House Oversight Committee announces investigation into Trump administration's foreign gifts

House Oversight Committee announces investigation into Trump administration's foreign gifts

A House committee on Tuesday announced an investigation into former President Donald Trump over his administration's failure to properly record gifts from foreign government officials as required by law.

A letter from House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., sent a letter Monday to the National Archives seeking documents on mismanaged gifts received from foreign government officials while Trump was in office. She said the committee's concerns stem from information provided by the State DepartmentState Department.

Maloney wrote that these revelations raised concerns about the potential influence of foreign governments on former President Trump.

The committee was informed of the deficiencies in the process during the Trump administration after being briefed by the State DepartmentState Department last month on the tracking and reporting process for White House gifts. CNN first reported on the investigation.

In April, the State DepartmentState Department said missing data from the White House prevented it from compiling a satisfactory accounting of gifts presented by foreign governments to Trump and other U.S. officials in 2020.

Maloney said in her letter that the Trump administration's failed tabulation of gifts may have threatened national security and foreign policy interests of the United States, and could have violated the Constitution's Emoluments Clause, which prohibits gifts from being kept for personal use if they exceed the minimal value that's currently set at $415.

Trump accepted multiple gifts from foreign sources in 2020 but the gifts appear to be missing from the State DepartmentState Department's list of foreign gifts it's required to compile.

After gifts went missing from the State DepartmentState Department vault in the final weeks of Trump's presidency, the State Department's Office of the Inspector GeneralState Department's Office of the Inspector General said it would investigate whether some of the former president's political appointees had taken taxpayer-funded presents home with them, noting the dollar value of the missing gifts. One of the gifts included a bottle of whiskey worth $5,800 that was given by Japanese officials to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo before it went missing.

Maloney cited other gifts, such as a Louis Vuitton golf bag and photographs of French President Emmanuel Macron, which was allegedly valued at more than $8,200 and a gold-framed portrait of Trump from the prime minister of Vietnam, valued in excess of $3,000.

Maloney requested all documents and communications related to foreign gifts received by Trump, his family and White House staff by June 20.

A spokesman for Trump didn't respond immediately to a request for comment.

House Democrats launched other investigations into the Trump administration after his presidency ended. While he was in office, congressional Democrats tried unsuccessfully to sue Trump over alleged Emoluments Clause violations, arguing that Trump broke the law with his businesses, particularly with Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.