While President Biden may have extended the COVID pandemic eviction moratorium to March 31st, that prohibition on ousting people from their homes for falling behind in their payments applies only to the nation’s renters.
Thus, the moratorium won’t be helpful to Biden’s tarnished predecessor Donald Trump who is facing an eviction crisis of his own at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.
Trump famously abandoned his New York residency in November of 2019, tweeting out a statement indicating that taxes had a lot to do with his decision.
“I cherish New York, and the people of New York and always will,” Trump said, “but unfortunately, despite the fact that I pay millions of dollars in city, state and local taxes each year, I have been treated very badly by the political leaders of both the city and state.”
Trump’s claim about taxes raised many an eyebrow, given the subsequent revelation that he paid less than $1,000 in federal income taxes in many recent years, hinting that his state tax bill was likely equally low for someone in his income bracket.
The only problem with Trump’s relocation plan was a decades-old agreement that Trump had signed after he purchased the property from the estate of cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, who built the resort as a private residence with all that Grape Nuts-derived fortune.
The 1993 “use agreement” with the Town of Palm Beach, Florida changed Mar-a-Lago’s designation from a single-family residence to a private club and specified that guests, including Trump, could not stay there more than three non-consecutive weeks per year.
Now, Palm Beach residents who are uncomfortable with the disruption caused by the former White House occupant’s full-time residency in their community — and all the chaos the Secret Service security details and media crews that accompany the presence of a former president — have pressured the local government officials to enforce that legally-binding compact.
These local neighbors of Trump’s resort hired an attorney to write to local authorities last month asking the town council to tell the former president that he was not allowed to live at the resort, saying it would avoid an “embarrassing situation” in which he is evicted.
Today, Palm Beach officials are due to discuss the legality of Trump’s full-time residency at Mar-a-Lago during a video conference after they receive a presentation on the matter by the town attorney, John C. Randolph.
Having arrived at Mar-a-Lago on January 20th, the day the victorious Joe Biden was inaugurated as his replacement, Trump has already violated the terms of the “use agreement” that he signed.
Never one to abide by signed agreements and always looking for a loophole to exploit, Trump is claiming that he is exempt from the prohibition from living at the resort because, as club president, he is an employee of the club and local laws state that “a private club may provide living quarters for its bona fide employees only.”
Trump also claims that the case being made against him has no legal validity since the original “use agreement” does not specifically bar the owner of the property from living at the resort.
According to John C. Randolph, the town attorney, the entire decision rests upon “whether former President Trump is a bona fide employee of the club,” as Randolph wrote in a memo sent last week to the Palm Beach mayor and town council.
Complicating the decision is the fact that while Trump was president he spent extended periods of time at Mar-a-Lago — in excess of the limits in the “use agreement” — without a word of complaint from Palm Beach officials.
Having already been evicted from the White House last month, it would be mighty embarrassing as well as horribly inconvenient for Trump to face a second eviction this month.
If only the justice system moved at a more rapid clip in this country, federal or New York State authorities would be happy to provide free accommodations for the elderly former reality show host once he is tied and found guilty for his many likely offenses.
In the meantime, he can always return to Trump Tower where New Yorkers can congregate and show their true feelings about his conduct during his presidency, allowing Donnie to reap what he sowed.
Original reporting by Thomas Colson at Business Insider.
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