'Reverse-emoluments case': Scotland beats 'three time loser' Trump in legal battle — and now he owes the government money

'Reverse-emoluments case': Scotland beats 'three time loser' Trump in legal battle — and now he owes the government money
Donald J. Trump/Shutterstock
Donald J. Trump/Shutterstock

In Scotland, President Donald Trump battled the government over a wind power development that, he complained, would alter the view from his golf course in Aberdeenshire. But he lost that battle. And a court in the U.K. has ruled that the Trump International Golf Club Scotland must pay all of the legal costs that the Scottish government incurred fighting Trump.


In late 2015—before Trump was president—the U.K. Supreme Court rejected the Trump Organization’s legal challenge to the wind farm. Former First Minister Alex Salmond asserted that the ruling left Trump a “three time loser.” And the Trump Organization had a characteristically Trumpian response: “Does anyone care what this man thinks? He’s a has-been and totally irrelevant.”

The wind farm, which contains eleven turbines altogether, generated its first power in July 2018 and was developed by the Swedish energy group Vattenfall.

According to the BBC, the exact sum that the Trump Organization will owe the Scottish government has not been disclosed.

The Washington Post’s David Fahrenth commented on the ruling on Twitter, posting, “Here’s a reverse-emoluments case that the Founding Fathers didn’t plan for...what happens when @realDonaldTrump owes a large debt *to* a foreign government?  In Scotland, it’s happening.”

The U.S. Constitution’s emoluments clause restricts presidents and other federal politicians from receiving payments or gifts from foreign powers.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close