Sessions assembles team to probe support for Hezbollah

Sessions assembles team to probe support for Hezbollah
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Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits McCabe wins back full FBI pension after being fired under Trump Overnight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability MORE announced on Thursday that the Justice Department has assembled a team to investigate individuals and groups supporting the Iranian-backed militant Islamist group Hezbollah.

“The Justice Department will leave no stone unturned in order to eliminate threats to our citizens from terrorist organizations and to stem the tide of the devastating drug crisis,” Sessions said, adding that the Hezbollah Financing and Narcoterrorism Team will include prosecutors and investigators.

The move follows a Politico report last month that the Obama administration worked to block a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) campaign targeting the Lebanon-based group's narcotics and weapons trafficking, known as Project Cassandra, to avoid damaging negotiations around the eventual 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

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The DEA launched the effort in 2008 after it amassed evidence showing Hezbollah had been collected $1 billion a year as a result of trafficking and money laundering.

Sessions ordered a review of a law enforcement efforts to crack down on Hezbollah's trafficking and money-laundering operations after that report.

Republicans have seized on the Politico report, saying the Obama administration gave away too much to Iran in order to reach the nuclear agreement.

Relations between the U.S. and Iran have declined under the Trump administration.

President TrumpDonald TrumpMcAuliffe takes tougher stance on Democrats in Washington Democrats troll Trump over Virginia governor's race Tom Glavine, Ric Flair, Doug Flutie to join Trump for Herschel Walker event MORE ripped the Iranian government for its violent response to peaceful protestors this month. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki HaleyNikki HaleyUS rejoins UN Human Rights Council, reversing Trump exit Smarkets betting site makes Trump favorite in 2024 Nikki Haley gets lifetime post on Clemson Board of Trustees MORE also accused Iran of supplying weapons to Yemeni rebels last month.