The Scottish Parliament on Wednesday rejected a motion calling for the government to use the court to investigate the source of former U.S. President Donald Trump’s funding that allowed him to purchase two properties in Scotland.
Patrick Harvie, co-leader of the Scottish Green Party, brought forward a motion calling on ministers to seek an “unexplained wealth order” (UWO) against Trump over his acquisition of properties in Scotland before his presidency.
Trump bought land in Aberdeen in 2006 and developed it into a golf course. In 2014, he also bought the renowned Turnberry golf resort.
According to The Scotsman, Scottish justice secretary Humza Yousaf said that while he found Trump to be a “deplorable individual,” he stressed, “We rightly have a separation of the political and law enforcement.
“While Mr. Harvie is right that ministers could apply [for a UWO], I don’t think it would be right for Scottish ministers individually or collectively, other than the Lord Advocate, to become personally involved in the pursuit of an investigation into any one individual.”
He added that such a move would be an “abuse of power” that would “fatally undermine our justice system.”
Yousaf pushed for an amendment to the motion, emphasising that there “must not be political interference in the enforcement of the law.”
Yousaf also said there’s no way to know if the country’s Civil Recovery Unit (CRU) was actually investigating Trump.
“If we have evidence that there were illicit funds involved … we could look at one,” a spokesman for the National Crime Agency said regarding the possibility of it seeking a UWO against Trump.
The UK introduced UWOs in 2018 to help authorities target the illicit wealth of foreign officials suspected of corruption and laundering money through Britain. If a suspect fails to show a legitimate source for their fortune, authorities can go to court to seize assets.
A vote of 89 to 32 defeated Harvie’s motion.
Harvie had described Trump as “an untrustworthy dishonest, racist, conspiracy theorist” and alleged there were longstanding concerns about how Trump financed the purchases of his properties in cash. He was supported by Labour’s Colin Smyth and Alex Rowley, who also spoke in the debate before the vote.
Trump’s son Eric, the executive vice president of the Trump Organization, responded to Harvie’s claims the day before the vote.
“At a critical time when politicians should be focused on saving lives and reopening businesses in Scotland, they are focused on advancing their personal agendas,” the younger Trump said in a statement. “Patrick Harvie is nothing more than a national embarrassment with his pathetic antics that only serve himself and his political agenda.
“If Harvie and the rest of the Scottish Government continue to treat overseas investors like this, it will deter future investors from conducting business in Scotland, ultimately crushing their economy, tourism and hospitality industries,” he added.
The statement also said that Trump Organization had “invested hundreds of millions of dollars into the Scottish economy” and “created thousands of jobs” at both Aberdeenshire and Turnberry, while rescuing Turnberry, a “national treasure on the brink of collapse,” into “one of the finest resorts anywhere in the world.”
None of Trump’s companies in Scotland have yet to turn a profit after purchasing and operating the properties.
“Today, both courses have been recognized for their iconism with countless accolades. Trump Turnberry and Trump International Scotland have topped the charts in the Top 100 Best Golf Courses in the World, and both properties received the highest accolades in the Top 100: UK and Ireland’s Best Golf Courses and Resorts, with Turnberry at No. 1 and Aberdeen following at No. 2,” the statement said.
The Scotsman reported that Trump’s Aberdeenshire resort directly employs 84 staff while his Turnberry golf course directly employs 541 staff.
The Trump Organization didn’t respond to The Epoch Times’ request for comment.
Reuters contributed to this report.