Officials Reportedly Unable to Find Gifts Given to Trump Family by Foreign Nations
Two gifts given to former President Donald Trump and his family from foreign nations have gone missing, according to a report.
On Friday, The Washington Post reported the gifts are a life-size painting of Trump given to him by the president of El Salvador and golf clubs from the Japanese prime minister, citing a report from House Democrats.
The Post noted the gifts are included among more than 100 foreign gifts. The gifts are valued at close to $300,000. According to the report, Trump and his family had not reported the gifts to the State Department in violation of federal law, citing government records and emails.
The report is 15 pages long and comes after an investigation by the House Oversight Committee into Trump’s failure to disclose the gifts.
Additionally, the report found Trump’s family did not “disclose dozens of gifts from countries that are not U.S. allies or have a complicated relationship with Washington,” the Post explained.
The gifts include 16 from Saudi Arabia with a total value of more than $48,000, 17 from India worth more than $17,000, and at least five from China.
The Post also pointed out that the majority of the more than 100 gifts the committee identified are currently with the National Archives or the federal government.
Officials reported it is unclear how many of the gifts were returned before Trump left the White House as well as after his departure, per the newspaper.
“We’ve been able to piece all of this together through independent sources, but there could be a lot more given that none of these gifts have been reported and we’ve only found out about them through different kinds of investigative work and accidents,” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, said.
There were concerns surrounding whether the gifts that were not disclosed could have been used by foreign governments to impact how the U.S. approaches policy toward them, according to the report.
Emails published in the report show former Deputy White House Counsel Scott Gast telling Trump’s executive assistant, Molly Michael, “No disclosure is required for any gifts that are purchased with personal funds.”
Investigators stated, “While this is accurate for domestic gifts, Mr. Gast failed to specify that all foreign gifts over the minimal value are required to be reported, regardless of disposition.”
Richard Painter, the chief White House ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush, shared his thoughts on the issue with the Post.
“If someone accepts a gift you are not allowed to take under the Constitution or government ethics rules, it’s not criminal,” said Painter said.
He added, “But if anyone knowingly lied on the gift disclosure forms, that’s a violation of the false statements statue and that should be referred to the Department of Justice.”
The Post reported in November 2022 investigators were searching for dozens of expensive gifts given to Trump and his family by foreign governments.
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