Scottish Lawmakers Renew 'Unexplained Wealth' Probe Into Trump Golf Courses, Cite NYS Investigations

Scottish politicians and transparency activists are renewing calls to review financial dealings and purchases surrounding former President Donald Trump's golf courses.

Trump's cash-only purchases of his Aberdeenshire and Turnberry golf courses in Scotland are once again at the center of potential legal action. Avaaz, a global human rights group based in the United States, filed a petition in Scotland's highest civil court that seeks judicial review of Parliament's decision not to pursue an "unexplained wealth order" on the Trump Organization. In February, Scottish lawmakers voted 89-32 against a motion to investigate the source of money Trump used to buy the Aberdeenshire and Turnberry courses in 2006 and 2014, respectively.

Reuters reported Monday that the Avaaz petition demands answers about how "clean" Trump's $300 million in cash was when he purchased and developed the two courses. The group repeatedly cited mounting U.S. investigations of the Trump Organization's financial activities. The petition renews questions that can be probed under Scotland's so-called unexplained wealth legislation.

The Reuters report notes that neither of the two Trump golf courses has ever turned a profit.

The minority Scottish Green Party led the February calls to review Trump's golf course purchases before it was shot down by the Parliament. Humza Yousaf, a justice minister and member of the Scottish National Party, called Trump a "deplorable" during the February vote but went on to vote against conducting the financial probe.

"It isn't clear why the Scottish government have dragged their heels over this," Patrick Harvie, leader of the Green Party, said in a statement to Reuters on Monday. "An unexplained wealth order would be a clear signal that business in Scotland must be transparent and accountable no matter the individual involved."

Avaaz's petition filed Monday with Scotland's government cites the New York state attorney general's announcement last week that her investigation into Trump's finances has gone from civil to criminal. In a statement, Trump ridiculed the probe, calling it a political attack and saying Attorney General Letitia James is "in desperate search of a crime."

Eric Trump in February responded to the financial inquiry by accusing some Scottish officials of "advancing their personal agendas." The 37-year-old son of the former president directs the Scottish golf courses in his role as executive vice president in the Trump Organization.

Asked for an official comment on the impending probe, a Scottish government spokesman told Reuters Monday "it would be inappropriate for us to comment on an ongoing legal action.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance last week vowed to continue investigating the Trump Organization, as well as the former president himself, until the end of his term at the close of this year.

Newsweek reached out to the Trump Organization as well as Avaaz for comment about the petition but did not hear back before publication.

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Donald Trump, presumptive Republican presidential nominee, speaks to members of the media at Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeen, Scotland, on June 25, 2016. Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg/Getty