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Friday February 23, 2024

Investigators search for pricey gifts to Trump from foreign leaders

By News Desk
November 06, 2022

WASHINGTON: Congressional investigators are looking for dozens of pricey mementos gifted to former president Donald Trump and his family members by foreign governments, according to three people familiar with the matter.

The House Oversight Committee has asked for help in locating the items from the National Archives, which is among the agencies charged with keeping presidential gifts, two of the people said.

The eclectic list ranges from golf clubs given to Trump by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to a 2018 World Cup soccer ball gifted by Russian President Vladimir Putin, a gold-plated collar of Horus, the falcon-headed ancient Egyptian god, given by Egypt’s president, a large painting of Trump from the president of El Salvador, and a $6,400 collar of King Abdulaziz al Saud, a ceremonial honor from Saudi Arabia, according to a person familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.

The dozens of gifts are worth in sum an estimated $50,000 or more, according to people familiar with the request. The committee has asked the archives to check whether the gifts are among the items transferred there from the White House at the end of Trump’s presidency as required by law, according to those familiar with the request. The committee is also seeking records from Trump’s team about its record keeping, a Trump adviser said.

It’s not clear why the Oversight Committee made the request for these specific items. A spokesperson for the committee declined to comment except to say the investigation is ongoing. The Archives also declined to comment, and it’s unclear where the agency is in the process of trying to find these items and which gifts, if any, on the list were properly accounted for.

A Trump spokesman did not respond to a request for comment, nor did officials who handled gifts in the Trump administration.The search comes as Trump faces an FBI investigation into whether he and his aides mishandled classified documents after agents recovered troves of records from his Mar-a-Lago home, including highly sensitive intelligence regarding China and Iran.