DC keeps Trump's liquor license intact

Washington's Alcoholic Beverage Control Board met on Wednesday to consider a review into whether President D...

Posted: Sep 13, 2018 7:54 AM
Updated: Sep 13, 2018 7:54 AM

Washington's Alcoholic Beverage Control Board met on Wednesday to consider a review into whether President Donald Trump has the character to sell alcohol in the nation's capital.

In a terse announcement Wednesday afternoon, the board said its interpretation of local law made them opt not to act at this time, allowing Trump's DC properties to continue as they are.

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Wednesday's meeting came in response to a June complaint from a group called Make Integrity Great Again, which has seized upon DC regulations to assert Trump is not of "good character" and therefore should not be able to sell alcoholic beverages at the Trump International Hotel, located blocks away from the White House.

"The board does not agree with the assumption that a character and fitness review may be initiated at any time," the board announced.

The complainants filed a series of supplements ahead of Wednesday's meeting, including an additional filing earlier this month citing the recent guilty plea of Trump's former personal attorney and confidant Michael Cohen.

Joshua Levy, a lawyer behind the effort, told CNN ahead of Wednesday's hearings that he believed their evidence was "overwhelming" and dismissed the idea that the case was not worth bringing.

"There's nothing petty about the enforcement of the law," Levy said.

CNN reached out to the Trump Organization's press office ahead of the board's meeting.

After the board's announcement on Wednesday, Levy said "the board has made a mistake" and vowed the complainants would try to press the board again in the coming days to reconsider.

The board noted, however, that all hotel liquor license holders in DC must apply for renewal by the end of March next year.

The hotel, located in the Old Post Office building in Washington, has been the subject of patronage from Trump allies and official visitors to Washington as well as protest and legal scrutiny from his opponents.

The board's chairperson, Donovan Anderson, said in a statement that the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration inspected the hotel as part of its review process following the complaint and found "an alleged sale-to-minor violation" scheduled to be on the board's agenda later this month.

Max Bluestein, a spokesman for the alcoholic beverage administration, told CNN that while the allegation could lead to a warning or fine after review, it would not lead to the revocation of the hotel's license.

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