A judge in Scotland will hold a two-day hearing this week that could end up forcing former President Donald Trump to go through something he dreads and has successfully avoided for years back home: a financial colonoscopy. Lord Sandison, the judge overseeing the case, will decide whether the Scottish government can use a new anti-money laundering tool to investigate how Trump suddenly came up with $60 million in cash to buy and establish the Trump Turnberry golf resort in 2014. The purchase aroused suspicion because the all-cash deal was part of a multi-million dollar spending spree on three golf courses in the British Isles—at a time when his 10 percent stake in the casino business bearing his name, Trump Entertainment Resorts, was in peril as the company was filing for bankruptcy. “Do we continue to ignore the towering cloud of suspicion over Trump Turnberry?” said Nick Flynn, legal director of a watchdog group that’s pressuring the Scottish government to act. It’s a potential move that the Trump operations there stand strongly against. "This is political game-playing at its worst and a terrible waste of taxpayers’ money which further damages Scotland’s reputation as a serious country to invest in and do business,” Sarah Malone, executive vice president of Trump International Scotland, said in a statement to The Daily Beast. “We have developed and operate two globally acclaimed, multi-award winning, visitor destinations in Scotland and make a significant contribution to the Scottish leisure and tourism economy. This latest attempt to undermine that investment is an utter disgrace.” Fore! The Turnberry golf course and hotel are found on a remote coastal stretch in the southwest reaches of Scotland, where the wind-swept green hills overlook the frigid waters of the Firth of Clyde. It also appears to be a bottomless money pit. Golf Recreation Scotland Limited, which runs the operation, has suffered millions of dollars in losses every single year in operation since Trump acquired the property, according to its publicly available corporate statements filed in the United Kingdom. In fact, the golf course has posted “financial year” losses totaling £46 million from 2014 until 2019—$63 million in today’s U.S. dollars—roughly the same Trump paid for it in the first place. As the Scottish legislator Colin Smyth put it during a parliament meeting earlier this year: “He has been an absentee owner of Trump Turnberry since he bought it, and with the financial losses being made year-on-year, the Trump Organization has been as successful at running the resort as the founder was at being President.” Still, Trump operations there previously claimed to have spent more than $150 million in renovations, sparking even more questions about why the family continues to pour so much money into a business venture that has yet to pan out. As The New Yorker and Mother Jones have pointed out in the past, Trump’s sudden foray into Scotland—during which he allegedly shelled out hundreds of millions of dollars—makes little sense. Trump is a real estate tycoon who’s called himself the “king of debt” for a reason: It’s always safer to play with someone else’s money. He’s famous for being able to secure financing, particularly from Deutsche Bank, when he’s in a rut and no one else will trust him. And yet, when it came to build these golf courses in Scotland, the story was that Trump came up with hundreds of millions of dollars. As observers have noted, the timing of these deals makes little sense. Just as Trump was defaulting on a $640 million loan from Deutsche Bank that he had only half paid off—and suing the bank claiming an inability to pay—he was also telling The Scotsman newspaper that he had more than $1 billion in cash sitting in the bank. The purchase of the first golf course—now the Trump International Golf Links Scotland—generated some questions. But it was when Trump suddenly came up with a reported $60 million in cash to buy Turnberry in 2014 that alarm bells really started going off. It’s that financial mystery that drove the Avaaz Foundation, a U.S. watchdog group, to issue a 2019 report, called “Donald Trump’s $60 million Scottish Question,” urging the government there to formally inv . . . read the full article here.