Republican senators, including Rep. Michael McCaul, and the House Foreign Affairs Committee are spearheading efforts to obtain answers regarding allegations of mishandling classified documents by the Biden administration’s special envoy for Iran.
Robert Malley, President Biden’s special envoy for Iran, has had his security clearance revoked and has been placed on unpaid leave pending the completion of an investigation, according to a Fox News report.
Last week, McCaul sent a detailed letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, requesting information on the matter. McCaul expressed concerns about Malley’s conduct and whether the State Department provided accurate information to Congress and the public.
McCaul noted, “While the suspension of Special Envoy Malley’s clearance is independently troubling, our concern is compounded by the State Department’s failure to respond to the Committee’s efforts to conduct oversight of its negotiations with and policy toward Iran.
“Since April 11, 2023, the Committee has repeatedly requested Special Envoy Malley’s testimony, which the Department has not fulfilled, despite Special Envoy Malley’s numerous press engagements dating back to May 30, 2023.”
McCaul highlighted the State Department’s failure to respond to the committee’s requests for oversight on negotiations and policy toward Iran, as well as Malley’s refusal to testify before the committee, citing a family member’s illness. According to McCaul, the Department did not disclose that Malley’s security clearance was under review or that he was being investigated for potential misconduct.
“At no point did the Department indicate that Special Envoy Malley’s security clearance was suspended or under review, or that he was being investigated for potential misconduct,” the congressman wrote.
“The Department’s failure to inform Congress of this matter demonstrates at best a lack of candor, and at worst represents deliberate and potentially unlawful misinformation,” he added.
Senator Bill Hagerty raised questions on social media about Malley’s alleged misconduct and when President Biden and Secretary Blinken became aware of the accusations against him.
Malley acknowledged that his security clearance is being investigated but expressed confidence in a positive outcome.
Hagerty also questioned why Malley was allowed to continue in his diplomatic role while under investigation and why he was selected for the position considering his past contacts with extremist groups.
Hagerty, along with over 30 senators, recently introduced a bill that would require a congressional vote on sanctions relief for Iran.
Malley has been accused of making significant concessions to Iran’s regime as part of a planned nuclear deal, which could potentially provide billions in sanctions relief. He has also advocated for normalizing relations with state sponsors of terrorism, including Iran and Syria.
Malley declined to appear before the committee, according to McCaul’s letter.
Senator Marco Rubio stressed the importance of scrutinizing the secret “deal” Malley is allegedly working on with Iran.
Former national security adviser John Bolton expressed concern about Malley’s position, noting that he couldn’t recall a similar case in U.S. history.
The mounting criticism of Malley may bolster the campaign led by Iranian American human rights activist Masih Alinejad, who aims to compel the State Department to remove Malley as special envoy.
Alinejad’s petition has garnered over 136,000 signatures since October.
Alinejad and other anti-regime activists accuse Malley of misrepresenting the nature of protests against Iran’s regime and pushing for negotiations with the Islamic Republic.
The protests erupted in September following the reported torture and murder of Masha Amini by Iran’s morality police for not wearing a hijab properly.
The National Union for Democracy in Iran, a U.S.-based organization, has been at the forefront of opposing Malley’s appointment, and they hope that a legal investigation and the rule of law will prompt action if misconduct is proven.