- Screenshot/ABC News
- ABC News posted footage of a fight between Trump Organization security and hotel officials at the Trump International Hotel in Panama.
- The ongoing dispute between hotel ownership and the Trump Organization has lasted nearly a week.
Footage obtained by ABC News showed Trump Organization security and hotel officials scuffling at the Trump International Hotel in Panama, where ownership has been locked in a wild dispute with President Donald Trump’s namesake company.
That dispute has been ongoing since Thursday afternoon, when Orestes Fintiklis, the majority owner of the hotel, arrived in the lobby of the building with associates. His aim was to fire the Trump Organization, which has managed the hotel since its 2011 opening. The Trump Organization, however, refused to leave.
In the days since, police have been called to the property multiple times to, as the Associated Press reported, “keep the peace.”
Meanwhile, after Fintiklis and his associates hand-delivered termination notices to Trump Organization employees at the hotel on Thursday, witnesses told the wire service they saw Trump executives moving files to a room, where they would be shredded. The witnesses told the AP that they could hear the shredding take place.
A legal complaint filed by Fintiklis accused Trump’s team of improperly destroying the documents of pushing and shouting at the owner when he came to deliver the notices.
Fintiklis, as The Washington Post reported, blames the Trump Organization for the hotel’s dwindling revenue. He believes Trump’s damaged brand is causing the decline. Meanwhile, Trump’s business contends that it still has a valid contract to run the hotel.
Now, offices have been barricaded at the building and a number of shouting matches have reportedly taken place, according to the AP and The Post. At one point, the power was turned off during a dispute.
Video obtained by ABC Newsshows a scuffle break out between Trump Organization security andbuilding security at the Trump International Hotel in Panama, amidan escalating legal dispute between Trump’s company and thebuilding’s majority owner. https://t.co/opUo0lycxc pic.twitter.com/sfe2X5FGBn
— ABC News (@ABC) March 1, 2018
The Trump Organization issued a Monday statement on the standoff, blasting Fintiklis and his associates for disregarding the ongoing legal proceedings.
“It now appears as though Mr. Fintiklis has either lost patience with the pace of the proceedings which he commenced or simply lacks the financial backing he once claimed he had,” the statement said, per The Post.
“Mr. Fintiklis recently decided to take matters into his own hands and try and physically – and forcibly – remove Trump from the Hotel as manager,” the Trump Organization statement continued, adding, “Mr. Fintiklis arrived in Panama with a rogue private security team and others and launched a coordinated attack to physically take over the management of the Hotel.”
The Post reported that Fintiklis’ lawyer went to Panamanian authorities Friday to complain about the Trump staffers issuing threats and intimidating him so he wouldn’t enter the building. Panama’s federal prosecutors soon promised to open a probe into the Trump Organization.