New Jersey to hold hearing on 2 Trump golf course liquor licenses following felony convictions

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey regulators will hold a hearing next month on whether two golf courses owned by former President Donald Trump should have their liquor licenses renewed following his felony convictions in May in New York.

His company, the Trump Organization, predicted the licenses will not be affected, and cautioned against an investigation that it claimed could be “political in nature.”

The licenses for Trump golf courses in Colts Neck and Bedminster expire on Sunday. The state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control said Friday it is not renewing the licenses, but it is issuing temporary 90-day permits to allow them to continue serving alcohol until a hearing on the licenses is held on July 19 in Trenton.

The hearing is scheduled for after Trump's sentencing on July 11.

“During such a hearing, the applicant 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,” the state Attorney General's Office said in a statement.

The license for a third Trump-owned golf course, in Pine Hill, has been renewed by the municipality, the state said.

“We believe that a hearing regarding the renewal of our liquor licenses is unwarranted and unjustified," the Trump Organization said in a statement.

It said the licenses support the livelihoods of hundreds of New Jersey residents who work at them, and contribute millions of dollars to state revenues.

“We sincerely hope that this investigation is not political in nature, and given the foregoing, we feel confident that our licenses will remain unaffected,” the company said.

At issue is whether Trump's conviction on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records to hide payments of hush money to a porn star violate New Jersey's prohibition on anyone holding a liquor license who has been convicted of a crime involving “moral turpitude.”

When the state first said earlier this month it was examining whether to take action against the licenses, the Trump Organization said the probe does not apply to him because the licenses are issued in the names of corporate entities of which he is not an officer or director.

But the Attorney General's Office said that “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.”

When Trump was sworn in as the 45th president in January 2017, he turned over management of The Trump Organization to his eldest sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, according to a statement on the company’s website.