Donald Trump’s son Eric has hit out at plans for MSPs to debate whether his father’s business interests in Scotland should be investigated, saying such discussions could deter overseas investors.
MSPs will vote on a motion calling for an investigation into the former US president’s business interests during a debate led by the Scottish Greens on Wednesday.
The party wants to see the Trump Organisation’s golf courses investigated via an unexplained wealth order, though the Scottish Government says only the Lord Advocate can decide if such an order can be made.
Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie said there are “serious concerns” about how the former US president financed the cash purchases of his Scottish golf courses.
The Scottish Greens will renew calls for an investigation into the purchase of estates at Turnberry and Menie during their opposition debate on February 3.
They say a legal opinion from Aidan O’Neill QC states that ministers, rather than the chief legal officer, are responsible for unexplained wealth orders.
Eric Trump, who is a trustee and executive vice-president of the Trump Organisation, said the debate could have consequences for how investors consider Scotland.
He said: “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.
“As a company, the Trump Organisation has invested hundreds of millions of dollars into the Scottish economy, rescued Turnberry, a Scottish national treasure on the brink of collapse, and rebuilt it into one of the finest resorts anywhere in the world.
“In both Aberdeen and Turnberry, the Trump Organisation has created thousands of jobs and has made an overwhelming contribution to the leisure and tourism industry.”
Eric Trump said that both courses have been recognised with “countless accolades”.
He added: “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 number one and Aberdeen following at number two.
“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.”
Harvie responded: “As entertaining as Eric Trump’s tantrum is, he doesn’t say where his dad got the money to buy his Scottish golf courses, which is exactly why I’m calling on the Scottish Government to seek an unexplained wealth order.”
A Scottish Government spokesman said this week: “Any decision on whether to apply to the Court of Session for an unexplained wealth order is made on behalf of Scottish ministers by the Civil Recovery Unit (CRU) which reports to the Lord Advocate.
“This decision-making process is an operational matter for the CRU.
“It would not be appropriate for the Scottish Government to comment on this.
“As a matter of course, given the sensitive nature of the work undertaken by the CRU, it is standard convention neither to confirm nor deny the existence of any ongoing investigation.”