Scottish leaders are advocating for an investigation into President Donald Trump over possible money laundering, adding yet another locale to the list of U.S. allies that the Trump administration has alienated. The country’s Green Party co-leader Patrick Harvie wants First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to seek a so-called “unexplained wealth order,” which — as its name suggests — demands answers from a target for unexplained wealth. In this case, Harvie is questioning the eventual president’s acquisition of land for both Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeenshire and the Trump Turnberry resort in Ayrshire, which Trump abruptly acquired during the Great Recession.
Were the purchases designed as parts of a money laundering operation? Harvie wants to know. He says:
‘The purchase of Menie and the Turnberry golf resort were part of Trump’s huge cash spending spree in the midst of a global financial crisis… Trump’s known sources of income don’t explain where the money came from for these huge cash transactions. There are reasonable grounds for suspecting that his lawfully obtained income was insufficient.’
That’s pretty blunt! Perhaps Trump will be angrily tweeting about the Scottish Green Party next, considering his well documented past animosity towards those who even dare to question his behavior and/or motives. Trump has consistently and infamously resisted calls to release his tax returns, which would provide information about where his money actually came from like the funds which he used to purchase that Scottish land.
Harvie, for his part, tied his push for a Trump investigation to the integrity and legitimacy of the Scottish government itself.
‘We need to be given confidence that the Government will show leadership and use the powers available to them. Will the First Minister seek an unexplained wealth order and make it clear that Scotland is not a country where anyone with the money can buy whatever land and property they want, no questions asked?’
Sturgeon responded to Harvie most recently by insisting that she’d look at the case more closely.
Trump has already battled the Scottish government once before — he launched an eventually unsuccessful lawsuit to try and force authorities to roll back a wind turbine project constructed near his Aberdeenshire course, which he alleged had its scenery unfairly impeded upon by the development. Adding insult to injury for Trump, a U.K. court even demanded that he pay the Scottish government’s legal fees.
His new Scotland financial debacle follows similar issues in the U.S. House investigators have questioned whether some of Trump’s other business activities functioned as shells for money laundering, and they’ve investigated this possibility alongside credible allegations against Trump of bank fraud, tax fraud, insurance fraud, and more. He routinely artificially adjusted property valuations and more in order to get the most out of whoever he happened to be dealing with at the time.
Trump, of course, has insisted the whole time that he’s completely and utterly innocent — no matter the amply available evidence proving otherwise. He’s routinely lied about the nature of investigations into his behavior in an attempt to garner sympathy and continued support from his voters.