Pricey Bottle of Japanese Whisky Gifted to Pompeo Among Items Missing From State Dept. Vault

A bottle of Japanese whisky that is estimated to cost $5,800 belonging to former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is missing.

The State Department's internal watchdog revealed the missing whisky bottle in a new report. A gift vault in which presents given to government officials were stored was said to be in "a state of disarray" in January. The inspector general in charge of the investigation could not locate the nearly $6,000 bottle of Suntory Hibiki whisky, which had been aged for 30 years. A 22-karat gold coin was also reported to be missing.

Records show that 77 people had entered the vault between August 3, 2020, and January 31, 2021. The total number of visits between this time period was 3,051, with the majority of the figures involved having left government positions by the time the investigation began. Increased security measures have been recommended for the facility.

Gifts that were initially reported missing but eventually found include commemorative G-7 pewter trays, leather portfolios and marble trinket boxes.

A representative for Pompeo said he knew nothing about the whisky, gifted to him in 2019 by the Japanese government, or the inquiry itself until the State Department had released their findings.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Suntory Hibiki
Mike Pompeo's missing whisky bottle is a 30-year-old Suntory Hibiki bottle. The expensive drink is seen here with other types of whiskeys. Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP via Getty Images

The items were reported missing in August in a notice filed in the Federal Register.

Later, it emerged that a collection of porcelain and copper vases valued at $20,000 that the U.S. government bought as gifts for leaders planning to attend a Group of Seven summit before it was canceled also were missing.

"OIG located the missing vases (all of which were in storage and for which the Department had never accepted delivery)," it said in the report. "However, OIG was unable to determine what happened to the other items, including the gold coin and the whisky. OIG could not trace the items because of the lack of an inventory system to account for the disposition of items and the fact that there are no security cameras outside the gift vault."

The inspector general's report recommended that the State Department boost security at the gifts vault and determine whether security cameras should be placed in the facility.

Mike Pompeo
A missing bottle of Japanese whisky reported by the State Department belonged to Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Pompeo is seen above during an interview with the Associated Press on July 16, 2021, in Des Moines, Iowa AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File