town of Palm Beach was Trump’s long-standing promise not to call Mar-a-Lago home. Trump bought the former property of the Marjorie Merriweather Post in 1985, and in 1993 it became a member-only club.
In order to turn a private home into a revenue-generating business, he had to accept certain restrictions, based on guidelines presented as a salesman in Palm Beach. This convention stipulated that members could not live in the club for more than 21 days a year. The former president’s neighbors complained to the city that Trump had violated the agreement he had signed.
City lawyer John “Skip” Randolph advised the council that the most important issue was not the agreement, which he said was silent on the question of whether Trump could live in the club. Rather, he says the question is whether Trump is an employee of the club. Urban planning allows a “bona fide employee of the club” to live in the clubs they work for or own.
Trump’s long-time West Palm Beach lawyer called the whole case “stupid” because after Trump left the Oval Office last month, he regained his “Mar-a-Lago presidency.”
Attorney John Marion argued before the council that there was no provision in the agreement that would prohibit Trump from living at the club, adding that “he has the right to live there under the zone code.” He submitted documentation to the council, which Trump signed on January 25, 2021, to certify that Trump was again president of Mar-a-Lago.
“There’s no ban on the owner using the owner’s suite,” Marion said. “This guy (Trump), as he wanders the property, is like the mayor of Mar-a-Lago if he wants to.”
“He’s always present, owns the property, and enjoys it like his home,” Marion added. “There’s no reason in the world for President Trump not to be in the club he owns.”
Trump’s attorney went on to list the functions the former president performs while living and working in the club, stating that he “evaluates the performance of employees” and attends “events at the club and welcomes / thanks participants.”
He is a lawyer for one of Trump’s neighbors and the first to get the city to look into the matter so they can return to a “peaceful life,” Roger Stambaugh told the council, “My clients are urging the city council to abide by the usage agreement that has been reached. -a-Lago in 1993. “
A representative of a group of residents on Palm Beach Island said they were concerned about the draw for the property held for supporters of the former president.
“We feel this issue threatens to make Mar-a-Lago a permanent beacon to its crazier illegal supporters,” attorney Philip Johnston told the council.
Johnston asked the council to postpone deciding whether Trump was a bona fide employee of the club to give each party a chance to prepare a legal response.
The council did not take a decision on the matter on Tuesday. He is expected to review the issue in the spring.
“It’s a very desperate place,” Laurence Leamer, a historian and author of “Mar-a-Lago: Inside the Power Gates at Donald Trump’s Presidential Palace,” told MSNBC last month. He said members “were not interested in politics and were told the food was not good”.
Leamer said he spoke to a number of former members who “walked out quietly” after Trump left office.