Trump Organization sues NYC after golf course contract cancelled in wake of U.S. Capitol attack
Published Monday, June 21, 2021 11:40PM EDT Last Updated Monday, June 21, 2021 11:40PM EDT
The Trump Organization on Monday sued the city of New York after it ended its contract for a golf course at Ferry Point Park in the wake of the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
In a lawsuit filed in state court in Manhattan, the company alleged wrongful termination of the contract in mid-January, saying the city and Mayor Bill de Blasio had "denounced President (Donald) Trump in the most inflammatory terms" and "incited others to terminate business with Trump-related entities" the day after the riot.
Pointing also to comments de Blasio had made earlier in his term in which he threatened to end the city's Trump-related contracts, the company said in the lawsuit that "Mayor de Blasio had a pre-existing, politically-based predisposition to terminate Trump-related contracts, and the City used the events of January 6, 2021 as a pretext to do so."
The company had operated the Bronx golf course since 2015.
A spokesman for the city law department said Monday that "the actions of Mr. Trump to incite a deadly riot at the Capitol on January 6th caused a breach of the Ferry Point contract by eliminating options for hosting championship events and we will vigorously defend the City's decision to terminate the contract."
"The City properly followed the termination process detailed in the contract and we look forward to selecting a new vendor for Ferry Point that will further the best interests of New Yorkers," the spokesman said.
The mayor's spokesman, Bill Neidhardt, added on Twitter: "Donald Trump directly incited a deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. You do that, and you lose the privilege of doing business with the City of New York. It's as simple as that."
A spokesperson for the Trump Organization maintained in a statement Monday evening that "there can be no dispute that we are not just meeting, but exceeding our obligation to operate a first class, tournament quality daily fee golf course."
"The City has no right to terminate our contract. Mayor de Blasio's actions are purely politically motivated, have no legal merit, and are yet another example of the mayor's efforts to advance his own partisan agenda and interfere with free enterprise," the spokesperson said.
"But for our involvement, New Yorkers would still be looking at an environmental eyesore instead of a spectacular, world-class golf facility."
New York City had joined a raft of private businesses when it moved in January to terminate its business relationships with the Trump Organization in response to the then-President's actions on January 6. They include two of his banks, Deutsche Bank and Signature Bank, credit card processor Stripe, Shopify and the PGA of America, which announced it was pulling a major golf tournament from one of Trump's courses.
Emboldened by Trump's call to action on January 6, a crowd of supporters had marched to the seat of the legislative branch, where they climbed over scaffolding in place for Joe Biden's inauguration to launch an unprecedented breach of the Capitol that engulfed DC in chaos.
Only after pleading from aides and congressional allies inside the besieged building did Trump release a video urging the rioters to "go home," while still fanning their baseless grievances about a stolen election.
"We love you," Trump said. "You're very special." Later, he seemed to justify the actions in a tweet, writing, "These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away."
This story has been updated with additional information Monday.