But the criticism of the First Minister will lead to no further action, and represents the parliamentary equivalent of nothing more than a slight censure.
The First Minister's role in the saga of the 1 billion Trump development on the Menie estate in Aberdeenshire was investigated by Holyrood's local government committee after suggestions he had known about or had played a part in the Scottish Government's decision to call in the application.
Mr Salmond – who has always insisted he was merely fulfilling his obligations as the constituency MSP for Gordon, where the development is planned – set up a meeting between planning officials and representatives of the Trump organisation.
He also met Trump officials in Aberdeen on 3 December, the night before the application was called in.
Yesterday's report claimed that Mr Salmond had been "cavalier" and had shown "exceptionally poor judgment" at best and "a worrying lack of awareness about the consequences of his actions".
The report states: "It seems astonishing to accept the First Minister did not perceive there might be a risk in his actions, that his actions might be open to question and that, as a consequence, the decision might be open to legal action."
Duncan McNeil, the committee's convener and a Labour MSP, said: "The committee does not have a remit to consider breaches of the ministerial code, but takes the view that it was extremely unwise of the First Minister to directly facilitate a meeting between the Trump representatives and the chief planner.
"The committee also finds the decision-making processes of the cabinet secretary (John Swinney, who called in the application] on such a controversial and complex application lacking in a sufficient audit trail and consideration of the issues at hand.
" In particular, the committee has concerns over such a decision being taken in two five-minute phone calls."
The committee also recommended that the Scottish Parliament should appoint a person "independent of government" to investigate alleged breaches of the ministerial code.
However, the report's findings were undermined by the breakdown of the committee along party lines.
The three SNP MSPs on the committee refused to sign up to the critical findings, which left the committee spilt at 5-3, with opposition politicians criticising Mr Salmond and the committee's three SNP MSPs supporting him.
The Nationalist MSPs on the committee later issued statements condemning both the committee's investigation and the report.
Kenny Gibson, the committee's SNP vice-convener, claimed that months of parliamentary time had been wasted on "political tittle-tattle", while Bob Doris, another SNP MSP on the committee, said the inquiry had been nothing but a "political vendetta".
George Sorial, the Trump Organisation's managing director of international development, last night described the inquiry as a "major distraction" and said he had been "bitterly disappointed" to have had to attend.
ON COURSE FOR A COURSE
THE planning authority that rejected Donald Trump's plans for a 1 billion "golf resort" has unanimously backed a 115 million golf and housing development on green-belt land on the outskirts of Aberdeen.
The Muir Group was given permission yesterday to turn the estate of the historic Blairs Seminary in the Dee valley into a luxury hotel, golf course, equestrian centre and 280 homes. The course will be designed by local golfer Paul Lawrie.
What the committee had to say about that meeting
THE report by Holyrood's local government and communities committee included the following conclusions:
The committee entirely accepts the right of Alex Salmond, MSP, in his constituency capacity, to meet anyone he chooses about an issue in his constituency. However, in doing so and in any follow-up action he takes, he must follow both the letter and the spirit of the ministerial code.
The committee is of the view that it was extremely unwise of the First Minister to directly facilitate a meeting between the Trump representatives and the chief planner.
It seems astonishing to accept the First Minister did not perceive there might be a risk in his actions, that his actions might be open to question and that, as a consequence, the decision might be open to legal action.
The committee believes that, far from taking a precautionary approach, the First Minister was cavalier in his actions and displayed, at best, exceptionally poor judgment and a worrying lack of awareness about the consequences of his actions.
(All three SNP MSPs dissented from the above paragraphs).
The committee believes that the Code of Conduct for members gave Alex Salmond discretion as to whether or not to meet the representatives of the Trump organisation but did not require him to do so.
The committee recommends that the Ministerial Code should be reviewed and, in particular, that the appropriateness of ministerial contact with senior officials in the context of planning applications should be examined. (The SNP MSPs dissented from this paragraph).
The committee recommends that ministers should only take significant decisions, particularly when exercising their planning functions, on the basis of proper written advice from officials, and that officials should ensure there is a full audit trail, including full minutes of meet-ings, and assessment of the risks to impartial decision-making in the process and/or decision.
The committee recommends that ministers intervening in the ministerial decision-making process affecting planning applications should be particularly mindful of the Ministerial Code, how particular actions might affect the perceptions of the public and whether ministerial or official action might have the potential to imperil the decision. (The SNP MSPs dissented from this paragraph).