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Monday, August 27, 2012

Gifts to the President of the United States

Jack Maskell
Legislative Attorney

This report addresses provisions of federal law and regulation restricting the acceptance of personal gifts by the President of the United States.

Although the President, like all other federal officers and employees, is prohibited from receiving personal gifts from foreign governments and foreign officials without the consent of Congress (U.S. Const., art. I, § 9, cl. 8), the President is generally free to accept unsolicited personal gifts from the American public. Most of the restrictions on federal officials accepting gifts from “prohibited sources” (those doing business with, seeking action from, or regulated by one’s agency) are not applicable to the President of the United States (5 C.F.R. § 2635.204(j)), although the President may not solicit gifts from such sources. The President, in a similar manner as other federal officials, may also receive unrestricted gifts from relatives and gifts that are given on the basis of personal friendship. When personal gifts accepted by the President or his immediate family exceed a certain amount, those gifts are required to be publicly disclosed in financial disclosure reports filed annually by the President. 5 U.S.C. app., §§ 101(f)(1), 102(a)(2). The President remains subject to the bribery and illegal gratuities law which prohibits the receipt of a gift or of anything of value when that receipt, or the agreement to receive such thing of value, is connected in some way to the performance (or nonperformance) of an official act.

Date of Report: August 16, 2012
Number of Pages: 9
Order Number: R42662
Price: $19.95

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