Why Donald Trump's Golf Gear Could Land Him In Seriously Hot Water

Donald Trump transformed himself from a business tycoon and reality TV star to the leader of the free world for four years (the greatest four years, as he would say). He would like nothing more than to hold the title again; indeed, he has referred to himself as the 47th president, according to Newsweek. Of course, Trump would also argue that he should never have left the White House, to begin with. As the ongoing Congressional hearings have revealed, Donald Trump refused to say on January 6 that the election was over. 

In the months since then, Trump has repeatedly invoked his "election fraud" argument to frame himself as a tragically wronged conspiracy victim, and rarely misses an opportunity to remind his faithful of his glory days. Unfortunately, one of these reminders might very well cost him a bit of cash — or worse.

The Washington Post reports that on July 28, 2022, Trump's Bedminster, New Jersey, golf course was the arena for the LIV Golf Invitational Series Tournament, a pro-am event sponsored by the Saudi government. That in itself has infuriated the families of 9/11 victims, who aired an ad protesting Bedminster for accepting millions from a regime long suspected to be tied to the infamous terrorist attacks. But eyebrows were raised even further at the sight of the former president, whose personal gear was decorated with a symbol he was supposed to have relinquished long ago. 

Donald Trump could potentially face jail time

Wearing his signature "Make America Great Again" red baseball cap, Trump demonstrated a "barge-ahead style" game — as The New York Times described it — on his 18-hole course during the LIV Golf tournament, rushing ahead of his assigned group without waiting for them to finish their shots. Along with his apparent lack of sportsmanship, Trump displayed a lack of government protocol. Trump used the official U.S. presidential seal on his golf cart, and The Washington Post confirmed that the seal also appeared on other gear.

According to the Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute, "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 . . . 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 . . . shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both." 

Forbes notes that Trump has used the seal on his New York and Florida golf courses in the past, so this is hardly his first violation. The outlet adds these penalties are rarely enforced. Still, his actions have raised eyebrows on Twitter. One user tweeted, "The Presidential Seal is not for sale . . . why is he getting away with this? He ruins everything he touches . . . what sleaze...he has no respect!"