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Miami Racetrack Sends Cease And Desist Letter Ahead Of Planned Trump Fundraiser

Miami Grand Prix sent wealthy Trump donor Steven Witkoff a cease and desist letter ahead of a planned fundraiser during an upcoming F1 race.

Donald Trump
Michael M. Santiago/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

According to The Washington Post, the Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix shut down efforts by a supporter of former Republican President Donald Trump to hold a $250k per person fundraiser in their rooftop suite during the city's upcoming Formula 1 race.

New York based real estate investor and landlord Steven Witkoff—a longtime friend of Trump—bought a rooftop suite for the F1 event being held May 3-5. Witkoff then began organizing a way to use the suite to raise funds for Trump.

Witkoff has reportedly already donated over $2 million to Trump’s political action committees.

And Trump planned to attend.

As reported by Newsweek, Trump's Secret Service detail contacted race organizers to coordinate his attendance at the event.

However an April 26 letter from the F1 race organizers addressed to Witkoff stated:

"It has come to our attention that you may be using your Paddock Club Rooftop Suite for a political purpose, namely raising money for a federal election at $250,000 per ticket, which clearly violates the Formula 1 Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix suite license agreement."
"If this is true, we regret to inform you that your suite license will be revoked, you will not be allowed to attend the race at any time, and we will refund you in full."
"We appreciate your support of the Formula 1 Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix. Our race is a celebration of sports and culture."
"We are creating a place for everyone to come together and enjoy the excitement of Formula 1. Political campaigning has its place, and it is not at our race."
"We welcome you and your guests to attend our event and enjoy your suite. However, we respectfully request it be done in compliance with our very clear license agreement."

Witkoff denied The Washington Post claims on Friday, stating:

"This is something fake, for sure."

However he failed to clarify what aspects were fake: the planned fundraiser, having purchased a rooftop suite or the cease and desist notice from the Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix organization.

Paddock suites are premium spaces set up at F1 races offering views close to the racing action making them a coveted—and expensive—spot for race weekend gatherings.

The Miami Grand Prix is the first of three Formula 1 races being held in the United States in 2024. In addition to Miami, Florida, the United States Grand Prix will be held in Austin, Texas and the Las Vegas Grand Prix will take place in Nevada.

The Miami Paddock Club suite license terms prohibit "advertising, promotional or commercial purposes (including without limitation, prizes, competitions, contests, or sweepstakes) without the prior written consent of Promoter and the F1 entities...."

A copy of the alleged letter was shared on X by Miami based sportscaster and talk show host Andy Slater.


People were less than sympathetic to Trump's thwarted fundraising attempt.

The fundraiser—set up by the new Witkoff owned Shell Bay Club at Hallandale Beach near Hollywood, Florida—was slated for May 5.

The golf/tennis club, resort and Residences at Shell Bay bill themself as "South Florida's most exclusive enclave." Members were notified of the Miami Grand Prix event in the latest club newsletter.

WaPo reported two people who called the Shell Bay Club about the event were told it was a fundraiser for Trump costing $250,000 a ticket and included a helicopter ride, access to the Paddock Club Rooftop Suite and other unspecified perks.

Witkoff testified as part of Trump’s defense during the former President's New York financial fraud civil judgement phase. The trial resulted in Trump being ordered to pay over $450 million in fines and interest and to not do business in the state of New York.