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Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

Photo by U.S. Department of State (Public domain)

The State Department is opening an inquiry into the whereabouts of a $5,800 bottle of whiskey gifted to then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in 2019 by the Japanese government, the department said Wednesday.

According to a notice filed in the Federal Register, there are no traces of the near $6,000 bottle of whiskey. If Pompeo did, in fact, keep the expensive bottle of liquor, he could be in trouble, as American officials cannot keep gifts that are over $390 without purchasing them.

Details surrounding the booze and its disappearance are very murky at the moment-- it is not even clear that the whiskey ever made it to Pompeo.

When the Japanese government handed the bottle over to the State Department on June 24, 2019, Pompeo was traveling in Saudi Arabia, according to the New York Times. The Guardian, however, notes that the Trump-era official did visit the country that month for a Group of 20 summit.

"The department is looking into the matter and has an ongoing inquiry," the filing said.

It is unusual for the State Department to lose track of gifts and make note of it as they did on Wednesday. According to the Times, similar filings over the past two decades make no mention of any investigations like this one.

Pompeo claims he had no recollection of ever receiving the whiskey and told the Times through his lawyer that he "has no idea what the disposition was of this bottle of whiskey."

According to the notice, Pompeo also received two carpets worth almost $20,000-- both of which were transferred to the General Services Administration.

The mystery of the missing whiskey is just the latest issue to come out of the Pompeo-run State Department.

In April, the State Department's inspector general released a report detailing Pompeo's violation of ethics rules. According to the report, he and wife asked a political appointee and other employees to do favors, such as, "picking up personal items, planning events unrelated to the Department's mission, and conducting such personal business as pet care and mailing personal Christmas cards."

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