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Chair of House Foreign Affairs Committee wants more information on decision to revoke Iran special envoy’s security clearance

<i>Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images</i><br/>Rep. Michael McCaul
Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
Rep. Michael McCaul

By Zachary Cohen, Kylie Atwood and Jake Tapper, CNN

(CNN) — Rep. Michael McCaul, GOP chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is requesting that the State Department provide a detailed description of the allegations against Iran envoy Rob Malley that led to his security clearance being revoked, according to a new letter obtained by CNN.

The letter comes after CNN first reported that Malley’s clearance was revoked amid an internal investigation into his handling of classified material.

“These reports raise serious concerns both regarding Malley’s conduct and whether the State Department misled Congress and the American public,” McCaul wrote. “While the suspension of Special Envoy Malley’s clearance is independently troubling, our concern is compounded by the State Department’s failure to respond to the Committee’s efforts to conduct oversight of its negotiations with and policy toward Iran.”

“Senior State Department officials informed the Committee that Special Envoy Malley was unable to testify or brief because he was on personal leave due to the illness of a close family member, for which my staff expressed sympathy. At no point did the Department indicate that Special Envoy Malley’s security clearance was suspended or under review, or that he was being investigated for potential misconduct,” he added.

McCaul said the Department’s failure to inform Congress of this matter “demonstrates at best a lack of candor, and at worst represents deliberate and potentially unlawful misinformation.”

McCaul specifically asks the department for “all documents and communications referring or related to the review and/or suspension” of Malley and “allegations and/or investigations of potential misconduct against him.”

McCaul also demanded that Secretary of State Antony Blinken provide a detailed account of any and all allegations, investigations and/or findings of misconduct related to Malley.

On Thursday State Department spokesperson Matt Miller confirmed to CNN that Malley was on leave, though earlier in the day he said that Malley was still the special envoy for Iran.

“Rob Malley is on leave and Abram Paley is serving as acting Special Envoy for Iran and leading the Department’s work in this area,” Miller told CNN on Thursday afternoon, after earlier in the day saying that Malley remained in the role.

Malley told CNN he expected the investigation to be resolved soon.

“I have been informed that my security clearance is under review. I have not been provided any further information, but I expect the investigation to be resolved favorably and soon. In the meantime, I am on leave,” Malley said on Thursday.

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