- The State Department is looking for a $US5,800 ($AU7,902) bottle of whisky that Japan gave to Pompeo in 2019.
- American officials can accept gifts under $US390 ($AU531) on behalf of the government.
- Pompeo’s lawyer denied that his client knew anything about the bottle.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
The state department is trying to locate a $US5,800 ($AU7,902) bottle of Japanese whisky gifted to then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo by the Japanese government in 2019, according to a notice made public in the federal register on Wednesday.
The filing says that it hasn’t been determined whether Pompeo received the gift and that he was traveling to Saudi Arabia on June 24, 2019, when Japanese officials gifted him the expensive whisky. According to The New York Times, the register is used for senior American officials to document gifts they’ve received from foreign counterparts.
“The department is looking into the matter and has an ongoing inquiry,” the document says. State Department policy allows American diplomats to keep gifts under $US390 ($AU531), and they have the option them to purchase gifts over that price.
By law, American officials cannot accept gifts from a foreign government. The stipulation was made to prevent foreign governments and diplomats from exercising influence over officials.
The State Department valued the whisky gifted to Pompeo at $US5,800 ($AU7,902).
Pompeo’s lawyer William A. Burck told Insider: “He has no idea what the disposition was of this bottle of whisky.”
Burck added that Pompeo did not remember receiving the bottle and did not know there was an inquiry into where it went.
The Times reported that the US government was never paid for the bottle and that the State Department had asked its inspector general to investigate the incident.