'Most transparent administration evah' stonewalls Congress on Iran$1.7 billion cash payment to Iran.
As leading members of Congress petition the Obama administration for answers about what many describe as a $1.7 billion “ransom” payment to Iran, Obama administration officials are doubling down on their refusal to answer questions about the secret negotiations with Iran that led to this payment.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), a vocal opponent of last year’s nuclear deal with Iran, has been seeking answers from senior Obama administration officials since at least late September. However, officials continue to stonewall the senator’s inquiries, according to senior congressional sources and formal communications between Rubio and the State Department obtained by the Free Beacon.
Rubio and several other lawmakers have petitioned the Obama administration for documents and information about the secret negotiations that resulted in Tehran receiving $1.7 billion in cash and a promise from the United States to further roll back sanctions on an Iranian financial institution that helped finance the country’s illicit ballistic missile program.
Rubio submitted a list of questions about the deal to Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sept. 29 during a hearing aimed at examining these payments to Iran.
Blinken finally provided answers to these questions last week, but declined to address all specific questions Rubio posed about the secret negotiations over the $1.7 billion payment.
While the Obama administration has maintained for months that the payment was not part of a ransom package, the Free Beacon and other publications have disclosed in recent weeks that the United States did engage in secret diplomacy with Iran on a range of issues, including the release of American hostages and the $1.7 billion payment.
These issues were addressed in three separate agreements that were only finalized once the United States agreed to provide Tehran with the $1.7 billion payment. Secret documents stored on Capitol Hill and treated in a classified manner show that each of the agreements hinged on the cash payment, the Free Beacon first disclosed in October.
Rubio and other lawmakers have also sought answers from Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who would have played a role in signing off on the agreements. Lynch has declined to answer questions, prompting Rubio and Rep. Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.), the incoming CIA director, to accuse her of “pleading the fifth” before Congress.
The White House has not responded to similar questions submitted by Rubio on Sept. 10, and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has not answered a series of queries posed on Oct. 25, according to sources who accused the administration of intentionally dodging congressional oversight.
Rubio asked Blinken to provide information on any U.S. official who signed off on the secret deals, and to specify if the agreements were part of the formal nuclear agreement or were inked separately. He also asked whether the deals were tied to the release of U.S. hostages.
Rubio hopes to obtain the name of the Iranian official or officials who signed these documents. Sources familiar with the deals and secret documents stored on Capitol Hill told the Free Beacon it is likely the United States inked these deals with a representative of Iran’s intelligence apparatus.
Blinken did not provide firm answers to any of these questions, according to a copy of his formal communication to Rubio viewed by the Free Beacon. He maintained that the cash payment was part of a decades-old legal dispute with Tehran before the international claims tribunal at the Hague.The saddest part of all this is that most of the damage Obama has caused to American interests cannot be undone, and Obama, Kerry, Wendy Sherman Valerie Jarrett, Loretta Lynch and all the rest of this treasonous crew are unlikely to ever face prosecution for it.
A Presidency that will live in infamy. #ObamaLegacy