A bottle of whiskey estimated to be worth $5,800 that the Japanese government gave to former Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoSunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as country struggles with delta variant Christie, Pompeo named co-chairs of GOP redistricting group America needs a new strategy for Pacific Island Countries MORE has been reported missing.
A public filing released on Wednesday by the State Department reported gifts that were given to public officials including Pompeo and former President TrumpDonald TrumpCapitol fencing starts coming down after 'Justice for J6' rally Netanyahu suggests Biden fell asleep in meeting with Israeli PM Aides try to keep Biden away from unscripted events or long interviews, book claims MORE in 2019. One of the listings for Pompeo included a bottle of whiskey that the government of Japan gave him, which the listing notes was received on June 24, 2019.
The New York Times reported that the State Department has launched an investigation into the missing bottle, citing two people familiar with the matter. The newspaper noted that Pompeo was in Saudi Arabia at the time the gift was given.
Pompeo’s lawyer, William Burck, told The Hill in a statement that Pompeo did not remember receiving a bottle of whiskey from the Japanese government and did not know the State Department was investigating it being missing.
“Mr. Pompeo has no recollection of receiving the bottle of whiskey and does not have any knowledge of what happened to it,” Burck said. “He is also unaware of any inquiry into its whereabouts. He has no idea what the disposition was of this bottle of whiskey.”
According to the Times, if a gift is less than $390, a U.S. official can keep it. For gifts over that amount, officials have to purchase them. The news outlet noted that, according to the two people familiar with the inquiry, the inspector general has been asked to look into its whereabouts and the U.S. government was not paid for the item.
Pompeo is considered a possible 2024 presidential candidate, though the inquiry could bring up possible ethics questions regarding whether the former secretary of State accepted gifts from a foreign government.
The Hill has reached out to the State Department for comment.