The State Department inspector general’s report on political targeting was received by Congress Wednesday, and Senate Foreign Relations Committee staffers are poring over it. It’s expected to be released publicly within a day.
The report recommends disciplinary action against U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook, two individuals with knowledge of the report told CBS News.
The report describes Hook’s alleged political targeting of and ethnic discrimination against a woman named Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, who worked on the Iran nuclear deal. It stems from a complaint referred in 2018, when Congressmen Elijah Cummings and Eliot Engel, both Democrats, wrote a letter to then-White House chief of staff John Kelly and Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan to complain that a whistleblower had given them documents “indicating that high-level officials at the White House and State Department worked with a network of conservative activists to conduct a ‘cleaning’ of employees they believed were not sufficiently ‘supportive’ of President Trump’s agenda.”
The Democrats said they were especially concerned about material concerning career State Department official Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, who was allegedly criticized and questioned instead of helped when she asked Hook, who was her supervisor, to “correct the record” after a conservative outlet had targeted her.
Hook, who is Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s Iran adviser, served in several positions in President George W. Bush’s administration, and he has developed a close relationship to top White House adviser Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law.
There are also investigations into political targeting being run by the Office of Special Counsel and the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Kathryn Watson contributed to this report.
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