THE Scottish Greens have hit back at the Trump family after Patrick Harvie was branded “a national embarrassment” by the former US president’s son.

The attack came in a report in the Scotsman yesterday on the Greens' proposals to issue Donald Trump an Unexplained Wealth Order and investigate the source of his finances.

A debate on the issue is due to take place in Holyrood this afternoon.

The Greens have been pushing for Scotland to look into the origins of Trump’s finances since the publication of his tax records in the US.

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Those records, obtained by the New York Times, revealed that Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes in 2016.

In 10 of the previous 15 years, he paid no income tax at all, because, according to his records, he lost more money than he made. That includes in 2014 when Trump bought Turnberry for £35 million.

In the 16 years since Donald Trump incorporated his first company in Scotland, not one of them has turned a profit.

Previously, Harvie asked: “Isn’t it time for answers from the Trump Organization and for the Scottish Government to go to court and seek those answers?”

The National: Donald Trump at Turnberry watched by daughter Ivanka and sons Donald Jr and EricDonald Trump at Turnberry watched by daughter Ivanka and sons Donald Jr and Eric

Ahead of the debate in Holyrood, Eric Trump hit back. He told The Scotsman that MSPs were “focused on advancing their personal agendas” when they should be focused on fighting the pandemic.

Trump went on: “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.”

In response, Harvie said that Trump’s “tantrum” did not answer the question on the table.

The Greens’ co-leader said: “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.”

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Appearing on the BBC's Good Morning Scotland (GMS) today, Harvie added: "There have been enough very serious questions swirling around Donald Trump's business affairs for a significant amount of time."

He said that unexplained wealth orders were designed for "circumstances just like this", adding: "Asking these questions about how he acquired the resources to conduct his property transactions in Scotland is a perfectly reasonable thing to do.

"If the Trump organisation have reasonable answers to reasonable questions then it won't be an issue."

A vote will be held in the Scottish Parliament on an unexplained wealth order this afternoon. A victory for the Greens would not mean the Government is legally bound to seek an order, but it would pile the pressure on the First Minister to act.

The National:

Nicola Sturgeon has previously said decisions on Unexplained Wealth Orders are for the Crown Office, adding: “On matters like this, the Crown Office operates independently of Scottish ministers and I think that is right and proper.”

The Greens said that under Section 396A of the Proceeds of Crime Act, Scottish ministers have the right to seek an unexplained wealth order as a civil matter. 

Harvie told GMS that legal advice showed it was clearly a decision for the Scottish Cabinet.

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Professor James Chalmers, the Regius professor of Law at Glasgow University, said both Harvie and Sturgeon were right.

However, under Section 396B of the act, the Court of Session “must be satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that the known sources of the respondent’s lawfully obtained income would have been insufficient for the purposes of enabling the respondent to obtain the property”.

“That’s a tough test given that we know that Trump has a lot of lawfully obtained income in the form of debt,” Chalmers said.