FBI Investigating Iran Envoy Rob Malley over Handling of Classified Material: Report

July 11, 2023

The FBI is looking into Biden Administration envoy to Iran Robert Malley’s handling of classified material, CBS News reported Tuesday, citing sources.

In June House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Michael McCaul (R-TX) requested more information regarding a decision by the State Department to revoke Malley’s security clearance, which occurred amid an internal investigation into his handling of classified material. 

“These reports raise serious concerns both regarding Malley’s conduct and whether the State Department misled Congress and the American public,” McCaul wrote to the State Department last month. “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 set a July 11 deadline for the State Department to provide his committee with an update. He further asserted that Congress had been misled when the State Department claimed Malley was on a leave of absence because of family issues.

Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Sunday also called for Congress to be kept up to date on Iran-related matters. 

“The Iranians are providing the Russians critical drones and munitions for their aggression in Ukraine,” Coons said on CBS’ Face the Nation. “I think that puts even greater tension on any possible conversations between the United States, our regional allies, and Iran. And I do think we need a briefing to update the members of Congress.”

“We take our oversight obligations extremely seriously,” State Department spokesman Matt Miller said Monday. “We obviously got the letter from the chairman; we’ve been reviewing it and we will be engaging with his office on the matter.”

Malley’s portfolio includes attempts to resurrect the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement that President Trump dismantled in 2018. He was also involved in negotiations over three U.S. citizens who are wrongfully detained in Tehran. 

In Malley’s absence, his deputy has taken over his responsibilities. The State Department, the Department of Justice and the FBI all declined CBS’ requests comment.

PHOTO: Rob Malley during Senate hearing on Iran, 2022

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