Legal issues and criminal investigations continue to threaten Donald Trump’s potential ambitions of running for office again in 2024, and now it appears his golf courses might present a new headache.
According to Forbes, four Trump golf properties are in possible violation of federal law for misusing the presidential seal. A recent photo shows the presidential seal being used as a marker at Trump’s West Palm Beach golf club, joining his courses in the Bronx, New Jersey, and Jupiter, Florida as properties that are allegedly misusing the symbol.
A fourth Trump golf course appears to be violating law by using presidential seal
— Zach Everson (@Z_Everson) June 6, 2022
Use of the presidential seal is not permitted in a way that could insinuate the government is sponsoring a private-sector business. As Forbes notes, misuse of the symbol can come with a penalty of up to six months in prison, although highly unlikely.
According to 18 U.S. Code § 713, “Whoever knowingly displays any printed or other likeness of the great seal of the United States, or of the seals of the President or the Vice President of the United States, or the seal of the United States Senate, or the seal of the United States House of Representatives, or the seal of the United States Congress, or any facsimile thereof, in, or in connection with, any advertisement, poster, circular, book, pamphlet, or other publication, public meeting, play, motion picture, telecast, or other production, or on any building, monument, or stationery, for the purpose of conveying, or in a manner reasonably calculated to convey, a false impression of sponsorship or approval by the Government of the United States or by any department, agency, or instrumentality thereof, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.”
This isn’t the first time Trump has been accused of violating the statute. In 2018, the Trump Organization removed the seal from one of its golf properties where it was similarly being used as markers. The company blamed the misuse on a group of Trump supporters who were looking to celebrate President’s Day. Four years later, Trump’s golf properties either didn’t complete their sweep of the presidential seal, or they’ve since decided to violate federal law again.