Eric Trump has branded Patrick Harvie “an irrelevant and spineless politician” after the Scottish Greens leader suggested US President Donald Trump could be involved in money laundering.
Trump said Harvie’s calls for an investigation into how his father was able to afford the purchase of land for golf resorts in Scotland were “wildly inappropriate allegations to advance his own political agenda and gain attention”.
The US President’s son, who is a trustee and executive vice-president of the Trump Organisation, demanded Harvie “retract his libellous statements” and called him a “disgrace to the Scottish Parliament”.
Speaking at First Minister’s Questions, Harvie asked Nicola Sturgeon to apply for unexplained wealth order because of “big questions over Trump’s business dealings in Scotland”.
Referring to evidence heard by the US House of Representatives suggesting the land bought by President Trump could be linked to potential money laundering, Harvie said: “The purchase of Menie and the Turnberry golf resort were part of [President] Trump’s huge cash spending spree in the midst of a global financial crisis.
“[President] Trump’s known sources of income don’t explain where the money came from for these huge cash transactions.
“There are reasonable grounds for suspecting that his lawfully obtained income was insufficient.
“Scottish ministers can apply via the Court of Session for an unexplained wealth order, a tool designed for precisely these kinds of situations.”
A letter from campaigners calling for President Trump to be investigated was passed to the lord advocate in May 2019 by the Scottish Government.
Responding to the remarks, Trump said: “Mr Harvie’s disgusting statements, made without any supporting evidence and having absolutely no basis in fact, are reckless, irresponsible and unbecoming for a member of the Scottish Parliament.
“An irrelevant and spineless politician, Mr Harvie has long expressed deep-seated animus toward the Trump Organisation, its principles and its projects, making wildly inappropriate allegations to advance his own political agenda and gain attention.
“Over the past decade, the Trump Organisation has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in Scotland while creating thousands of jobs.”
He added: “Mr Harvie is a disgrace to the Scottish Parliament.”
Harvie made the comments while speaking in the Scottish Parliament, so is protected under law from defamation action.
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “Any decision about whether or not to apply for an UWO is made on behalf of Scottish ministers by the Civil Recovery Unit, which reports to the lord advocate.”