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Congress Doesn't Get Briefings on Iran After All

State, Defense departments scrap scheduled meetings at the last minute
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2020 5:00 PM CST

(Newser) – The State and Defense departments have called off three classified briefings for members of Congress, who have questions about the Iran situation, that were scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday. House committee members were expecting to hear from State Department officials about embassy security, CNN reports, while a Senate panel was to be briefed about the administration's Iran policy and justification for killing Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani. "Staff are furious," a House aide said, per Politico, said about the canceling of the meeting on embassy security. "This briefing is required by law every month, and today's was the most important we've had scheduled in a long time," the aide said. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's office did not immediately provide an explanation. "We know they will vaguely claim it was a logistical issue," a Senate aide said, "even though this briefing had been already locked into the schedule for days." The briefings have not been rescheduled.

Also Wednesday, Democrats released documents that raised the possibility that Rudy Giuliani, President Trump's personal lawyer, had placed a former US ambassador to Ukraine under surveillance. That's a revelation that would be likely to be included in a discussion of embassy security. American diplomats are asking whether Pompeo knew about surveillance of Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and what the State Department was doing to protect her, per Politico. (Senate Democrats say they have the votes to limit Trump's use of force against Iran.)

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