Town Lawyer Makes Call on Trump Mar-a-Lago Residency

He says former president isn't banned from living at his Florida estate
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2021 3:28 AM CST
Updated Feb 4, 2021 6:55 AM CST
Town Lawyer Makes Decision on Trump Mar-a-Lago Residency
Trump has been living at his Mar-a-Lago club since leaving office last month.   (Greg Lovett/The Palm Beach Post via AP, File)

Some neighbors in Palm Beach argue that former President Trump isn't allowed to live at his Mar-a-Lago estate—but after a legal review by the town's attorney, Trump probably won't have to find a new home for the second time in two months. In a memo to the town council, attorney Skip Randolph recommended that the president be allowed to live at the club despite an agreement stating that guests can't reside there for more than 21 days a year, the Washington Post reports. Randolph told the council that the zoning code allows employees to live at private clubs, so there is nothing banning Trump from living at the club if he is a "bona fide employee." Trump attorney John B. Marion says that as president of the corporation that owns the club, Trump definitely has bona fide employee status.

In 1993, when Trump turned the historic estate into a private club, he agreed not to live there, but "absent a specific restriction prohibiting former president Trump from residing at the Club, it appears the Zoning Code permits him to reside at the Club," Randolph wrote. He recommended that the council debate the issue further after hearing from Trump and other parties involved. The issue is expected to come up at a council meeting next week. The Hill reports that a permit to demolish a helipad at Mar-a-Lago was issued Tuesday. Town authorities say helipads aren't usually allowed but an exception was made to permit one at Mar-a-Lago during Trump's presidency. (More Mar-a-Lago stories.)

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