Japanese whiskey offered to Pompeo has disappeared, official documents say – .

Japanese whiskey offered to Pompeo has disappeared, official documents say – .

The government of Japan donated the whiskey to Pompeo in 2019, the document says. But it’s unclear whether Pompeo himself received the whiskey or whether a member of staff accepted it.

Pompeo said Thursday he never received the bottle of whiskey and had “no idea” that it was missing, or what happened to the gift.

“I guess we never touched it. It never touched me. I have no idea how the State Department lost this thing, although I saw tremendous incompetence in the State Department while I was there, “said the former secretary of state. Status during an appearance on Fox News. “If it had been a Diet Coke affair, I’d be done with it.

Pompeo’s attorney, William Burck, told the Wall Street Journal that the former secretary of state had “no memory of receiving the bottle of whiskey and had no knowledge of what happened to him” .

CNN has requested comment from both the Pompeo spokesperson and a State Department spokesperson.
“The ministry is studying the issue and is conducting an ongoing investigation,” the file said.

‘Crazy conversation’

On Fox News, Pompeo called the matter a “crazy conversation” and said if the State Department wanted to contact him, “I’m happy to try and help them find him.”

The missing gift could raise ethical concerns for Pompeo, who has given strong indications that he could run for president in 2024.

US officials are prohibited from accepting personal gifts from foreign governments. But “non-acceptance would cause embarrassment to the donor and the US government,” the State Department said on file, so the gifts are turned over to government records.

U.S. officials are legally permitted to keep gifts that cost less than $ 390. If there are gifts above this price, officials are legally bound to pay the estimated cost.

Government ethics expert Walter Shaub told CNN via email that a “willful and deliberate failure to disclose a gift” could result in a civil fine of $ 50,000, or even jail time if prosecuted. under the Misrepresentation Act.

“The issue of a Cabinet official receiving gifts from foreign governments is a serious one,” wrote Shaub, the former director of the Office of Government Ethics who now works for the Project on Government Oversight watchdog group. “If it turns out that Secretary Pompeo took that $ 5,800 bottle, he should have disclosed it as a gift in his financial disclosure report. “

Shaub noted that the US government has in the past pursued breaches of disclosure of gifts in financial disclosure reports.

The expensive whiskey was part of a gift list prepared by the State Department’s Office of Protocol, which lists all gifts to senior administration officials.

The State Department’s independent watchdog discovered earlier this year that Pompeo and his wife Susan Pompeo had violated federal ethics rules by making more than 100 personal, non-work-related requests to department employees -om ordering gifts when booking appointments in a salon and taking care of the family dog. .

CNN’s Michael Conte contributed to this report.


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