Two New Jersey golf courses owned by the Trump Organization were denied liquor license renewals on Friday, with state regulators claiming that former President Donald Trump’s recent felony convictions disqualify him from holding a permit. The New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control has instead issued temporary permits to the Trump National Golf Clubs in Colts Neck and Bedminster and scheduled a hearing to determine whether Trump’s “moral turpitude” will prevent new licenses from being issued.

New Jersey State law prohibits those convicted of a crime “involving moral turpitude”—an imprecise legal concept referring to “an act or behavior that gravely violates the sentiment or accepted standard of the community”—from holding a liquor license. “A person must have a reputable character and would be expected to operate the licensed business in a reputable manner,” the legislation reads. “This discretionary concept acknowledges the issuing agency’s authority to consider prior disorderly persons offenses, (or) known organized crime history… when assessing whether to issue/renew a license application.”

According to the state Attorney General, Trump’s 34-count felony conviction in New York disqualifies him from the New Jersey liquor business.

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Upon taking office, Trump formally turned over control of the Trump Organization to his sons, Eric and Donald Jr., and the courses have operated under their name since then. However, according to the Attorney General’s office, “a review by ABC indicates that Mr. Trump maintains a direct beneficial interest in the three liquor licenses through the receipt of revenues and profits from them, as the sole beneficiary of the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust.”

As such, the entire Trump Organization “bears the burden of proof to demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence that they remain qualified to maintain licensure, which includes a review of any beneficiaries of the licenses.” Put simply, Trump and his family company must prove that the crimes of which he was convicted do not, in fact, constitute moral turpitude.

To that end, a hearing has been scheduled for July 19 in Trenton, giving the Trump Organization a chance to plead its case. 90-day temporary permits have been issued to each golf course in the meantime.

“We believe that a hearing regarding the renewal of our liquor licenses is unwarranted and unjustified,” the company said in a statement. “We sincerely hope that this investigation is not political in nature, and given the foregoing, we feel confident that our licenses will remain unaffected.”

Connor Walcott is a staff writer for Follow Connor on X and look for him on VT’s “The Unusual Suspects.”

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