The architect of Obama’s doomed Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and Biden’s top Iran negotiator, Rob Malley, has been placed on unpaid leave amid an investigation into his mishandling of classified documents. This has been confirmed by the State Department after they were trying to spin the matter as a personal affair, only to be caught misstating Malley’s current status.
OAN’s Chanel Rion
11:40 AM – Monday, July 3, 2023
A United States official told CNN Thursday that Malley’s clearance had been suspended earlier this year relating to an investigation into the possible mishandling of classified documents. Malley being placed on unpaid leave is a sign things are looking grim for the Biden State Department and its prize Iran negotiator. Malley himself has confirmed to CNN that he is on unpaid leave but says that he expects the investigation to result in a “favorable outcome.” Predictable spin.
What is unexpected is how inconsistently the State Department has been caught narrating this scandal. State Department spokesman Matt Miller Thursday, said Malley was still Biden’s Special Envoy to Iran.
Miller changed the story just hours later stating, “Rob Malley is on leave and Abram Paley is serving as acting Special Envoy for Iran and leading the Department’s work in this area.”
The fact that Obama and Biden’s top Iran negotiator is not only being investigated for mishandling classified documents but also he has been relieved of his duties until further notice, raised alarm bells for Congress.
GOP Chairman of House Foreign Affairs Committee Michael McCaul formally requested the State Department for a full briefing on the matter.
“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,” McCaul said in a recent press release.
McCaul also noted that the State Department did not appear to have been forthright about the reasons Malley had skipped the Iran briefing about the Iran policy before Congress on May 16th. Biden’s State Department initially told Congress that Malley’s absence was due to personal family reasons when in reality, the timeline appeared to show that Malley was actually under investigation.
Malley for three years under Biden, was in charged with the duties of keeping Iran from gaining nuclear capabilities and negotiating for hostages. His role, however, had been widely criticized by Iran hawks who point to various of his decisions that have proven unusually sympathetic to Iran. Malley is also the chief architect of the infamous “planes full of cash” deal to Iran, back under Obama’s reign.
One of the most bizarre aspects of Malley’s role as “lead Iran Negotiator” for the U.S. is that under Biden, Malley had been criticized for giving the Iran negotiating reigns largely over to Russia – a proxy adversary.
Malley has a long history in Democrat foreign policy circles. He had served in the Clinton administration and is also a close personal friend of Biden’s Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken. During the Trump administration, Malley had worked for the International Crisis Group and met with U.S.-sanctioned Iranian and Palestinian officials.
California Congressman Daryl Issa weighed in on Malley’s track record after news broke of his investigation.
“Rob Malley represents the worst of Biden’s foreign policy failures,” Issa said. “He counseled concessions to Iran, weakness to the Mullahs, and put America’s interest last.”
The State Department has yet to respond to Chairman McCaul’s demands to brief Congress on the reasons for Malley’s investigation and unpaid leave.
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