The State Department is reportedly looking into the whereabouts of a costly bottle of whiskey that was given to former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo by Japan, the New York Times reports. The problem here is that it’s cool for U.S. officials to receive gifts that are less than $390, but it’s a huge no-no to keep gifts that are over that price. In that case, they must purchase them. And this is something that Pompeo should have known. The outlet reports that according to the filing, the State Department said the bottle was appraised at $5,800.
“It was unclear whether Mr. Pompeo ever received the gift, as he was traveling in Saudi Arabia on June 24, 2019, the day that Japanese officials gave it to the State Department, according to a department filing on Wednesday in the Federal Register documenting gifts that senior American officials received in 2019,” the outlet reports. “Such officials are often insulated by staff members who receive gifts and messages for them.”
“The department also took the unusual step of noting that the whereabouts of the whiskey is unknown,” the report continues. “Similar filings over the past two decades make no mention of any similar investigations.”
“The department is looking into the matter and has an ongoing inquiry,” the filing said.
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Pompeo’s attorney William A. Burck said that the former Secretary of State had no recollection of receiving the bottle of whiskey, or what happened to the costly gift.
“He has no idea what the dispensation was of this bottle of whiskey,” Burck said.
“Under the Constitution, it is illegal for an American official to accept a gift from a foreign government, and gifts are considered property of the U.S. government,” the report continues. “The founders included the measure to stop foreign governments from gaining undue influence over American officials. Any officials caught accepting such gifts can face civil penalties, or impeachment if they are still in office.”
“The State Department provided no other details about the bottle or the investigation,” the report adds. “According to two people briefed on the matter, the U.S. government was never paid for the bottle and the department has asked its inspector general to determine what happened to it.”
Trump administration officials routinely flouted guidelines as if it wasn’t a big deal, and that’s how we got here. Now, they’re trying to track down a $5,800 bottle of whiskey. And I admittedly like bourbon. I just don’t corruption. It’s literally in the Constitution that this gift from a foreign government should have never been accepted. We seriously were led by a pack of boneheads for four very long years.