Ben Rhodes, a top Obama aide, evoked executive privilege to avoid attending the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing, yet has plenty of time to speak with the New York Times Magazine about the "echo chamber" he created to successfully pass the Iran Deal this past fall. Congressman Gary Palmer (R-AL) issued the following statement after hearing from the remaining witnesses:
"The Obama Administration's rhetoric on the Iran Deal does not match the reality of the situation," said Palmer. "Time and time again, the Administration has misled the American people about the access that inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) would have to Iranian nuclear sites. Instead of a strong inspection regime with 24/7 access to Iran's nuclear facilities, IAEA Director General Amano said the deal restricted their ability to report publicly about Iran's nuclear program."
"The Iran Deal leaves the path open for Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon, a possibility the Administration and Ben Rhodes said was impossible. Moreover, it is clear the Administration was engaged in negotiations with Iran well before the timeline given to Congress and the American people and withheld information about side deals that they were required by law to provide to Congress."
"In addition, the New York Times Magazine article revealed that Rhodes and others inside the Obama Administration were using this deal to disentangle the U.S. from its established system of alliances with Israel and countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey. It is vital that Congress now asks the important questions regarding the ramifications of leaving a pathway for Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon that further destabilizes the region as well as ask questions about the Obama Administration's plans to disengage from Israel and our Middle East allies."