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Lawyer to Palm Beach: Tell President Donald Trump he can't live at Mar-a-Lago

1993 declaration of use agreement prohibits anyone from living at Trump's club
President Donald Trump on Marine One leaving Mar-a-Lago in January 2020
Posted at 1:48 PM, Dec 17, 2020

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — If President Donald Trump intends to live at his Mar-a-Lago Club after leaving the White House, he may be met with some resistance.

West Palm Beach attorney Reginald G. Stambaugh sent a letter to Palm Beach Mayor Gail Coniglio and the Town Council on Tuesday explaining why Trump should not be allowed to live at his social club.

In his letter, Stambaugh cited a 1993 declaration of use agreement between the town, Trump and Mar-a-Lago that prohibits anyone from living on the property.

Stambaugh said that, according to the use agreement, members may only stay at the club for three visits per year and that no single visit may exceed seven days.

Trump has been a frequent visitor to Mar-a-Lago throughout his presidency.

President Donald Trump's motorcade leaves Mar-a-Lago in January 2020
President Donald Trump's motorcade heads from his residence at Mar-a-Lago to Palm Beach International Airport, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020, in West Palm Beach, Fla.

"As everyone knows, President Trump is already in violation of the use agreement by using Mar-a-Lago in excess of the allotted time," Stambaugh wrote. "This violation (as well as others on record) will continue without town intervention."

Trump changed his residency to Palm Beach last year, using the Mar-a-Lago address, and voted early in person at a West Palm Beach library in October. First lady Melania Trump cast her ballot at a Palm Beach church on Election Day.

Stambaugh said "security concerns remain of paramount importance" and that the town should act now "to avoid an embarrassing situation for everyone and to give the president time to make other living arrangements in the area."

"Palm Beach has many lovely estates for sale and surely he can find one which meets his needs," Stambaugh wrote.

Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg said the agreement made 27 years ago was supposed to end any controversy.

"They entered into an agreement in 1993 that said, 'OK, you can turn your property into a private club as you want, but you can't pull any shenanigans like creating a hotel or selling off lots or renting it out. In fact, we're going to limit anyone who can stay there to members of Mar-a-Lago for up to seven days in a row for 21 days a year,'" Aronberg said.

Aronberg said Trump has, over the years, stayed at Mar-a-Lago longer than the terms of the agreement, and the town may be forced into some kind of settlement.

Larry Casey, a longtime Republican whose family has been involved in the Reagan Library and Ranch, said Trump is here to stay.

"He's going to stay and not going to move," Casey said. "Secret Service is going to weigh in and say, 'We need a secure location for the president of the United States.' As long as part of it is a federal facility, and it's going to be one anyway because a former president lived there, so it's going to be a national historic site."