House Oversight launches investigation into undeclared gifts received by Trump

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Democrats on the House Oversight Committee have launched an investigation into gifts former President Trump received while in office, saying he failed to account for the thousands of dollars in gifts he received from foreign officials.

The committee says the former president appears to have flouted laws that require handing over any gift estimated to be worth more than $415 – a longstanding practice based on the constitution’s emoluments clause, which limits what the president can receive. from abroad. Governments.

“Public records indicate that President Trump accepted several gifts from foreign sources in 2020, but these gifts do not appear on the State Department’s public list as required,” President Carolyn Maloney (DN.Y. ) in a letter to the National Archives. .

“These revelations raise concerns about the potential for undue influence on former President Trump by foreign governments, which may have endangered the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States.”

The request follows an April report from The New York Times detailing how the State Department has been unable to track numerous gifts Trump and other administration members have received during their tenure. last full year of office.

State Department officials have since told the committee that his vault was left in “complete disarray” by the Trump administration.

Still, some of the gifts the previous administration failed to deliver were covered in media reports from their trips abroad. During a trip to India alone, Trump received a bust of Mahatma Gandhi, a marble replica of Gandhi’s “three monkeys statue” and a spinning wheel, along with other gifts.

The State Department’s Office of the Inspector General has previously documented problems with the Trump administration’s record keeping of its gifts, writing in a report last year that a “lack of accurate and proper physical security checks contributed to the loss” of various gifts.

It left them unable to determine what happened to a rare $5,800 bottle of whiskey given to then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in 2019, as well as a commemorative 22-karat gold coin donated to another State Department official.

The letter to the National Archives says there may be records “unavailable in the Office of the State Department Chief of Protocol.”

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