Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) urged President Joe Biden Tuesday to rescind the security clearance granted to Obama-era Secretary of State John Kerry, who now sits on the National Security Council as the special envoy on climate change.
Biggs, the chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, requested the suspension of Kerry’s security clearance in a letter to Biden written in response to recent allegations that the former Secretary of State shared Israeli military secrets with the country’s arch enemy Iran.
The Arizona lawmaker described Kerry’s alleged actions as potentially treasonous, writing to the president:
I urge you to immediately suspend Special Envoy John Kerry’s security clearance and prevent him from participating in any classified briefings until the full nature of his interactions with the Islamic Republic of Iran are investigated.
If Mr. Kerry provided sensitive information to Iran about Israel’s activities in Syria, he undermined a friend and bolstered an enemy. At best, such behavior would be despicable; at worst, it would verge on treason.
Just sent a letter to the Biden Admin calling for the suspension of John Kerry’s security clearance until his interactions with Iran are investigated.
— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) April 27, 2021
Biden’s State Department has defended Kerry, suggesting that he discussed information about Israeli operations with Iranian Foreign Minister (FM) Mohammad Javad Zarif that was already widely known to the public at the time.
Via Twitter, Kerry also denied sharing any secrets about Israeli military activities with Zarif “either when I was secretary of State or since.”
I can tell you that this story and these allegations are unequivocally false. This never happened – either when I was Secretary of State or since. https://t.co/BTOdFE1khW
— John Kerry (@JohnKerry) April 26, 2021
The State Department oversees Kerry’s current role as Biden’s special envoy on climate change.
There is a growing call among Republicans, including Biggs, for a probe to determine whether Kerry shared secrets with Zarif, as the Islamic Republic official alleged in a leaked audio that was not supposed to go public.
A congressional investigation is unlikely, since the GOP is in the minority. Dick Durbin (D-IL), the chairman of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee and the upper chamber’s majority whip, is standing by Kerry, along with other Democrats.
It is also implausible for Biden to investigate the official in charge of one of his administration’s top priorities, addressing climate change.
Kerry and Zarif became close during the negotiations for the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and U.S.-led world powers. Former President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the pact.
Critics accuse Kerry of meeting with Zarif during the Trump administration to undermine the former president’s Iran policy in a possible violation of U.S. law.
Biggs has called for an investigation of Kerry but stopped short of urging him to resign, Breitbart News learned from the lawmaker’s office.
The congressman wrote in the letter:
In light of Sunday’s revelations [about the leaked tape] and everything else we have learned about Mr. Kerry’s behavior and motivations, he should not have access to any sensitive materials, pending a much fuller investigation. For the sake of national security, I again urge you to act immediately in this matter.
According to leaked audio that surfaced Sunday, first obtained by the London-based Iran International and shared with the New York Times, Zarif claimed that Kerry told him about over 200 Israeli operations against Iranian troops in Syria.
The Times paraphrased the Iranian official as indicating that “former Secretary of State John Kerry informed him that Israel had attacked Iranian interests in Syria at least 200 times, to his astonishment.”
Rep. Biggs pointed out in the letter:
The American people should be astonished as well. Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, and it has consistently supported the brutal regime of the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. At the same time, Israel has consistently served as the United States’ strongest ally and strategic partner in the Middle East.
It is unclear from the news reports on the leaked audio whether Kerry allegedly shared the information while serving as the Obama-Biden administration’s top diplomat, after, or both.