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House Dems threaten to go after DOD over military stays at Trump’s Scotland resort


The Department of Defense could be on the receiving end of subpoenas by House Democrats if they don’t turn over documents about money spent at President Trump’s Scottish golf resort.

“The Constitution prohibits taxpayer dollars from going to President Trump unless they are for his salary, including when those taxpayer funds are funneled through his businesses,” House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland) wrote to Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Tuesday.

“In order to stop contributing to any further constitutional violations, the Department should immediately implement a policy against taxpayer funds going to any Trump-related properties or businesses,” they argued.

Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee asked the Department of Defense in June why an Air National Guard flight to deliver supplies to Kuwait made an unusual pit stop at Trump’s Turnberry resort in Scotland, both going and returning.

The lawmakers note that there are dozens of hotels closer to the local airport than Trump’s resort, which reportedly lost $3.5 million in 2017, but service members stayed instead at the lush waterfront digs.

Cummings and Raskin’s note claims the Defense Department has only begun to respond after reports of the committee’s interest leaked over the weekend, but documents have not been forthcoming.

The committee wants to know by Friday if they will have to file a formal subpoena.

The spring stopover is not the only U.S. military use of the Scottish government owned Prestwick Airport, which serves as the main international access point to Trump’s Turnberry. The landing field depends on Trump clients for income and Trump depends on the airport to deliver clients, but both have still struggled.

The Department of Defense has dramatically ramped up use of the facility since 2016.

According to Defense Department data reported by Politico on Monday, the military has landed at Prestwick at least 249 times this year, with 220 overnight trips.

It was not clear how often service members stayed at Turnberry, but the publication found at least four stays by around 60 members of the service.

The committee also raised questions about Trump’s defensive tweet about the matter. After news of the probe surfaced he wrote, “I know nothing about an Air Force plane landing at an airport (which I do not own and have nothing to do with) near Turnberry Resort (which I do own) in Scotland, and filling up with fuel, with the crew staying overnight at Turnberry (they have good taste!). NOTHING TO DO WITH ME”

Cummings’ letter points to extensive public records showing Trump and airport officials touting their importance to each other. Among them are emails from Trump Organization executive George Sorial discussing partnerships; Trump landing his own 747 there to declare in 2014 that he was "thrilled to be partnering with Glasgow Prestwick Airport,' and Trump’s personal intervention to keep a major air carrier at the airport.

The committee and the House Judiciary Committee have also opened probes into the president and Vice President Mike Pence’s recent stop at Trump’s Irish Doonbeg resort, where Pence went three hours out of his way to stay on his recent foreign diplomatic swing.