Free Beacon: New disclosures made by the Treasury Department to Rep. Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.), a House Intelligence Committee member, show that an initial $400 million cash payment to Iran was wired to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY) and then converted from U.S. dollars into Swiss francs and moved to an account at the Swiss National Bank, according to a copy of communication obtained exclusively by the Free Beacon.
Once the money was transferred to the Swiss Bank, the “FRBNY withdrew the funds from its account as Swiss franc banknotes and the U.S. Government physically transported them to Geneva” before personally overseeing the handover to an agent of Iran’s central bank, according to the documents.
These disclosures shine new light on how the Obama administration moved millions of dollars from U.S. accounts to European banks in order to facilitate three separate cash payments to Iran totaling $1.7 billion.
The latest information is adding fuel to accusations the Obama administration arranged the payment in this fashion to skirt U.S. sanctions laws and give Iran the money for the release of U.S. hostages, in what many have called a ransom.
Congress has been investigating the circumstances surrounding the payment for months and said the administration is blocking certain requests for more detailed information about the cash transaction with Iran.
“By withholding critical details and stonewalling congressional inquiries, President Obama seems to be hiding whether or not he and others broke U.S. law by sending $1.7 billion in cash to Iran,” Pompeo told the Free Beacon. “But Americans can plainly see that the Obama administration laundered this money in order to circumvent U.S. law and appease the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
As new details emerge, congressional critics such as Pompeo and Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) are beginning to suspect the U.S. government laundered the money in order to provide Tehran with immediate access.
“Think about this timeline: the U.S. withdraws $400 million in cash from the Swiss National Bank and then physically transports it to another city to hand-off to Iranian officials—three days before Iran releases four American hostages,” Pompeo said. “But it gets worse: less than a week after this, the U.S. again sends hordes of cash to Iran. As we speak, Iran is still holding three more Americans hostage and I fear what precedent this administration has set.”[…]
A senior congressional aide familiar with investigations regarding the matter told the Free Beacon that the administration continues to hide information from lawmakers about the cash payment.
“The American public and Members of Congress understand psychology—if the administration is hiding something, there is a reason. President Obama, Secretary Kerry and others would like to pretend that their months of evasiveness and stonewalling regarding Iran are normal, but their behavior indicates otherwise” the source said. “Refusing to answer basic questions about millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars paid to the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism only invites more questions.”