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The Epoch Times
The Epoch Times
18 Mar 2023


NextImg:Trump Accused of Failing to Disclose Over 100 Foreign Gifts

The White House under former President Donald Trump allegedly failed to disclose over 100 foreign gifts worth over $250,000, according to a House Democrat report.

A larger-than-life-size painting of Trump from the president of El Salvador and golf clubs from then-Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are among the unaccounted items, according to a report from House Oversight Committee Democrats.

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), ranking member of the Committee, said in releasing the report that Trump’s alleged failure to disclose foreign gifts could amount to potential violations of the U.S. Constitution’s Foreign Emoluments Clause.

“Today’s preliminary findings suggest again the Trump Administration’s brazen disregard for the rule of law and its systematic mishandling of large gifts from foreign governments, including many lavish personalized gifts that vastly exceed the statutory limit in value,” Raskin said in a statement.

Trump’s spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment.

Under the Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act, gifts above a certain value given to the president, vice president, and their families must be reported to the State Department. The act doesn’t specify a precise dollar amount as a statutory limit for reporting gifts. Instead, it requires that tangible gifts of “more than minimal value” be reported.

The term “minimal value” is defined by the General Services Administration (GSA) and is subject to change every three years based on the Consumer Price Index. The latest adjustment set the minimal value at $480.

The Oversight Committee report highlights 16 gifts from Saudi Arabia totaling over $45,000, including a dagger worth up to $24,000, and 17 gifts from India such as costly cufflinks, a vase, and a $4,600 Taj Mahal model.

Between 2017 and 2019, the White House did report some gifts but failed to disclose more than 100 others, totaling over $250,000 in value, according to the report.

Federal officials have been unable to locate the life-size painting of Trump, which was delivered to the U.S. Embassy in El Salvador as a gift just before the 2020 U.S. election. Some records suggest the painting may have been moved to Florida in July 2021 as Trump’s property.

In November 2021, a State Department watchdog report blamed a “lack of accurate recordkeeping and appropriate physical security controls” for contributing to the loss of the gifts.

Raskin said the committee plans to investigate whether Trump broke the law or violated the Constitution by not reporting gifts and keeping valuable items without paying fair market value for them.

“Committee Democrats are committed to determining the final whereabouts of these missing big-ticket gifts—such as golf clubs, the larger-than-life custom portrait of Donald Trump from El Salvador, and other potential unreported items—and whether they may have been used to influence the president in his conduct of U.S. foreign policy,” Raskin said.

The report caps an investigation launched by the Oversight Committee in June 2022.

Trump on Saturday issued a statement saying he expects to be indicted next week by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and called on his supporters to protest.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office is investigating Trump for his company’s classification of a $130,000 reimbursement to his former personal attorney Michael Cohen over a payment allegedly made to adult actress Stormy Daniels.

The former president has repeatedly condemned the probe as a partisan witch hunt and in a Saturday statement on Truth Social, Trump doubled down on his rhetoric.

Trump said that “illegal leaks” from the “corrupt & highly political” Manhattan DA’s office indicate that he will be arrested on Tuesday of next week. He insisted that no crime has been proven and that the possible indictment in the case would be “based on an old & fully debunked (by numerous other prosecutors!) fairy tale.”

“Protest, take our nation back!” Trump urged his supporters in the message.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office declined to comment on Trump’s statement.

Trump’s possible indictment stems from the alleged misclassifying of a $130,000 hush payment made to Daniels not to disclose an affair between the two, which Trump has denied.

A grand jury was empaneled in the case and expectations have been building for an indictment.

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