Urgent need to investigate Trump’s business assets in Scotland, say Greens

There is an urgent need for an investigation into Donald Trump’s business assets in Scotland in light of a legal case in the US, Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie has said.

The Greens have previously been unsuccessful in efforts to have the Trump Organisation’s Scottish golf courses – in Aberdeenshire and Ayrshire – be investigated via an unexplained wealth order (UWO).

Renewing his call for an investigation, Mr Harvie pointed to the New York civil case against the former US President.

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Patrick Harvie’s previous attempt for a Scottish probe failed (Jane Barlow/PA)

In February, a judge ruled that Mr Trump, his company and key executives deceived bankers and insurers by producing financial statements that hugely overstated his fortune.

He was ordered to pay 355 million dollars (£279.9 million) in penalties, with interest charges pushing the sum up further.

Mr Trump, who is the Republican party’s presumptive presidential nominee, is appealing the ruling.

The Scottish Greens co-leader has now written to the First Minister and Lord Advocate saying the issue should be considered again.

Mr Harvie said: “The verdict from New York, and the litany of scandals surrounding Donald Trump, underlines the urgent need to get to the bottom of the former President’s finances and the business he runs.

“With every passing day we are seeing even more serious questions about the honesty, integrity and basic trustworthiness of the former President.

“I urge Scottish Ministers to look again at the request for an Unexplained Wealth Order and to 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 is able to buy whatever land and property they want without question.”

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 while Trump is finally being held to account by the legal system in the US, Scotland’s Civil Recovery Unit have provided the same comment that they provided in 2021, that they cannot ‘confirm or deny’ whether a civil recovery investigation has commenced.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “A decision on whether to apply to the Court of Session for an Unexplained Wealth Order is made by the Civil Recovery Unit.

“It would not be appropriate to comment as those decisions are entirely operational matters for the Civil Recovery Unit”.