The Trump Organization filed a lawsuit against New York City on June 21, alleging that its contract to run a Bronx golf course was cancelled for political reasons.
The lawsuit, filed in state court, argues that the contract between the city and the organization did not give New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio grounds to terminate it due to the actions of some of the president’s supporters during the Jan. 6 riot earlier this year.
The lawsuit asks the court to let the Trump organization continue operating the course or pay millions to exit the deal.
“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 Trump Organization said in a statement.
New York City said the company breached the terms of the contract and that it will “vigorously defend” its decision to terminate the deal.
De Blasio announced the contract’s termination in January in the wake of the Capitol riot. He accused Trump of the “criminal action” of inciting the rioters. The U.S. Senate exonerated Trump of a similar charge during its second impeachment trial for the president.
A number of banks and other businesses have refused to do future business with the Trump organization after the unrest on Jan. 6.
New York has also pointed to a decision by the PGA of America to cancel a tournament that had been scheduled to be held at a Trump golf course in New Jersey.
The city said that Trump could no longer argue that he can attract prestigious tournaments to Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in the Bronx as is required in the contract.
The Trump Organization argued in the lawsuit that the contract doesn’t require it to attract tournaments, only obliging it maintain a course that is “first-class, tournament quality.”
It attached letters from course designers, golf organizations, and famous golfers, including top-ranked players Dustin Johnson and U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau, saying that the course met that standard.
The city has previously argued that the Trump Organization was being “overly restrictive” in its interpretation of the phrase “first-class, tournament quality,” saying it need only show that Trump is incapable of attracting tournaments for whatever reason.
Under the contract terms, New York City can terminate its deal with the Trump Organization at any time without cause but would be obligated to compensate the company for the money it invested in building a clubhouse on the course.
Trump’s son Eric, who lashed out at the city decision as a part of “cancel culture” earlier this year, has said the city and rate payers would be obligated to pay more than $30 million if the city withdraws, a figure cited again in the lawsuit.