Clergy: Revoke Trump Hotel liquor license because he lacks 'good character'


A group of D.C. clergy filed a complaint against the Trump Hotel.

In an event that could only happen in the Trump era, a group of civic and religious leaders has filed a complaint asking Washington D.C.'s alcohol control board to revoke the Trump Hotel's liquor license.

The group, Make Integrity Great Again (MIGA), is asking the board to examine whether Trump is moral and ethical. That's because to hold a liquor license in Washington D.C. the owner must be a person of "good character." Donald Trump, the pastors say, definitely is not.

The complaint details the broad scope of Trump's poor behavior. It notes that in the first year of being in office, Trump told at least 2,000 confirmed lies. He's lied about his net worth, his conflicts of interest, and about paying off Stormy Daniels — all things that implicate character.

The complaint also points out that Trump lacks integrity in his dealings with other people and businesses. He defrauded students at Trump University, he doesn't pay his contractors, and he brags about sexual assault.

Perhaps most damning, the complaint lays out Trump's numerous contacts with known criminals, such as members of the mafia, and his ongoing illicit behavior. Trump has violated the Fair Housing Act, he's been sued by the Federal Trade Commission, he's been fined by the United States Treasury, and he's been cited by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

One has to wonder whether, if this were any other hotel in Washington D.C., the alcohol control board would have let a complaint this credible languish as it did for nearly a year in this instance. The pastors originally asked the board to revoke the hotel's license in June 2018. In September, the board told the pastors that it wouldn't consider the issue until it was time for the license to be renewed.

That time is now. There will be a renewal hearing on the hotel's liquor license later this month. It's unclear at this time whether MIGA would be allowed to present evidence or participate in any other fashion at the hearing.

This is the sort of problem that shouldn't exist. Presidents are not supposed to own private businesses from which they continue to profit while in office. Presidents are not supposed to own a business that leases its property from the federal government. Presidents are not supposed to own a business that repeatedly hosts people currying favor from the government.

But because Trump has flouted both laws and norms by refusing to divest and because his character is so deeply compromised, we're faced with the specter of a liquor board having to consider whether the president of the United States is morally unfit to hold a liquor license.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.