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New Jersey Tells Trump’s Golf Clubs to Show They Deserve Liquor Licenses

LocalNew Jersey Tells Trump’s Golf Clubs to Show They Deserve Liquor Licenses


New Jersey alcoholic beverage regulators on Friday ordered two of former President Donald J. Trump’s golf clubs to demonstrate why their liquor licenses should be renewed after he was found guilty of falsifying business records.

Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, Mr. Trump’s frequent retreat during his four years in office, and Trump National Golf Club in Colts Neck will be subject to a July 19 hearing in Trenton, according to Kirstin Krueger, interim director of the New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

Mr. Trump’s felony convictions last month in a New York court “raise concerns as to whether this licensee remains qualified to hold said license,” Ms. Krueger wrote in letters to Donald J. Trump Jr., executive vice president of the Trump Organization. The former president, who is running against President Biden to reclaim the White House, has a direct interest in the licenses, the division found.

A lawyer for Mr. Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday afternoon.

A New York jury found Mr. Trump guilty of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records related to his cover-up of a sex scandal during his 2016 presidential run. The verdict, the first criminal conviction of an American president, made Mr. Trump a felon.

Ms. Krueger, in her letters, cited the division’s “discretion to deny an application based on a review of the applicant’s background and character.”

At the core of the New York case was a hush-money payment to a porn star, Stormy Daniels. Mr. Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer, Michael D. Cohen, paid Ms. Daniels $130,000 to silence her story of a sexual encounter with Mr. Trump, who then falsified the records to conceal his repayment of Mr. Cohen.

New Jersey law will not grant liquor licenses to “any person who has been convicted of a crime of moral turpitude,” and applicants have the burden of evidence to prove that they are qualified.

Though Mr. Trump’s golf properties are private, the venues are available to nonmembers for weddings and other events. “Whether an intimate affair or lavish soiree, Trump National Golf Club, Colts Neck will provide the perfect atmosphere for your dream day,” the club’s website says. The Bedminster property, in the heart of New Jersey’s horse country, was a frequent getaway and the site of Mr. Trump’s 17-day vacation in 2017.

In addition to the two properties mentioned, Mr. Trump owns Trump National Golf Club Philadelphia in Pine Hill, a New Jersey suburb. That club’s municipally regulated license to sell bottles of alcohol was renewed by the borough on June 3, according to a statement from the office of Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin of New Jersey.

New Jersey has more than three dozen types of liquor licenses, some regulated by local government. Licenses like those in Bedminster and Colts Neck are subject to annual renewal with June 30 expirations.

The final judgment on whether to disqualify Mr. Trump from holding those licenses must wait for his sentencing on the felony cases on July 11, according to the statement from the attorney general. The clubs will be allowed to serve drinks until July 19 on an interim basis, it said.

Benjamin Protess contributed reporting.



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