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Malley malaise

Questions remain on Malley’s status following classified briefing, McCaul says

The House Foreign Affairs Committee chair said officials were not able to provide details on the ongoing investigation into the State Department’s Iran special envoy

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

Robert Malley, Biden administration special envoy for Iran, testifies about the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action during a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations on Capitol Hill on May 25, 2022, in Washington, D.C.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Michael McCaul (R-TX), emerging from a classified briefing on Friday morning, told Jewish Insider that administration officials had not been able to offer committee members details on the status of Iran envoy Rob Malley, who has been suspended for allegedly mishandling classified information.

McCaul had demanded a briefing from State Department officials on Malley’s status after it emerged in news reports that Malley had been suspended without pay.

“We don’t really have any details” on the Malley investigation “because it’s an ongoing investigation,” McCaul said. He said that the administration will likely not be able to provide a full briefing until the investigation concludes.

In a recent interview, McCaul had alluded to the possibility that Malley may have committed treason, if he had provided U.S. secrets to a U.S. adversary. 

Asked whether the briefing had alleviated those concerns, McCaul responded, “They couldn’t get into the details,” adding, “the question is, is the FBI involved because if they are, then that’s a national security problem.”

Multiple news outlets have reported that the FBI is involved in the Malley investigation.

McCaul appeared to drop his threat to subpoena testimony on Malley’s status in the short term.

“Just because of the ongoing investigation, I assume they would not comply with a subpoena, and it’d be hard to enforce that just given the Privacy Act and other considerations,” McCaul said.

He added that lawmakers also had questions about why they had not been informed by the State Department about the potential security violation when McCaul requested Malley’s testimony earlier this year.

“When the news outlets report the story [first], that’s the first problem,” he said.

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