🔥 Why A House in Atlantic City Keeps Coming Up in GOP Race

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A Ted Cruz TV ad says Donald Trump “colluded with Atlantic City insiders a New Jersey Superior Court judge ruled in favor of Vera Coking of Atlantic Trump wanted Coking's house and other nearby private properties as.


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Donald Trump battled with Vera Coking in the courts in the '90s over her tiny Atlantic City house. His rivals in the GOP race continue to attack.


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Trump's battle with Atlantic City resident Vera Coking in the s is the ultimate example of this kind of Robin-Hood-in-reverse development.


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Melania Trump reveals 'The Donald's' greatest pet peeve ...

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Retired now, the house is her only residence and only asset. But if tycoon Donald Trump has his way, a New Jersey government agency will use.


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Vera Coking's house in Atlantic City was right next to Trump Plaza. But she refused to sell.


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A Ted Cruz TV ad says Donald Trump “colluded with Atlantic City insiders a New Jersey Superior Court judge ruled in favor of Vera Coking of Atlantic Trump wanted Coking's house and other nearby private properties as.


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TRUMPED: The Donald, The Widow and Eminent Domain

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Vera Coking's house in Atlantic City was right next to Trump Plaza. But she refused to sell.


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Vera Coking's Last Stand - Real People - George Schlatter

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Donald Trump battled with Vera Coking in the courts in the '90s over her tiny Atlantic City house. His rivals in the GOP race continue to attack.


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Trump's battle with Atlantic City resident Vera Coking in the s is the ultimate example of this kind of Robin-Hood-in-reverse development.


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Donald Trump's Atlantic City gamble that didn't pay off

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For more than 30 years Vera Coking lived in a three-story house just off the Boardwalk in Atlantic City. Donald Trump built his story Trump.


