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National Security & Defense

A Reluctant Correction: House Intelligence Committee Says There Is No Formal Investigation of the Iran Nuclear Deal

In my April 7, 2015, National Review article, “The Enormous Fraud of the Iran Deal Is Catching Up with Obama,” I said that the House Intelligence Committee has opened an investigation into whether the Obama administration misled Congress about the July 2015 nuclear deal with Iran (the Joint Comprehensive plan of Action, or JCPOA). The committee contacted me today to inform me this is incorrect and asked that I publish a correction.

The staff member who called me said there is no formal committee investigation into whether the Obama administration misled Congress about the Iran nuclear deal but that this issue is being pursued “as a matter of routine oversight.”

Although to the layman this sounds like a distinction without a difference, this means that House Intelligence Committee members are investigating this issue but there will be no hearings or a committee report.

I was puzzled to get this call since Lou Dobbs reported that the House Intelligence Committee was investigating the Iran deal on his Fox Business program on April 4 and discussed the issue with veteran national-security expert KT McFarland. Adam Kredo wrote in an April 4 Washington Free Beacon article that Congress is investigating this issue.

In addition, three House members — including House Intelligence Committee member Mike Pompeo — sent a letter to the administration on April 1 about possible misleading statements it made to Congress about the Iran deal, specifically about missiles. Here is a link to this letter.

I am happy to publish a correction when I get something wrong. I was wrong here — there will be no formal House Intelligence Committee report or hearings.

However, I want to know why there is no formal House Intelligence Committee investigation and why the chairman’s staff went to the trouble to ask for a correction that amounts to splitting hairs since members on this and other House committees clearly are investigating this issue.

With its access to highly classified intelligence on Iran, the House Intelligence Committee is in a unique position to determine whether Obama administration officials misled Congress about the Iran deal. I note that one of the most controversial aspects of the agreement — a secret side deal that Obama officials failed to disclose to Congress allowing Iran to inspect itself for evidence of past nuclear-weapons work — was discovered by House Intelligence Committee member Mike Pompeo and Senate Intelligence Committee member Tom Cotton during a meeting with IAEA officials in Vienna.

Although the House Intelligence Committee is not conducting an “official” investigation of whether Obama officials misled Congress about the Iran nuclear agreement, it should be. If the committee does open a formal query and hold hearings, I hope it will ask me to testify.

Fred Fleitz, president of the Center for Security Policy, served in 2018 as deputy assistant to the president and to the chief of staff of the National Security Council. He previously held national-security jobs with the CIA, the DIA, the Department of State, and the House Intelligence Committee staff. He is the editor of the 2020 book Defending against Biothreats.

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