Trump Org indictment could end its ability to sell liquor at hotels and golf courses: David Cay Johnston
Trump drinks water with two hands during 60 minutes interview (Photo: Screen capture)

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston on Saturday warned that a criminal indictment of the Trump Organization could stop the company from being able to sell alcoholic beverages at its hotels and golf courses.

"The Manhattan district attorney's office has informed Donald J. Trump's lawyers that it is considering criminal charges against his family business, the Trump Organization, in connection with fringe benefits the company awarded a top executive, according to several people with knowledge of the matter," The New York Times reported Friday. "The prosecutors had been building a case for months against the executive, Allen H. Weisselberg, as part of an effort to pressure him to cooperate with a broader inquiry into Mr. Trump's business dealings. But it was not previously known that the Trump Organization also might face charges."

Johnston, the author of two books on Trump, was interviewed on Saturday by MSNBC's Yasmin Vossoughian.

"The walls are closing in on the Trump Organization," Vossoughian said. "The former president's family business is bracing for criminal charges from the Manhattan DA's office that could come as early as next week."

"David Cay Johnston, how lethal is this for the Trump Organization?" she asked.

"Well, the Trump Organization will have enormous difficulty signing any new contracts," he replied.

Johnston noted, "it may affect licenses he has for various kind of business, including liquor licenses at his establishments. So, we -- this is a very painful, troubling development to go after the Trump Organization. Although, not the least bit unexpected."

"His immediate problems are more likely to be with any licenses that, particularly liquor licenses. In New York, he has one at Trump Tower," he explained. "He's got liquor licenses at his Westchester golf course, for example. Things like that, those could be very troublesome for him."

The New York State Liquor Authority notes licenses can be denied based on "character" and "fitness."


David Cay Johnston