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Vera Coking

Trump took the ball in his hand, Zeitz said. Trump added moments later, "So I congratulate you for getting the contract. Judge rules there is enough evidence to try 3 suspects on murder charges in fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery. Bryant Drive, a road named for her father, the first African American member of the New Jersey state government cabinet. Coking, represented by Zeitz, sued Trump and the demolition company he hired, claiming that the work tearing down the remnants of the Penthouse structure started a fire in her home and caused other damage. Coking was portrayed by some commentators as a hero for standing up to a powerful businessmen. Coking had been fighting to keep her home, located a few steps from the city's famed seaside boardwalk, since the s when Penthouse magazine publisher Bob Guccione launched a casino and hotel project and tried to buy her out. Zeitz - a criminal defense attorney with blue-collar roots and a relentless manner - had represented tough guys and murder suspects. The legal battles stretched for years. Trump sought to define her differently. Zeitz rejected the offer, which came as Trump was also pressing him to settle the dispute and persuade his client to sell her house. Zeitz pulled out a baseball. She held onto the house for another 18 years - until it was sold in and later torn down. But it was different in this respect: Trump wanted to block the project to prevent his rival from getting what he wanted. The endeavor was similar to Coking's case in this respect: It would use eminent domain to buy out homeowners. Trump, who had been championing the use of eminent domain to take the home of Zeitz's client, Vera Coking, suddenly wanted him to help fight the use of eminent domain for a project that would have benefited one of his rivals. Trump insisted that "the only thing that was very important to me was the safety aspect of it, and on that I was very strong," according to the transcript. A puzzling number of men tied to the Ferguson protests have since died.{/INSERTKEYS}{/PARAGRAPH} The widow looked like a big underdog against the billionaire. But in , when Coking's lawyer got a chance to question Trump face to face, the outcome was far from certain. So he built around her, erecting a steel skeleton that rose within inches of Coking's home on three sides, surrounding it as if it was in a cage. They sent her to Zeitz because he was also licensed to practice in New Jersey. He'd met two people who seemed as stubborn as him: a feisty widow whose house stood in the way of his Atlantic City casino expansion, and her attorney. Hicks, Trump's spokeswoman, did not respond to a specific question about it beyond her statement that The Post's story was based on "false" statements. Recommended on Chicago Tribune. Glenn Zeitz, the attorney who represented Vera Coking in a s lawsuit against Donald Trump, holds a baseball he tried to give to Trump to show that he, too, could play hardball. Even though the widow was suing him for damaging her house, Trump called her attorney, Glenn Zeitz, and, according to Zeitz, tried to hire him for a potentially more lucrative case. Who was George Floyd? Zeitz's adversary was no novice in these sorts of situations. His project ran out of money and sat unfinished for years - a rotting eight-story shell with no walls. Coking, who is elderly and in poor health, doesn't speak to reporters anymore, according to an associate. Additionally, it is ancient history. Bryant owned one of the homes that was threatened with eminent domain on Horace J. The Donald handed it back. President Trump, citing the pandemic, plans two moves to weaken key environmental protections. He said he felt it would have been a conflict of interest because winning the case would benefit Trump by hurting a rival casino owner - and he couldn't do that while also representing Coking, who was in a legal dispute with Trump. So she called a Pennsylvania lawyer referral line. The audacity," recalled Julia Ingersoll, an associate in Zeitz's office and one of five friends and former colleagues who learned of the call at the time and confirmed it in recent interviews. Trump's approach struck his adversaries as brazen. But he was stunned at what Trump said next. No bitterness at all. Donald," the voice on the other end of the line said without preamble, Zeitz recalled. He was a dealmaker, and, according to Zeitz, eager to play both sides of the eminent domain issue as it suited his needs. That lawsuit took place alongside a separate legal fight in which Coking and Zeitz were suing to prevent the state from using eminent domain to force her to sell her house. Trump asked to go off the record. In fact, he'd been approached about representing one of the homeowners, Lillian Bryant, a former Atlantic County freeholder, an office akin to a county commissioner in other states. He began talking about an Atlantic City tunnel project that a rival developer - casino mogul Steve Wynn - wanted built. But he couldn't say "no" to Vera Coking. Trump cut him off. Zeitz said he couldn't fight Trump in one case and represent him in another. Coking needed legal help. Among his racketeering clients was Frank Sheeran, the union boss investigated in the death of Jimmy Hoffa. {PARAGRAPH}{INSERTKEYS}Donald Trump had a problem. Coking eventually prevailed in the eminent domain case and was able to keep her house. Trump pressed Zeitz to tell his client to take the deal and forget about both lawsuits. It had an inscription: "From 'The Vera. The July 17, , deposition, which was taken as part of the demolition lawsuit, took place on Trump's turf: a conference room at his Trump's Castle building in Atlantic City. Trump, at times, took the opportunity to needle his questioner. Trump bought the derelict Penthouse property and faced the same problem as Guccione: Coking's house was in the way. Trump declined to be interviewed, and his spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, said in an email that "this story and these statements are completely false. The call has not previously been reported, but Zeitz was so taken aback that he told many of his friends and colleagues about it at the time. Richard Klineburger, a lawyer whose office was in the same building as Zeitz's, recalled his friend being "very angry" about Trump's call. Still, Zeitz told Trump he wanted to give him something. In his campaign, Trump has said he "loves" eminent domain and has argued that projects, such as roads and hospitals, could not be won without it. Zeitz, 69, who now lives part of the year in an elegant Palm Beach bungalow a minute drive from Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate, had never handled an eminent domain case. She refused. But Coking refused to sell her house to Trump. The next time they talked was in an Atlantic City courtroom. Skip to content. For the next hour and 45 minutes, Trump sought to distance himself from the seven-month-long demolition project, repeatedly saying he had "people" to take care of the details. What happened shortly thereafter was a surprise. It would have created "a tangled web of conflicts," Zeitz said in a recent interview. When the lawyer asked him if he could give a "ballpark figure" of how many times he'd been deposed, Trump responded, "No, but many," according to a transcript that Zeitz has kept in his files. Before they officially got started, Zeitz had a warning for Trump: "There are going to be three women in your life that you're never going to forget: Ivana, Marla and Vera," Zeitz recalled telling the developer, invoking the names of his client and Trump's first two wives. Zeitz was familiar with the project already. George Floyd mourned, celebrated at memorial in Minneapolis as his death is used as call to action. So the mogul began tearing down Guccione's failed project in Along the way, Trump was supportive of efforts by the state's casino redevelopment agency to use eminent domain to buy Coking's home. And that meant blocking the use of eminent domain - the very same kind of government action that he was supporting in Coking's case. The Coking case has gained wide attention in the presidential race because Trump's critics in the party have pointed to his use of eminent domain as evidence that the GOP front-runner is out of step with small-government conservatives who cherish private property rights. At one point, Trump's team pushed city officials to condemn her house and tear it down. The call was a shock to Zeitz - not just because it happened, but because of the case Trump wanted him to work on. Zeitz said he had declined to take the case. It was an unlikely pairing. But new interviews and previously unreported documents from the case, including a deposition of Trump, offer a glimpse of Trump as a defendant, drawing on some of the tactics and personality traits that have made him a wily and unpredictable presidential candidate 20 years later. Zeitz told Trump that he had to be loyal to his client and that it would be a conflict of interest to take the case while he was involved in Coking's lawsuit against the developer. Zeitz said, "No. He told Trump that when he first got involved in the case, the developer's lawyers told him that the Trump organization "plays hardball. Then Trump added a wrinkle. Zeitz wanted to know if Trump harbored any "bitterness or animosity" toward Coking. She was a very nice woman perhaps, but she has played the game very poorly. Trump countered that he should rush a settlement of the Coking case so he'd no longer have a conflict, according to Zeitz. Zeitz wanted Trump to admit that the demolition work was endangering his client. But she was skeptical that she could find someone in her state who wouldn't be influenced by casino owners and politicians.