The “New York Times” reveals that a bottle offered by Japan to the former US Secretary of State cannot be found and that an investigation is opened to find it.
But who could have whistled the bottle? Since Wednesday evening, this is the funny question that has stirred the American public debate. In question, the publication of an article in the New York Times reporting the mystery disappearance of a whiskey at 5 800 dollars (4 900 euros), which the Department of ‘State of the United States, the equivalent of the Department of Foreign Affairs.
For the American government to get involved, it is because the vial in question is special. It would thus have been offered by Japan to Mike Pompeo on 24 June 2019, when he was Secretary of State. A nice gift that Donald Trump’s protégé could not keep, since only offerings of a value less than 329 dollars (329 euros) are permitted by the U.S. Constitution. Beyond this amount, it is illegal for a US official to accept a gift from a foreign government to prevent any risk of corruption. However, it is still possible to purchase the gift in question.
9 000 carpet dollars, Montblanc pen, Donald Trump painting However, in order to avoid offending their foreign counterparts, senior U.S. officials may accept donations greater than 329 dollars , provided they are declared, become the property of the government and therefore end up being handed over to the national archives. The US State Department released this week the long list of gifts declared in 2019 by American officials.
There are among others 9 000 carpet dollars offered by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan to Pompeo, a Montblanc pen to 490 dollars donated by the Ambassador of Azerbaijan or a painting on double glazing representing Donald Trump valued at 5 250 dollars, gift from the former Vietnamese president to his American counterpart in 2019.
For each of the offerings, a line corresponding to the place where it was stored. Except for the mysterious bottle of whiskey, therefore, for which it is simply written “unknown disposition” accompanied by a footnote explaining that “the ministry is studying the matter and is currently investigating.” A more than unusual measure, according to the New York Times .
Pompeo already accused of abusing his functions Mike Pompeo, who has presidential ambitions in 2024, did not react to the publication of the article. His lawyer for his part kicked in touch: “Mr. Pompeo has no recollection of receiving the bottle of whiskey and has no knowledge of what happened to him. He is also not aware of any investigation into his fate, and has no idea where this bottle is. ” An element argues besides in his favor: the day he would have received the elixir, the Secretary of State was visiting Saudi Arabia.
In April, Pompeo had already been accused of having abused his functions. A report revealed the use more than a hundred times of State personnel for personal tasks. Government employees were reportedly asked to take care of the Pompeo couple’s pets, or to send Christmas cards to loved ones. The Secretary of State then denounced a report to political motivations and factual errors.