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Trump Organization Challenges New Jersey’s Inquiry into Golf Clubs’ Liquor Licenses Following Conviction

Credit: The Daily Beast

In a recent development, the Trump Organization has vehemently disputed the relevance of a new investigation into the liquor licenses of three Trump-owned golf courses in New Jersey. This pushback comes after former President Donald Trump’s conviction in a New York case, raising questions about the impact on his business operations, particularly concerning the ability to hold liquor licenses at these properties.

Background of the Inquiry

The heart of the controversy lies in the investigation launched by the attorney general’s office in New Jersey, which is examining if Trump’s recent felony conviction in New York affects the status of liquor licenses at his golf courses in the state. These courses include National Golf Club Colts Neck, Lamington Farm Club, and Trump National Golf Club Pine Hill.

Trump Organization’s Response

The Trump Organization’s response to this probe was swift and clear. According to a spokesperson from the organization, Donald Trump does not directly hold any liquor licenses in New Jersey nor does he hold an official position in the entities that do. “President Trump is not the holder of any liquor license in New Jersey, and he is not an officer or director of any entity that holds a liquor license in New Jersey — or anywhere in the United States for that matter,” stated the spokesperson.

This distinction is crucial because it challenges the basis of the inquiry into the effect of Trump’s criminal convictions on the liquor licensing of these prestigious golf clubs. The Trump Organization argues that since Trump is not directly involved in the licensing, his convictions should have no bearing on the status of these licenses.

Details of the Conviction

Donald Trump was recently found guilty on all 34 felony counts of falsifying business records related to a $130,000 payment made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels. This payment, facilitated by Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen, was allegedly made to prevent Daniels from disclosing a past affair with Trump during the critical moments of his 2016 presidential campaign.

New Jersey’s Licensing Laws

Under New Jersey law, individuals convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude are prohibited from holding liquor licenses. This rule aims to ensure that those involved in the management and operation of businesses with liquor licenses maintain a standard of moral integrity that reflects well on the community they serve.

Implications for Trump’s Businesses

The inquiry into the liquor licenses at Trump’s golf clubs could have significant financial and operational implications. The licenses are critical for hosting events, which are a substantial revenue source for these clubs. The Trump Organization emphasized the potential negative impact on the many employees who rely on these clubs for their livelihood. The organization’s statement highlighted the harm that such inquiries and reports could inflict on “thousands of hard-working Americans.”

Legal and Ethical Considerations

While the Trump Organization defends the position that Trump’s convictions should not influence the liquor licenses, this situation underscores the complex interplay between business, legality, and ethics in corporate governance. It also highlights the challenges of managing large business enterprises amid personal legal battles.

Looking Ahead

As the investigation unfolds, it will be crucial to monitor how the legal arguments about direct versus indirect control over licensing entities are weighed alongside the moral requirements set forth in New Jersey’s liquor licensing laws. Moreover, how this situation resolves could set a precedent for how similar cases are handled in the future, especially concerning high-profile individuals with significant business interests.


The dispute over the liquor licenses of Trump’s golf courses in New Jersey presents a nuanced challenge involving legal definitions, ethical standards, and business operations. As the Trump Organization navigates this complex landscape, the outcome of this inquiry will not only affect the implicated golf clubs but could also influence broader practices concerning business ownership and criminal convictions in the state. This situation remains a significant example of the ongoing tension between public trust and private enterprise in the realm of corporate governance.