Wednesday, September 6, 2023

100+ Unaccounted Trump Presidential Gifts: US Dems


The family of former US President Donald Trump has been accused of failing to disclose over $250,000 worth of gifts received from foreign governments during his time in office. Democrats on the US House Oversight Committee released a statement on Friday listing over 100 items that they allege were not reported by Trump and his family. These items included a golden golf club from Japan and swords from Saudi Arabia’s royal family. The gifts, which were valued at more than $250,000, were required to be reported under the US Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act.

The list of unreported gifts also included 16 presents from Saudi Arabia worth over $45,000 in total, including a dagger valued at up to $24,000, and 17 gifts from India, which included expensive cufflinks, a vase, and a $4,600 model of the Taj Mahal. The State Department has a Diplomatic Gift Unit to maintain records of such presents, which are offered by foreign officials and valued above several hundred dollars.

Representative Jamie Raskin, the top Democrat on the oversight panel, accused Trump and his administration of “brazen disregard for the rule of law” and a “systematic mishandling of large gifts from foreign governments”. Raskin promised to investigate the whereabouts of the “many lavish personalised gifts” that were never reported, adding that the panel was working to determine “whether they may have been used to influence the president in his conduct of US foreign policy”.

The list also included a larger-than-life painting of Trump from the president of El Salvador that committee investigators believe may have been moved to Florida, where Trump owns a beachfront mansion and three golf clubs. Thousands of dollars in golf clubs given to Trump in 2018 and 2019 by Shinzo Abe, the then-prime minister of Japan, were also unaccounted for. These included a $3,755 gold golf driver.

In a joint statement, Democrats said their report “raises significant questions about why former president Trump failed to disclose these gifts to the public, as required by federal law”. The probe echoes a recent investigation launched by Brazilian authorities into allegations that former President Jair Bolsonaro sought to bring jewellery gifted from Saudi Arabia — valued at more than $3.2 million — into the country during his tenure without declaring it as an official gift.

Trump, who is running for reelection in 2024, did not immediately respond to the Democrats’ report. The allegations against Trump and his family have raised concerns about their compliance with federal law and their potential influence on US foreign policy. The investigation is ongoing, and further details are expected to emerge in the coming weeks.

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