Judge rules for the Trump Organization in the fight against the New York golf course


NEW YORK (AP) — Former President Donald Trump’s business can continue to operate a public golf course in the Bronx, a judge ruled Friday, saying New York City offered a baseless justification to cancel the Trump Organization contract after the uprising on the US Capitol last year.

The decision sends the case back to the city “for further proceedings.” It wasn’t immediately clear what it was. The city’s legal department said it was disappointed with the decision and was considering legal options.

The Trump Organization said the move was a victory for the company and “a victory for justice.”

The city’s decision to cancel the contract to operate the Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point Park was “nothing more than a political vendetta,” the company said in a statement.

Days after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in an attempt to prevent the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory on January 6, 2021, then-Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that he canceled the golf course contract. De Blasio said Trump instigated the insurgency by stirring up rioters.

Trump has denied responsibility for the Jan. 6 violence. Instead, he said the 2020 election spurred his supporters into action and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others failed to provide adequate security.

Around the same time, the PGA of America canceled an upcoming tournament at one of Trump’s golf clubs in New Jersey. De Blasio seized on the decision as evidence that Trump violated what the city called a contractual requirement to maintain a course that could attract professional tournaments.

De Blasio and Biden are Democrats. Trump is a Republican, and his company’s statement on Friday accused de Blasio of using city agencies “to advance his own partisan agenda, score political points among his minions and interfere with free enterprise.”

Many lawyers and contract experts doubted from the start that the city would prevail.

The terms of the contract never specifically stated that Trump is required to draw tournaments, only obliging him to maintain a “first-class, tournament-quality” course.

Manhattan State Court Judge Debra James agreed that nothing in the contract required Trump’s company to attract professional tournaments to the Bronx course. The city’s claim that the Trump Organization breached the contract “has no legal basis,” James wrote.

The city’s legal department said it was disappointed with the decision.

“Anyone who holds a municipal concession is held to a high standard,” the agency said.

The contract allowed the city to cancel without giving cause. But the city would then be obliged to compensate the Trump Organization for the construction of a clubhouse on the course.

The move is another sign that the Trump Organization is recovering from the trade backlash that followed the Capitol riots.

Several banks refused to do business with the Trump Organization after the riots, raising fears the company could no longer borrow. But the company recently secured a new $100 million loan for commercial and retail space it owns in Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue.

Trump’s company also recently reached a deal to sell its money-losing Washington DC hotel to a Miami-based investment fund for $375 million, far more than many hotel experts thought possible.


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