International Trump Corruption Investigation Moves Forward

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An effort to force former President Trump to disclose the sources of financing for two golf courses owned by his company in Scotland is continuing to move forward. An advocacy organization called Avaaz is challenging a decision earlier this year by the Scottish Parliament against pursuing what’s called an unexplained wealth order, which would compel Trump to make such financial disclosures, in the interest of rooting out potential money laundering. As noted by The Scotsman, “If an official, or their family, cannot prove a legitimate source for their riches, authorities can go to court to seize property.”

Huge financial losses have been reported at both Trump golf courses in Scotland — and yet, operations at both properties continue. Trump has also been reported to have paid for both courses upfront in cash, raising further questions about where the money to fund the whole endeavor actually came from. Lawyer Aidan O’Neill, who is representing Avaaz, insisted during recent court proceedings that the Scottish government’s current perspective — which is that pursuing unexplained wealth orders isn’t a matter for Parliament at all — is “contrary to good governance.”

O’Neill added that the money behind Trump’s Scottish properties was seemingly getting “funneled in from elsewhere outside the UK from apparently unlimited funds.” More specifically, O’Neill observed in a discussion of what was apparently Trump’s Turnberry course that “notes on the accounts state the group is dependent on continuing financing being made by its ultimate owner to enable it to continue operating.” As he summarized his argument, there “have been more details as to precisely how the Trump Organisation has been operating since [2019], which casts light on the issue as to whether or not it could ever be said to have reputable sources, known sources, of lawfully obtained income at the time.”

Just this past August, Avaaz was granted permission to move forward with their case, with Scottish Judge Craig Sandison sharing at the time that he believed the case “had real prospects of success [and that] there was a sensible legal argument to be had on the matters raised by the petition.” This continuously unfolding situation is but one of the legal challenges that ex-President Trump continues to face related to his business operations, from which he has never financially disconnected himself. Just recently, The New York Times reported the existence of yet another criminal investigation targeting the Trump business, involving an inquiry by the local District Attorney in Westchester County, New York, into whether the Trump company lied to local authorities about the value of a property there in order to avoid paying higher taxes.