We think it’s safe to say this week is not a great one for Donald J. Trump. Not only does his second impeachment trail kick off today, but Palm Beach officials are meeting to discuss whether he should be evicted from Mar-a-Lago.
A little backstory: Trump has been fighting with his neighbors over an agreement he signed when he converted the property from a massive private residence into a luxurious members only club. Neighbors say the 1993 usage agreement explicitly states a person can only live at the club for three non-consecutive weeks a year.
Not only that, but they also say a deal Trump made with the National Trust for Historic Preservation to list the property as a historic site explicitly states he “agreed to ‘forever’ relinquish his rights to develop Mar-a-Lago or to use it for ‘any purpose other than club use.’”
Despite all this, Trump has been living at the resort since leaving Washington, D.C. Last month, neighbors wrote to Palm Beach authorities requesting that the town council intervene to inform the ex-president he couldn’t live at the club and would need to find permanent housing elsewhere.
Trump’s lawyers countered by saying the 1993 usage agreement doesn’t specifically state that the “owner” of the property can’t reside there, and that the 21-day limit only applies to “members.” They also insist that, as club President, he’s technically an employee of the club, which also exempts him from the original agreement since local laws state that “a private club may provide living quarters for its bona fide employees only.”
After a month of arguing back and forth, the Palm Beach officials will meet via Zoom today to discuss the matter. Town attorney John C. Randolph will give a presentation before the council arguing in support of Trump’s eviction.
Meanwhile, Trump’s attorneys insist the case has “no merit” and that nobody cared when the ex-president previously lived at Mar-a-Lago for extended periods of time.
Of course, that was before he incited an insurrection on the U.S. Capitol last month, which obviously changes things.
In other Mar-a-Lago news, the club has been bleeding members since January 6. CNN recently reported that several members have “quietly walked out” of the club, calling it a “very dispirited place,” “sad,” and “not what it was.”
Graham Gremore is the Features Editor and a Staff Writer at Queerty. Follow him on Twitter @grahamgremore.