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House reps ‘frustrated’ with lack of transparency over Malley suspension

The suspended Iran envoy is now teaching at Yale and Princeton universities.

U.S. Special Representative for Iran Robert Malley. Source: Screenshot.
U.S. Special Representative for Iran Robert Malley. Source: Screenshot.

Robert Malley, the special representative for Iran suspended by U.S. State Department amid what is said to be an FBI investigation for mishandling classified documents, has landed a new gig in New Haven, Conn., while he also teaches at Princeton University.

Yale University’s Jackson School of Global Affairs recently announced that Malley is a senior fellow for the 2023-24 academic year. The school described senior fellows as “leading practitioners in various fields of international affairs who spend a year or semester at Yale teaching courses and mentoring students.”

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Accountability, stated in an Aug. 22 release that they are “frustrated” with the “lack of transparency” in what they call the “ongoing Malley saga.”

The two note that a July 28 State Department briefing for members of Congress left unanswered questions.

“We are concerned that some officials at the department, including yourself, knew about Mr. Malley’s situation for months but did not communicate to Congress about it, even as the committee expressed bipartisan interest in receiving testimony or a briefing from Mr. Malley on Iran policy,” the two wrote to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

“We asked the briefers that the department keep us regularly informed on this matter going forward, and we were told that they would take our request under consideration,” they added. “We are sure you understand why we are not satisfied by that response.” 

Their letter to Blinken noted that the “request is even more important with the recent news that Mr. Malley will be joining both Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs as a visiting professor and guest lecturer, and Yale’s Jackson School of Global Affairs as a senior fellow.”

“Both developments would suggest a change to his employment status and that he will be leaving the State Department,” the congressmen wrote.

In Malley’s biography on the Yale website, the university notes: “Malley is on leave from the U.S. State Department where he had been serving as special envoy for Iran since January 28, 2021.” It does not explain the reason for his leave from Foggy Bottom.

“No one, other than Malley himself and State, knows what he did to warrant suspension of clearances and removal from his job,” wrote the Jewish Policy Center. “Since he was negotiating with a self-avowed enemy of the U.S., that info should go, minimally, to Congress. And who’s funding him at Yale and Princeton? And why?”

Neither Princeton nor Yale responded to queries from JNS.
Malley is also a member of the Brown University Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs advisory board.

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