The U.S. State Department is looking into a missing bottle of whisky worth 5,800 U.S. dollars, which was presented by the Japanese government to then-State Secretary Mike Pompeo two years ago. When high-ranking U.S. officials receive any expensive gift from other governments, it is supposed to be delivered to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) for the sake of record.
The U.S. State Department released a list of gifts that governments and leaders of other nations offered to top U.S. officials regarding the missing whisky bottle from Japan, which the word “unknown” is written on, according to The Associated Press on Wednesday.
U.S. officials are allowed to receive only a gift worth 390 dollars or less per person. They are supposed to pay an extra amount of money to the U.S. Treasury Department for any present at a higher price than the standard if they want to take it. It is against law that they receive presents from foreign governments personally as it aims to prevent any other government from having any influence over the U.S. government by bribing its officials. Any breach of this law can result in a fine or prosecution. When the one who gives a gift and the U.S. government may get in trouble when the gift is rejected, it is requested to be accepted and later reported and transferred as a U.S. government asset to the National Archives and Records Administration or the General Services Administration (GSA).
It is assumed that the whisky bottle was delivered to Mr. Pompeo back in June 2019 when he accompanied then-U.S. President Donald Trump on his visit to Osaka, Japan, on the occasion of the G20 Summit. The former state secretary also received two carpets worth a total of 19,400 dollars from the Kazakh president and the UAE foreign minister. They were successfully transferred to the GSA.
Mr. Pompeo said that it is a rare occasion that the state department released details of this kind of inquiry, reported The New York Times. He went through an internal investigation of accusations that he ordered state department officers to walk his dog or pick up his laundry right before he left office. Mr. Pompeo’s lawyer argued that he has no idea about the gift in question and has not received any call regarding any inquiry into its whereabouts.