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Call for investigation into Scottish Trump is now “urgent and overwhelming”

The former president must provide answers.

Patrick Harvie, co-leader of Scottish Green, has written to the Scottish First Minister and the Lord Advocate, urging them to keep the Scottish public informed of the action being taken to facilitate the acquisition of property by investigating Donald Trump in Scotland.

Since February 2017, Mr Harvie has led calls for an investigation into the purchase of land for Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeenshire and the Trump Turnberry resort in Ayrshire.

Mr Harvie urged the Scottish Government to issue an Unexplained Wealth Order, a mechanism that would allow investigations into “politically exposed persons” such as Trump suspected of involvement in serious crimes.

In February of this year, the New York State Supreme Court found Donald Trump guilty of civil fraud, ordering defendants to pay more than $450 million. They were found to have wrongly inflated the value of Trump’s assets, including his Aberdeen golf course. Donald Trump was also subsequently convicted by a jury in New York of 34 charges of falsifying company records.

Mr Harvie said: “The New York verdict and the litany of scandals surrounding Donald Trump highlight the urgent need to get to the heart of his finances and the business he runs.

“Every day we see even more serious questions about the former president’s honesty, integrity and fundamental trustworthiness. I urge Scottish Ministers to look again at the request for an unexplained asset order and follow the money to see where it goes. .

“The case for Scottish ministers to investigate Trump is now urgent and overwhelming. Scotland cannot be a country where anyone with the money can buy any land and property without question.

“Donald Trump is a very dangerous man and has shown himself to be very dishonest. He cannot be above the law. He has serious questions to answer, not just in the US but here in Scotland.”

In his letter to the Scottish Government, Mr Harvie noted: “We now have indisputable and independent evidence in the public domain that Trump’s business dealings, including those in Scotland, were linked to fraud. Yet as Trump is finally being held to account by the US justice system, Scotland’s Civil Recovery Unit has made the same point it made in 2021, namely that it cannot ‘confirm or deny’ whether a civil recovery investigation has been launched.

Text of the letter to the Prime Minister and Lord Advocate

Dear Prime Minister and Lord Advocate,

I am writing to ask Scottish Ministers to urgently set out what action is being taken to investigate the serious concerns surrounding Donald Trump’s property acquisition in Scotland.

You will be aware that for many years I have raised serious concerns about the influence Donald Trump is exerting over the Scottish Government. Since February 2017, I have been calling for an investigation into the purchase of land for Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeenshire and the Trump Turnberry resort in Ayrshire.

In particular, I have suggested that ministers use their powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 to obtain the grant of an Unexplained Wealth Order in relation to Donald Trump’s property dealings in Scotland.

In February of this year, the New York State Supreme Court found Donald Trump guilty of civil fraud and ordered the defendants to pay more than $450 million. They were found to have falsely inflated the value of Trump’s assets, including his Aberdeen golf course. The Attorney General noted that

“For years, Donald Trump has engaged in massive fraud to falsely increase his wealth and wrongly enrich himself, his family and his organization. While he may have written the “Art of the Deal,” our case revealed that his business was based on the art of stealing. When powerful people cheat to get better loans, it comes at the expense of honest and hardworking people.”

Donald Trump was also subsequently convicted by a jury in New York of 34 charges of falsifying company records.

We now have indisputable and independent evidence in the public domain that Trump’s business dealings, including those in Scotland, were linked to fraud. But as Trump is finally being held to account by the US justice system, Scotland’s Civil Recovery Unit has made the same comment as in 2021, namely that they cannot “confirm or deny” whether a civil recovery investigation has begun.

It is no longer tenable to maintain this position. Following the statements in New York, there is now urgent public interest in the action being taken to investigate Trump’s business dealings in Scotland.

I am sure you will share my concern that the continued giving of evasive answers to legitimate questions and the lack of any progress indicates that the rich and powerful in Scotland are enjoying leniency and are at risk of bringing the Scottish justice system into disrepute.

I would therefore ask you to provide an urgent update to the Scottish public on the action being taken to investigate Donald Trump’s property purchase in Scotland and to provide a timeline on when this process will be completed and to report publicly on its findings.

Patrick Harvie MSP