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Lawmakers to Grill State Department Officials Over Biden’s Iran Envoy Probe

Robert Malley is shown on June 20, 2021, in Vienna, Austria. | Florian Schroetter/AP Photo
Robert Malley is shown on June 20, 2021, in Vienna, Austria. | Florian Schroetter/AP Photo

The State Department will brief the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s leadership in the wake of the Biden administration’s decision to bench Iran envoy Rob Malley after the panel’s top lawmaker threatened to subpoena administration officials.

Rep. Michael McCaul, the committee chair, secured an agreement from the State Department for the sit-down some time this week, according to a Republican committee aide granted anonymity to discuss the sensitive situation. The classified briefing is also open to the panel’s top Democrat, Rep. Gregory Meeks of New York.

The State Department confirmed that briefings in response to lawmakers’ queries about Malley are in the works but declined to give specifics about the timing or exact content matter.

Malley, a veteran diplomat who has served in multiple Democratic administrations, had been working to restore the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. As POLITICO has reported, he was put on partial leave this spring amid an investigation into whether he should have access to classified information. State turned that into a full-time, unpaid leave in late June when news of the probe, which involves the FBI and Diplomatic Security, became public.

Republican lawmakers have criticized the administration both for allowing Malley to continue to work in the department after his security clearance was suspended over the investigation and for keeping them in the dark about the probe for several weeks.

Related Story: Now You See Me, Now You Don’t: State Department Removes Embattled Iran Envoy’s Bio from Website

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