Michael McCaul, chairman of the US House foreign affairs committee, has threatened a subpoena if the administration does not brief Congress on the circumstances of Iran envoy Rob Malley’s dismissal.
McCaul (R-TX) told the Washington Post in an interview on Monday that the State Department has been less than candid with a security clearance investigation of Malley.
Saying that he has no official information on the case besides media reports, McCaul said, “if he has leaked very sensitive or classified information to our foreign adversaries like Iran or Russia, that's a very serious act that would fall under treason.”
The Congressman said he has no evidence if any violation by Malley was small in nature or serious, but “We need to be briefed in the Congress. By law, they're required to do so, and we have asked for that classified briefing.”
Iran International first reported June 29 that Malley was absent for a considerable time, his security clearance was suspended and he is under investigation related to his handling of classified documents. The Involvement of the Federal Bureau of Investigation was also reported, although until now no official details have been released, except that Malley is on “unpaid leave.”
Congress had asked for briefings by Malley in past months, but the State Department said he was unavailable due to personal matters.
McCaul said that if the administration does not agree to a classified briefing, “then we're prepared to move forward with a subpoena and eventually another contempt proceeding, if necessary. They can't hide this from the Congress and the American people. There's too much at stake.”
Malley has been replaced by Abram Paley as acting Iran envoy, who has taken over the office’s Twitter handle and Malley’s name has been removed from the Department’s website.