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Former POTUS Donald Trump could be violating federal law by using the presidential seal on one of his golf courses in Florida.
An image shared on Instagram in April shows the blue and silver seal located in the grass at the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, with a caption alongside the post explaining: "45th President 45 yards from hole on 18."
The post does not mark the first time the presidential seal has appeared at a property owned by Trump; in 2018 a podcast from ProPublica and WNYC uncovered similar markers which the Trump Organization blamed at the time on fans of the Republican.
In a statement made in 2018 and cited by Forbes, the company commented: "The plaques were presented to the club by a small group of members, who are incredible fans of the president, in honor of Presidents’ Day weekend."
An order form obtained by the podcast listed the markers as having been purchased by 'Trump International', casting doubt on the company's claims. At the time, a company named Eagle Sign and Design confirmed it had received an order to create dozens of replicas of the seal to be placed next to tee boxes on Trump's courses.
The Trump Organisation further claimed the plaques were 'temporary and have since been removed', but the image of the seal shared in April indicates they are still being used in relation to the former President - a potential violation of a federal law which states the seal cannot be used in a way that could indicate government approval or sponsorship of private-sector businesses.
The seal can only be used for official government business, and violations of this law could result in prison sentences of up to six months.
Kathleen Clark, a law professor at Washington University specialising in government and legal ethics, told the ProPublica podcast at the time the federal law is 'an expression of the idea that the government and government authority should not be used for private purposes'.
Ummm, I'm sure THIS is illegal! 🤨— 𝑼𝒏𝒂𝒃𝒂𝒔𝒉𝒆𝒅 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑹𝒂𝒘! (@AriesaSandino) June 12, 2022
Trump is using the Presidential seal on his golf course! pic.twitter.com/SPSmZrvbYY
"It would be a misuse of government authority," Clark said. As well as the seal itself, the law applies to its likeness, 'or any facsimile thereof'.
The West Palm Beach golf course, which is the former President's go-to when he is residing at his nearby Mar-a-Lago resort, is the fourth found to be using the seal following similar incidents in the Bronx, New Jersey and Jupiter, Florida.
UNILAD has reached out to the Trump Organization for comment.
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Featured Image Credit: Alamy/@edruff/Instagram
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