WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), David Perdue (R-Ga), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Luther Strange (R-Ala.) are requesting information on the crimes of the seven individuals granted clemency and the 14 fugitives for whom charges were dropped as part of the prisoner exchange between the United States and Iran that was secretly negotiated by Obama administration officials leading up to the Iran deal.
“Based on new reports, we are concerned that President Obama and certain previous administration officials intentionally suppressed the seriousness of the charges against these individuals in order to garner public support for the nuclear deal with Iran, and we fear that these individuals may still pose a threat to the national security of the United States,” wrote the senators.
“We have suspected for some time that the 7 individuals who received pardons or commuted sentences as part of this exchange were convicted of providing significant assistance to Iran’s nuclear program,” the senators continued. “A POLITICO investigation released this week now confirms that several of these individuals were involved in aiding Iran’s illegal procurement network for microelectronics with applications for surface-to-air and cruise missiles and conspiring to supply Iran with satellite technology and hardware in violation of U.S. sanctions.”
Given that much of this information was kept from the American people by the Obama administration, the senators request a response from Secretary Tillerson, Attorney General Sessions, and Secretary Mnuchin to the following questions:
- Do we currently know the whereabouts of the seven individuals whose federal prison sentences were commuted as part of the January 2016 swap? If so, are they still assisting the Iranian government in advancing its nuclear program or supporting its terrorist proxies?
- Do we currently know the whereabouts of the 14 fugitives whose federal charges were dropped as a part of the January 2016 swap? If so, are they still engaging in illicit activities on behalf of the Iranian government?
- Are you able to provide Congress with more information regarding the Obama administration’s decision to stop supplying the National Counter-proliferation Initiative with resources?
- Is it true that certain Obama administration officials may have been instructed to cease investigating certain elements of Iranian procurement networks operating in the U.S.? What counter-proliferation activities are we currently pursuing in order to combat Iran’s attempts to illicitly procure sanctioned goods?
- In your review of U.S. policies toward Iran so far, have you found that any of the concerning behaviors outlined above have carried over from the Obama administration?
View the full letter here.