NYC-Trump Organisation 'Court Battle': City May Use 'at Will' Clause to End Golf Course Contract
14:10 GMT 25.10.2021 (Updated: 13:25 GMT 06.08.2022)
In mid-January, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the "Big Apple" was ending all its contracts with the Trump Organisation, worth around $17 million annually. The organisation is party to a city contract to operate two ice rinks and a carousel in Central Park as well as a golf course in the Bronx.
New York City authorities have vowed that if they fail to end a contract on the Trump Ferry Point Golf Course "for cause" based on accusations that the 45th president was behind the 6 January Capitol insurrection
, they will use the boilerplate "at will" clause, according to the New York Post
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio earlier said that the city is acting under a clause that allows for the termination of contracts in the event of criminal activity. "At will" means that the city can abruptly end a contract at any time
De Blasio explained the decision to terminate the golf course contract with the Trump Organisation by arguing that the former POTUS "incited a rebellion" against the US government during the 6 January Capitol riots, in what was described by the NYC mayor as "a clearly unconstitutional act".
NYC's alleged promise to use the "at will" clause comes as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's campaign to rid the city of the Trump Organisation's involvement in major contracts reportedly "went south" and turned into "a comedy of errors" shortly after it was announced at the beginning of this year.
At the time, De Blasio said that the city was terminating all its contracts with the Trump Organisation, including those related to the Central Park carousel, Wollman and Lasker skating rinks in the park, as well as the Trump Ferry Point Golf Course in the Bronx.
The New York Post pointed to the ongoing state court battle over the standoff caused by De Blasio's attempts to evict the Trump Organisation from the Bronx golf course.
The newspaper cited mayoral-race frontrunner Eric Adams as saying that De Blasio is so keen to get revenge on the 45th US president that the city might pay $30 million in reimbursements if the Trump Organisation is ejected from the deal. The sum was mentioned in the organisation's lawsuit against New York City, filed in June.
"I'm just learning of this and have to look at that and find out exactly what this is about", Adams said.
He spoke after NYC issued a termination notice for Trump's Ferry Point contract, claiming that it was "because the Trump brand is now synonymous with an insurrection against the federal government" and can no longer attract tournaments. The contract still had 13 years to run.
Trump lawyer Kenneth Caruso told the NYP that as for the $30 million in possible compensation, the sum was based on a complicated formula in the contract, adding, "they [the Trump Organisation] really have spared no expense and they take pride in those properties".
The "Big Apple", however, insists that the amount is "contrary to [the] parks' accounting thus far".
Trump Accuses De Blasio of Trying 'to Confiscate' Golf Course Contract From Him
The NYP report comes after Trump said in his Save America PAC statement that he had invested "many millions of dollars, all cash, in this project in order to get it done, which I did, starting from scratch, in record time".
"Now under Mayor De Blasio, he wants to confiscate the project from me for no reason whatsoever and terminate my long-term arrangement with the city", the ex-POTUS added.
This was echoed by the former US president's son Eric Trump, who argued that "New York is being overrun by crime and homelessness, and people are fleeing in record numbers, yet this mayor's focus is using $30 million of taxpayer money to settle political scores".
6 January US Capitol Riots
On 6 January, scores Trump supporters
rallied outside the US Capitol building when lawmakers were gathering inside to officially certify the votes in the 3 November 2020 presidential election and announce Democrat Joe Biden as the winner.
The rally turned violent after a mob, which partially comprised Trump supporters, stormed the building, vandalised it, and clashed with police. Five people died during the riots, and dozens more were injured, including at least 138 police officers. Law enforcement authorities have since arrested over 500 individuals who participated in the Capitol riots, charging some of them with assaulting federal police officers.
Trump strongly denied the notion that he had riled up the mob attacking the Capitol, later condemning the violence. He was subsequently impeached by the House for a second time on charges of inciting insurrection, but was acquitted in the Senate.