The case against Trump and his moral failings will be heard today in Washington, D.C.
A Washington, D.C., liquor board will consider that question Wednesday after a group of city residents complained that the owner of the Trump International Hotel fails the “good character” test required of anyone who wants to sell wine, beer or spirits in the city.
In their grievance to the city’s Alcohol Beverage Control Board, the group presented a litany of what they say are Trump’s moral failures, calling him a liar, a fraudster and a racist who associates with criminals.
The hotel, just blocks from the White House, opened in 2016 and has become a hangout for administration aides and Trump loyalists. The president himself, who does not drink, has appeared at major fundraisers there, and his campaign has spent thousands of dollars on events. Foreign governments, including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, are frequent patrons, too. In 2017 and 2018, Kuwait’s ambassador to the U.S. booked the hotel for galas to celebrate the anniversary of the country’s independence from British rule.
Yanking the hotel’s liquor license would put a serious dent in its events business, including weddings and fundraisers. The hotel’s steakhouse, BLT Prime, and the lobby’s popular Benjamin Bar and Lounge — mocked by locals for serving wine by the spoonful — operate under a separate license that isn’t targeted by the current complaint. But both could be hit if the case goes forward, because they, like the hotel, have liquor licenses held by Trump Old Post Office LLC, which in turn is owned by the president.
According to the complainants, their case against Trump’s character is strong, with ample evidence put forth. It remains to be seen if the board will risk embarrassing Trump and all that entails from his cult, but the people behind the complaint are also rich and powerful. Critics have called it a frivolous publicity stunt to discredit Trump.
The seven complainants against Trump include a federal judge, a former chair of the White House Council on Faith and Neighborhood Partnerships, and several religious leaders. Their effort is being funded by Jerry Hirsch, an Arizona Republican and chairman of the nonprofit Make Integrity Great Again.