Trump International Golf Links, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Photo: Mapbox, OpenStreetMap
Crucially, President-elect Trump has not agreed to sell or transfer his shares in the golf resorts, which entails he retains ultimate ownership and stands to benefit from increases in the value of those investments. He owns 100% of the shares in the Aberdeenshire course, which has all along been attained heavy losses. He has personally loaned it nearly 40 m, and it lost 1.1 m last year.
The so-called white paper released by Trumps legal advisers on Wednesday, setting out the new management the agreements and announcing a new trust to be run by his sons and Weisselberg, also said the agreement prohibits the Trump Organization from entering into any new transaction or contract with a foreign country, agency[ or] any nation or local government or any agency or instrumentality thereof, other than normal and customary arrangements already undertaken before the president-elects election.
Trumps legal advisers claim this structure will avoid Trump from breaching foreign bribery regulations because any profits earned by allowing foreign dignitaries and leaders to stay at his two Scottish hotels, and his large Irish golf resort and hotel at Doonbeg there, would be passed to the US Treasury.
Walter M Shaub, director of the US Office of Government Ethics, said Trumps scheme doesnt meet the standards that the best of his nominees are satisfying and every president in the past four decades has met.
Painter added that this structure was not legally enforceable. This is meaningless language, because what is the definition of a new deal? When youre a real estate developer, you are constantly entering into new contracts, expanding existing facilities, refinancing leases.
The phrase new deal is subject to such wide range of interpretation that it can easily be worked around, he said.
Trumps executives in Scotland argue that his new agreement to halt overseas investment cannot affect the Trump International Golf Course Scotland in Aberdeenshire course, which lies 10 miles north of Aberdeen, since its expansion schemes predate Trumps election victory on 9 November. A spokesman for the Trump transition team did not immediately return a request for comment.
The expansion proposals are partly derived from the resorts masterplan, which was approved against fierce opponent from environmentalists by the Scottish government in 2008.
The largest of his two Scottish hotels is the 149 -room five-star hotel at Turnberry, which Trump bought with its associated Open championship course in 2014. He has since expended some 60 m developing the resort, adding a new ballroom, a 3,500 -a-night presidential suite and an ostentatious fountain.
Aberdeenshire councils planning department has recently approved plans to expand Trumps boutique hotel at the resort north of Aberdeen, which he bought in 2006, and is processing a live planning application for the second golf course.
On 2 November, a week before Trump stunned his foes by winning the presidency, it dedicated listed building consent to extend the resorts boutique hotel, a converted early Victorian country house called Macleod House in memory of the president-elects Scotland-born mother Mary Macleod, to include a banqueting foyer and six new bedrooms.
On 22 December, the council published a further official report on water management plans for the second 18 -hole golf course, which is also being named in honour of Trumps mother. The course was a central part of the 2008 masterplan and this application has been in the planning system since September 2015.
The boutique hotel was not included in the masterplan approved by Scottish ministers in 2008 but it has been in use as a hotel for several years. Trumps critics in Aberdeenshire argue that its expansion creates substantial the issue of the future of Trumps ultimate plans for the resort.
The Trump Organization had tried to dilute the original masterplan proposals last year by setting out plans for a new 850 -home private housing estate and 1,900 leisure accommodation units, thought to be timeshares. Those schemes were incorporated in Aberdeenshires draft local scheme, although the council said he would also have to build a new primary school and affordable homes for local residents in return for planning consent.
But in December government planning inspectors hurled that proposal out and insisted the Trump Organization stuck to the original 2008 scheme which requires it to first build the 450 -bed luxury hotel, and associated athletics facilities, as a prerequisite for approving to build highly profitable private homes.
They said that if he built a new housing estate, he must also provide hundreds of affordable homes, the new school, community facilities and pay for a new roundabout, alongside robust environmental checks during construction.
David Milne, a local resident and vocal critic of the resort, said the decision to press ahead with expanding the boutique hotel indicated the Trump Organization had dropped plans for a five-star hotel at the resort.
I would question whether or not theres any valid reason why the plans are compatible, Milne said. If youre going to be required to do a 450 -room hotel, why are you messing around with adding a six-bedroom extension to a boutique hotel?