Donald Trump will NOT fly to Scotland to play golf at his luxury resort the day before Joe Biden’s inauguration – after Nicola Sturgeon vowed to BAN him from entry due to Covid rules
- President rumoured to be planning trip to Turnberry golf resort in South Ayrshire
- Plan would allow him to avoid seeing Mr Biden being sworn into office next week
- Prestwick Airport told to expect US military plane the day before inauguration
- But it has now been revealed that President Trump will not be in Scotland at all
- Nicola Sturgeon stressed that non-essential travel in or out of Scotland is illegal
Donald Trump will not fly to Scotland to play golf ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration – after Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon vowed to ban him from entering the country due to Covid rules.
There has been mounting speculation that the US president would visit his Turnberry golf resort in South Ayrshire to avoid seeing Mr Biden being sworn into office on January 20.
Prestwick Airport – which is situated near to the golf course – was told to expect the arrival of a US military Boeing 757 on January 19.
But it has now been revealed that Mr Trump will not be in Scotland at all.
It came after Ms Sturgeon stressed that non-essential travel in or out of Scotland is illegal under the country’s strict coronavirus lockdown, adding: ‘Coming to play golf is not what I would consider to be an essential purpose.’
Donald Trump (pictured playing golf in his Turnberry golf resort in South Ayrshire in 2018) will not fly to Scotland to play golf ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration, reports suggests
There has been mounting speculation that the US president would visit his Turnberry golf resort in South Ayrshire (pictured on the golf course in 2018) to avoid seeing Mr Biden being sworn into office
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (pictured) earlier vowed to ban Trump from entering the country due to Covid rules
As part of the tradition, the outgoing president and president-elect usually travel together to the ceremony at the Capitol from the White House.
But Mr Trump, who was overwhelmingly defeated in November’s US election, has previously said he will not attend the January 20 ceremony for his successor after repeatedly issuing baseless claims of voter fraud.
Fears are also mounting among legal experts who claim the president could become a flight risk should criminal charges be brought against him for the deadly riot at the Capitol.
The president was impeached by the House this week and now faces the prospect of a criminal trial – with reports saying he is still mulling pardoning himself before he quits the White House.
The impeachment alleges that Mr Trump incited an insurrection on Capitol Hill which left five people dead, including a police officer, last Wednesday.
Ms Sturgeon put her foot down on any plans the president might have to retreat to Turnberry.
She said last week: ‘I’ve no idea what Donald Trump’s plans are.
‘I hope and expect that – as everybody expects, not everybody necessarily will hope – that the travel plan immediately that he has is to exit the White House.’
People watch as Air Force One takes off from Glasgow’s Prestwick Airport in July 2018
Mr Trump’s Turnberry golf resort in Ayrshire is located 30 miles from Prestwick Airport
‘We are not allowing people to come in to Scotland without an essential purpose right now and that would apply to him, just as it applies to anybody else.’
Speculation erupted after it was reported that Glasgow’s Prestwick airport had been told to expect a US military aircraft – which had been used by the president in the past – on January 19.
A source at Prestwick Airport told the Sunday Post: ‘There is a booking for an American military version of the Boeing 757 on January 19, the day before the inauguration.
‘That’s one that’s normally used by the Vice President but often used by the First Lady. Presidential flights tend to get booked far in advance, because of the work that has to be done around it.’
Speculation surrounding Mr Trump’s plans were further fueled by reports of US Army aircraft activity in the area.
A general view of the Trump Hotel and golf course at Turnberry, pictured in July last year
Sources at Prestwick said two US military surveillance aircraft were circling Turnberry in November to conduct 3D reconnaissance of the resort and were using the Ayrshire aviation hub as a base.
In one instance, a MC-12W Liberty – which is modified for the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) role – landed at Prestwick on November 12.
Over the next few days, it made a number of flights over Trump Turnberry, the anonymous source said.
‘The survey aircraft was based at Prestwick for about a week. It is usually a sign Trump is going to be somewhere for an extended period.’
Scottish Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf suggested the Home Office should consider denying Mr Trump entry to the UK after he leaves office.
Mr Biden won the presidency with 306 electoral college votes to Mr Trump’s 232 and will become president at noon local time on January 20 regardless of Mr Trump’s plans.
The Democratic president-elect received 81,283,485 votes versus the incumbent’s 74,223,744 – a margin of more than seven million in the popular vote.
In a video statement after the recent violence at the Capitol, Mr Trump told supporters that while he knows they are ‘disappointed’ by the election result, he wanted them to know ‘our incredible journey is only just beginning’.
Five people died in the incident, including a police officer who had been struck by a fire extinguisher.
During his presidential campaign Mr Trump joked that he would leave the country if Mr Biden defeated him and legal experts now fear he could do just that if charges are brought against him.
The flash of a police munition lights up the steps of the Capitol during the invasion by a Trump-incited mob
Douglas McNabb, a private attorney with expertise in international extradition, told The Washington Times that if charged, Trump could easily fall into the category of a potential fugitive.
‘He’s got money. He’s got property. He’s got access,’ McNabb told the paper. ‘The government would argue that he’s a flight risk.’
Trump has vast wealth at his disposal, his own private Boeing jet and properties across the world.
As well as his golf resort in Scotland, Trump has a luxurious tower in the United Arab Emirates and an unfinished hotel project in Azerbaijan.
Neither the UAE nor Azerbaijan have extradition treaties with the United States.
‘He’s not going back to New York and he is not going to enjoy the comfort at Mar-a-Lago he would have in the pre-Capitol-ransacking world,’ retired Brigadier General Peter Zwack, a former Army intelligence officer, told The Washington Times.
‘I’ll bet the feasibility of fleeing has come up because, in my mind, it is the only way to avoid instant accountability and reckoning.’
World leaders have throughout history fled to safe haven countries following failed coup d’etats, but it would make a first for a US president.
The warnings follow last week’s assault on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump that left five people dead
The federal prosecutor for Washington, Michael Sherwin, has already signalled that nothing was off the table in relation to prosecutions for the Capitol riot.
‘We are looking at all actors here. Not only the people who went into the building,’ Sherwin told a press conference last week.
Asked directly if that extended to Mr Trump, he replied: ‘We’re looking at all actors here, and anyone that had a role and the evidence fits the elements of a crime, they’re going to be charged.’
But legal experts said that if Mr Trump makes it overseas he would have an arsenal of defenses against extradition.
Extradition lawyer McNabb said he could deploy the rarely-used political offense exception.
This provides exemptions where an exiled world leader’s alleged crimes have taken place in the context of a political tussle.
The House this week voted to impeach Trump 232-197, making him the first president in history to be impeached twice.
Dozens of rioters stormed the Capitol last week (pictured), following a MAGA rally held by Donald Trump
Ten of Mr Trump’s fellow Republicans joined Democrats in approving the article of impeachment.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, rejected Democratic calls for a quick impeachment trial, saying there was no way to finish it before Mr Trump leaves office.
That raised the prospect of a bitter trial in the Senate during Mr Biden’s first days in the White House, something he urged Senate leaders to avoid.
The House passed one article of impeachment – equivalent to an indictment in a criminal trial – accusing Mr Trump of ‘incitement of insurrection,’ focused on an incendiary speech he delivered to thousands of supporters shortly before the riot.
In the speech, Mr Trump repeated false claims that the election was fraudulent and exhorted supporters to march on the Capitol to disrupt Congress’s certification of Mr Biden’s victory in the general election.
Source: Read Full Article