Donald Trump’s reported plans to fly overseas before President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20th have run into a colossal glitch after Scotland’s First Minister addressed the rumors publicly today. (video embedded below)
Yesterday, news leaked that a plane used for First Lady Melania Trump had obtained landing rights at Scotland’s Prestwick Airport located nearby the President’s deeply unprofitable Turnberry Golf Resort. A frenzy of speculation that Trump planned to become a fugitive from justice ensued.
Now, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has put her foot down, disallowing Donald’s golf plans on account of an ongoing stage 4 coronavirus lockdown which began at midnight local time last night, lasting through early next month. She said:
“I have no idea what Donald Trump’s travel plans are… I hope and expect, as everybody expects but not everybody would hope is that his travel plan is to exit the White House. Beyond that, I don’t know.
We are not allowing people to come into Scotland without an essential purpose right now. That would apply to him just as it would anybody else. And coming to play golf would not be what I consider to be an essential purpose.”
The lame-duck president has been rumored to plan a 2024 campaign announcement during President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ inauguration ceremony as an obnoxious form of political counterprogramming.
But the news of an overseas trip during the inauguration at the same time Trump plans to become only the fourth president to skip his successor’s inauguration—the first, since impeached former President Andrew Johnson— touched off conjecture that he may make good on his October promise at a Georgia rally to leave the country because he lost to Joe Biden.
There is certainly no shortage of motives to flee from impending justice for the orange-hued real estate developer.
There is an ongoing multi-year criminal probe into Trump and the Trump Organization by the Manhattan District Attorney. A civil probe by the New York State Attorney General could lead his private companies into dissolution.
Presumably, there are multiple federal criminal probes after the president’s personal lawyer pled guilty to hiding a massive campaign contribution generated by loaning Trump the money off-the-books at his direction in order to pay hush money to a porn star during the 2016 election. Though those could be theoretically pardoned or litigated endlessly based on a dubious self-pardon.
Right around the time that news of the Scotland flights broke yesterday, Atlanta’s Fulton County DA announced that they’re preparing to open a criminal probe into the outgoing Oval Office tenant’s recorded attempt to obtain a fraudulent election result from the Georgia Secretary of State.
Ironically, Scotland’s lawmakers also want to see Trump’s golf courses and business dealings there investigated for money laundering. Ross Greer, a Member of Scottish Parliament, told The Daily Beast: “The only circumstance in which I’d want to see Trump in Scotland is if he’s here to hand over an unvarnished set of accounts and financial disclosures for his Scottish businesses, given the pretty credible evidence submitted to the U.S. Congress linking their purchase to potential money laundering. Otherwise, he can stay stateside to sulk about his crushing defeat.”
If Donald Trump’s big post-presidency plan was to be golfing overseas while Joe Biden and Kamala Harris ride into the White House to save America from his mountain of lies, then it is already working logistically just as poorly as his chaotic coronavirus vaccine plan, which is to say, not very well at all.
Watch Scotland’s First Minister deny Donald Trump’s flight plans on live television:
FM @NicolaSturgeon is asked about reports that Donald Trump could be planning to travel to Scotland.— BBC Scotland News (@BBCScotlandNews) January 5, 2021
She says travel to Scotland requires an essential purpose, and "coming to play golf is not what I would consider an essential purpose".
Live updates ➡https://t.co/HG6ntF4IO7 pic.twitter.com/AMy7OOD2rL
Grant Stern is the Executive Editor of Occupy Democrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and a senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition