GOP lawmakers ask acting inspector general to investigate John Kerry

A trio of Republican lawmakers asked the acting State Department inspector general to open an investigation into John KerryJohn KerryThe Hill’s Morning Report – Biden to take stock, revive push for big government OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Haaland reverses Trump effort on tribal land | Senate confirms Janet McCabe as deputy EPA chief | Study finds quick action on methane could significantly cut into global warming US seeks to lead on climate while finalizing details on plan MORE, the U.S. special envoy for climate change, over allegations he discussed Israeli military operations with Iran’s foreign minister when he served as then-President Obama’s secretary of state.

Kerry is facing blowback after news outlets earlier this week reported on leaked audio that reportedly captured Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif saying Kerry informed him that Israel attacked Iran’s interests in Syria at least 200 times.

The audio in question was recorded in March.


Zarif reportedly expressed astonishment at Kerry’s alleged disclosure, though he did not reveal when Kerry said it.

In a letter to the State Department’s acting inspector general, Diana Shaw, on Wednesday, GOP Reps. Ann WagnerAnn Louise WagnerGOP lawmakers ask acting inspector general to investigate John Kerry Allow a vote on the ‘Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act’ Guilfoyle named as national chair of Greitens’ Senate campaign in Missouri MORE (Mo.), Andy BarrAndy BarrOvernight Energy: Biden will aim to cut US emissions in half by 2030 | Oil and gas leasing pause on public lands will last at least through June Fed to form committee focused on climate risks to financial system Financial regulators home in on climate risks MORE (Ky.) and Lee ZeldinLee ZeldinGOP lawmakers ask acting inspector general to investigate John Kerry Andrew Giuliani to meet with Trump before potential New York gubernatorial campaign Lawmakers launch bipartisan caucus on SALT deduction MORE (N.Y.) asked for a full investigation into the claims.

“Given the gravity of the security threat Iran poses to U.S. and Israeli interests, we respectfully ask that you fully investigate these allegations,” the representatives wrote.

The lawmakers also asked that Shaw determine if Kerry’s security clearance should be revoked.

“Iran is a serious threat to Israel, a bulwark of democracy and stability in the Middle East. It is in our national security interest to stand by our strategic ally – not sell it out to our adversaries,” the lawmakers added.

The representatives asked if the State Department knew about the allegations before they were reported, what the status of Kerry’s security clearance is and what the circumstances were surrounding the alleged leak of information from Kerry, including the timing of the alleged conversation.


Zarif made the remarks in question during a conversation with economist Saeed Leylaz, according to The New York Times. The recording, however, was not meant to be published, which Zarif can reportedly be heard mentioning a number of times.

Kerry served as Obama’s secretary of state from 2013 to 2017.

The lawmakers also requested answers to what role Kerry played in the formulation of the Biden administration’s policy on re-entering the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the nuclear deal between the U.S. Iran, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom, and if the department is aware of any “follow-on attacks” made by Iranian proxies against Israel or its forces after Kerry’s alleged conversation with Zarif.

Zeldin called the allegations against Kerry “massively alarming.”

“If it’s proven that Kerry actively undermined one of America’s staunchest allies, he needs to resign from the Biden administration immediately and have his security clearance revoked,” he added.

The Hill reached out to Kerry and the State Department for comment.

Kerry denied the allegations on Monday, calling them “equivocally false” and writing on Twitter “This never happened – either when I was Secretary of State or since.”

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Republican lawmakers and pundits have called for Kerry’s resignation since news of the leaked audio broke.