Trump Golf Clubs Face New Jersey’s Boozy Inquisition: Will Fairness Prevail?


New Jersey regulators are gearing up for a midsummer showdown over the fate of Donald Trump’s golf clubs’ liquor licenses. They’ve set a July 19 hearing to decide whether to renew the permits for two of Trump’s clubs following his recent felony conviction in New York. Yes, you heard it right — the former President, known for his bold claims and brash demeanor, now faces legal troubles that could impact his golf course empire.

According to New Jersey law, individuals convicted of crimes involving “moral turpitude” are barred from holding liquor licenses. Trump’s recent conviction on falsifying business records has triggered this regulatory scrutiny. The charges stemmed from allegations that he attempted to cover up payments made to silence allegations of an extramarital affair. This saga played out amidst the drama of the 2016 election.

The New Jersey Attorney General’s office has pointed out that Trump, through the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust, continues to benefit financially from the liquor licenses at his Colts Neck and Bedminster golf courses. This direct financial interest places the licenses under review, regardless of Trump’s claims that he is not directly involved in the operational aspects of the clubs holding these licenses.

Targeting Donald Trump’s liquor licenses could be interpreted as a political jab, given the timing and context surrounding his recent legal battles. Critics argue that such actions, especially in a politically charged environment, could be more about tarnishing Trump’s reputation than enforcing regulatory standards. With Trump’s status as a prominent Republican figure and a potential contender in future elections, every legal skirmish has added significance.

This witch hunt is seen by Trump’s supporters as a deliberate attempt to financially cripple his potential future campaign efforts. By targeting his business interests, opponents aim to drain resources that could otherwise fund political campaigns or initiatives. For Trump, known for his self-funded approach to campaigning, any impediment to his financial capabilities could pose a significant challenge. This tactic underscores the high-stakes nature of the regulatory scrutiny and its potential impact beyond mere business operations, shaping the landscape for Trump’s political aspirations.

As Trump awaits sentencing in New York on July 11, New Jersey regulators are poised to assess whether these licenses can legally remain in effect. The Trump Organization has predictably dismissed the hearing as unwarranted and politically motivated, emphasizing that Trump himself is not the direct license holder nor involved in the day-to-day operations of the license-holding entities. Though the optics suggest otherwise, they hope the process remains fair and apolitical.

Despite these protests, New Jersey officials are adamant about their review process. They’ve issued a temporary 90-day permit allowing the clubs to continue liquor sales until the hearing’s outcome. During the hearing, the burden of proof will be on the applicant — in this case, those benefiting from the Trump-affiliated licenses — to demonstrate why they should retain these privileges.

Interestingly, while Trump’s Pine Hill golf course saw its liquor license renewed earlier in June, the focus remains squarely on the upcoming decisions regarding Colts Neck and Bedminster. The Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) authority has refrained from further comment on the Pine Hill license until after the July 19 hearing, highlighting the pivotal nature of these deliberations.

This legal saga represents another battlefield for Trump and his supporters in what they view as a broader struggle against perceived political targeting. The outcome of the New Jersey hearing could potentially affect not only Trump’s business interests but also his political ambitions as he navigates the aftermath of his unprecedented felony conviction.

As the July 19 hearing approaches, all eyes are on New Jersey regulators to see how they navigate this politically charged terrain. Stay tuned as this story unfolds, with implications that reach beyond the green fairways of Trump’s golf clubs to the corridors of power in New Jersey and beyond.