Another law ignored by Trump: accounting for foreign gifts at the White House

Former President Donald Trump left the White House last year without providing the State Department with a legally required accounting of gifts he received from foreign governments in 2020, officials revealed in a report Friday.

The demand was also ignored by former Vice President Mike Pence and other Trump administration officials, authorities said.

The department attempted to collect the missing information from the National Archives and Records Administration and the General Services Administration, but was told that “potentially relevant records are not available ‘in the protocol office’ under the rules of ‘applicable access to withdrawn documents’, according to the report. declared.

Trump’s brazen disregard for procedure, now predictable, means the State Department lacks basic information to determine whether the gifts were somehow inappropriate, such as so expensive that they could be construed as a bribe for special favors.

Federal law requires every government department and agency to submit to the State Department a list of gifts over $415 that officials have received from foreign governments. The review is intended to ensure that foreign governments do not exert undue influence on US officials.

Richard Painter, former chief White House ethics counsel for the George W. Bush administration, tweeted that “every Trump White House staff has turned the middle finger to a federal law and the emoluments clause of the Constitution. We have no idea what foreign gains they got and from whom,” he added.

Trump’s refusal to abide by archival laws was evident when he transported about 15 boxes of official documents – some clearly marked “classified” and even “top secret” – from the White House to his residence in Mar. -a-Lago when he left office. Everything was supposed to be turned over to the US National Archives and Records Administration.

He also constantly tore up documents at the White House that should have been saved and turned over to the Archives. National Archives officials had to piece together what they could when documents were demanded by the House Select Committee investigating the insurrection.

The Justice Department is launching an investigation into Trump’s removal of official documents from his residence, The Washington Post reported Thursday. The FBI should investigate whether foreign actors had access to top-secret information, The New York Times reported.

The House Committee on Oversight and Reform began investigating the slipped boxes of documents in February.

Trump insisted that bringing official documents home was completely “routine” and “ordinary”.

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