Republicans press Lynch for answers on Iran payments

Republicans press Lynch for answers on Iran payments

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRubio's pragmatic thinking on China The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump feuds heat up Rubio to introduce legislation to keep Supreme Court at 9 seats MORE (R-Fla.) and Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) on Friday sent a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch requesting more information on the Department of Justice's role in $1.3 billion in payments to Iran.  

The letter said the Treasury Department has informed Pompeo that the Department of Justice gave the "appropriate approvals" for the payment. 

ADVERTISEMENT

"What was included in these 'approvals?' Who from the Justice Department granted these 'approvals?' " the members of each Intelligence Committee asked in the letter, first obtained by The Hill.

They also asked Lynch about reports that she personally approved several payments from the Judgment Fund to Iran citing a rarely used statute, 28 U.S. Code § 2414, which requires "certification by the Attorney General that [the payment] is in the interest of the United States." 

"Please explain how sending billions of dollars in cash to the world's foremost state sponsor of terrorism is in our country's best interest," they wrote. 

They also requested more information about an $848,072 payment made before the nuclear deal was signed, noting that there have been conflicting answers from the administration. 

"Perhaps you can shed some light on this payment, as you approved it," Pompeo and Rubio wrote. 

"Although we continue to press for information, and together have introduced legislation to block ransom payments to Iran, the administration will not provide the American people straight answers," they said. 

"Congress has a responsibility to exercise oversight, particularly in the face of extreme secrecy and stone walling regarding cash payments of almost $2 billion to the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism. We believe full transparency is the best way forward." 

7OCT16 Letter to Lynch Pompeo Rubio Iran Ransom by Kristina Wong on Scribd