Politics - News Analysis

Both Ivanka and Melania Received Fancy Jewelry as Gifts While in the WH That They Failed to Disclose Per Federal Law

An ongoing investigation alleges that Donald Trump and his family failed to disclose more than 100 foreign gifts worth $291,000 from several countries including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, China, Japan, Uzbekistan, Bahrain, Austria, Bangladesh, and others. The interim staff report was released Friday.

The Hindustan Times is also reporting Trump failed to disclose 17 gifts from India to the U.S. State Department, according to the investigation by Congressional Democrats of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability.

Among the pricey gifts given by such notables as then-President Ram Nath Kovind, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi included “a Charm bracelet by Raghavendra Rathore, in presentation box that was given to Melania Trump.” These gifts, largely courtesy of Modi, also include a $2,450 “bracelet by Raghvendra Rathore,” that was given to Ivanka Trump. So she didn’t do too badly either. Neither did her husband, Jared Kushner, who received a $950 “Bandhgala jacket, by Raghavendra Rathore, in presentation box.”

Donald Trump received a “table, black marble, with mother-of-pearl and stone inlay” worth $1,400 and “cufflinks, by (designer Raghavendra) Rathore, in presentation box,” worth $1,920.

Also gifted: A “Painting on silk, reportedly by the Pichwai Painting Deccan School of India, in frame and presentation box.” That item is valued at $2,200.

Indeed, that’s quite a haul. Most of the gifts stem from Ivanka Trump’s visit to Hyderabad in 2017, and then-President Donald Trump’s state visit to India in 2020.

The investigation, titled Saudi Swords, Indian Jewellery, and a Larger-than-Life Salvadoran Portrait of Donald Trump: The Trump Administration’s Failure to Disclose Major Foreign Gifts, and the interim staff report was released Friday.

The report states:

“Failing to report and disclose gifts pursuant to these rules violates the Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act and may also violate the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, which prohibits the President from obtaining benefits from foreign entities while in office. In addition, under the Ethics in Government Act, the President is required to publicly disclose gifts over the minimal value that they and their immediate family received.”

The committee has also noted the possibility that foreign leaders may have possibly used gifts to try to win favor from Trump.

Kovind and Modi weren’t the only Indian officials giving gifts. Other officials, including external affairs minister S Jaishankar, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, the then Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani, Telangan CM K Chandrashekar Rao, and the Embassy of India in Philippines also offered gifts.

It’s reported that President Kovind gifted Trump with an “Indian rug, silk” worth $6,600 and a model of the Taj Mahal in marble, which is worth $4,630. Adityanath gave a “vase, makrana marble,” that is worth a whopping $8,500 to Trump, while Rupani gave him two sets of footed bowls, a lion statue, a scarf, and a candelabrum. That haul was worth $7,610. Jaishankar gifted a $1,250 photo album of the state visit of Donald and Melania Trump.

And in 2018, the Embassy of India in the Philippines gave Ivanka Trump a “rug, silk and wool, in carrying bag.” That alone was worth $4,600 while KCR gave her a “sculpture of the Charminar, in silver filigree, in presentation case” which was worth $2,200.

Many of Trump’s gifts that were cited in the Congressional report are now at the National Archives, but there’s a law that requires the President and other federal officials to publicly disclose any gifts valued at more than $415. This is the law Trump’s White House is alleged to have run afoul of.

The practice of exchanging gifts between countries is very common and it’s a good way to promote local products. I’m sure Ivanka and Melania love their pricey jewelry. How typical of this family to try and flout the law.


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