A Scottish Green party MSP has said there were “big questions” to be answered over Donald Trump’s business deals in the country. Patrick Harvie said unexplained wealth orders should be used to investigate how President Trump paid for his Scottish golf resorts.
The allegations were fiercely rebuffed by Trump’s son Eric, who said they had “no basis in fact”. He accused Harvie of making “disgusting statements” that were “reckless, irresponsible and unbecoming for a member of the Scottish Parliament”.
Eric Trump said the Trump Organisation had “invested hundreds of millions of dollars in Scotland while creating thousands of jobs”.
Donald Trump opened his controversial golf course on the Menie estate in Aberdeenshire in 2012, before purchasing the Turnberry golf resort in Ayrshire in 2014, into which the Trump Organisation claimed to have invested about £150m in the first two years.
An inquiry by the US’ House of Representatives into allegations about possible links between President Trump and Russia heard allegations that Turnberry may have been used for money laundering – a claim that Trump has always strongly denied.
MSP Harvie said that the House of Representatives had heard testimony which stated: “We saw patterns of buying and selling that we thought were suggestive of money laundering”, with particular concern expressed about Trump’s golf courses in Scotland and Ireland.
He added: “Trump’s known sources of income don’t explain where the money came from for these huge cash transactions.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon responded by saying that she did not want to give as statement without the full information.
Sturgeon’s spokesman later said that the decision on whether to apply for a unexplained wealth order is made on behalf of Scottish ministers by the Civil Recovery Unit, which reports to the lord advocate. He said the government had last year received a report from campaigners seeking an order, which it had passed to the Lord Advocate on that basis.