- A legal challenge is aimed at an investigation into the cash purchases of two Scottish golf courses by Trump.
- Scottish lawmakers have questioned how rates were paid in cash in the face of Trump’s debt.
- It could force the government to pursue an inexplicable property regime with the power to take the courses.
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Donald Trump is under renewed scrutiny of how he financed the cash purchases of his two Scottish golf courses as a legal challenge this week seeks to compel the Scottish government to open an official investigation.
In particular, the challenge filed by human rights group Avaaz seeks to force the government to reverse its decision not to investigate the funding of the courses. An investigation could ultimately lead to the seizure of the courses if their financing cannot be satisfactorily clarified.
The Scottish Green Party first called for an “unexplained property regime” in February when Trump managed to finance the purchases of the 2014 courses in Turnberry near Glasgow and in 2006 in Menie in Aberdeenshire.
The UK government introduced the orders in 2018 to support investigations into money laundering and other criminal financial activities. They can, in extreme circumstances, result in the seizure of illegally acquired UK assets, although this is rarely the case.
Patrick Harvie, co-chief of the Greens, said Trump’s unusual spending pattern and the ongoing civil and criminal investigation into Trump’s financial conduct in the US had prompted an investigation.
“The purchase of Menie and the Turnberry golf resort was part of Trump’s huge spending frenzy amid a global financial crisis,” Harvie told the Scottish Parliament in February.
Trump spent much of his career buying real estate with borrowed money and called himself the “king of debt” in interviews.
But he bought his two Scottish golf resorts for cash only and spent at least $ 300 million on developing them.
Trump’s golf courses lose millions of dollars each year, which raises further questions about their funding.
Scottish ministers turned down the petition for an unresolved property order in February, saying law enforcement officials, not politicians, should approve or reject the order’s introduction.
Avaaz filed its petition in the Scottish Court of Session on Monday to review the government’s decision not to investigate, arguing that lawmakers misinterpreted the law by refusing to investigate, Reuters reported.
It argued that Scotland’s ministers, and not its judicial officers, were responsible for deciding whether such investigations should continue.
If the court approves Avaaz, the Scottish government could agree to issue an inexplicable property warrant or to reject the judgment.
The Scottish Government and Trump Organization did not immediately respond to insider requests for comment.