“Serious deficiencies”: House investigates Trump admin’s foreign gifts that “mysteriously vanished”

Reports "raise concerns about the potential for undue influence over former President Trump by foreign governments"

Published June 8, 2022 11:45AM (EDT)

Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump (Getty/Chip Somodevilla)
Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump (Getty/Chip Somodevilla)

This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

A House oversight committee has announced its intent to launch an investigation into former President Donald Trump amid developments about his administration's failure to fulfill a legal requirement to provide proper accounting records for gifts received from foreign officials.

On Monday, June 6, House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., penned a letter to the U.S. National Archives requesting documentation regarding "'mismanaged gifts' received from foreign government officials while Trump was in office," per CNN. According to Maloney, the committee became concerned after reviewing the information provided by the U.S. State Department.

"These revelations raise concerns about the potential for undue influence over former President Trump by foreign governments," Maloney wrote.

Last month, as the committee reviewed the accounting process for White House foreign gifts, it notified the State Department of "serious deficiencies in that process during the Trump Administration."

Trump reportedly accepted a substantial number of gifts from foreign officials back in 2020 but those gifts are said to be missing from the State Department's compiled list of gifts. Among those gifts was an expensive bottle of whiskey with a retail value of approximately $5,800. Japanese government officials gifted former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with the bottle "before it mysteriously vanished," Per NBC News.

Maloney also highlighted a number of other gifts including: "a Louis Vuitton golf bag and photographs from French President Emmanuel Macron allegedly valued at more than $8,200 and a gold-framed portrait of Trump from the prime minister of Vietnam valued at more than $3,000."

The latest development comes several weeks after the State Department confirmed, according to NBC News, "missing data from the White House prevented it from compiling a satisfactory accounting of gifts foreign governments presented to Trump and other U.S. officials in 2020."

In her letter, Maloney noted that the Trump administration's failed efforts to properly account for foreign gifts may be a violation of the U.S. Constitution's emoluments clause and potentially a threat to national security and the interest of foreign policy.

The latest investigation is one of many that have been launched into Trump and his former administration.

By Meaghan Ellis

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