A new report reveals that rescue attempts for an American long-held in Iranian captivity fell apart due to Hillary Clinton.
Retired FBI agent, Robert Levinson, was captured in Iran while working for the CIA in 2007. The Iranian government has continually denied knowing anything about him though it has released photos of him. A rescue attempt back in 2009 – 2010 that never materialized was detailed in a new report by John Solomon at The Hill.
While special counsel Robert Mueller purportedly investigates the legal issues and conflicts of interest of others, he may be facing one of his own involving a Russian oligarch and Levinson, according to The Hill. Mueller headed the FBI in 2009 when Oleg Deripaska, who has come up in the current Mueller probe of Russia, was asked to personally spend millions funding an FBI-supervised operation to rescue Levinson.
According to The Hill:
They said FBI agents courted Deripaska in 2009 in a series of secret hotel meetings in Paris; Vienna; Budapest, Hungary, and Washington. Agents persuaded the aluminum industry magnate to underwrite the mission. The Russian billionaire insisted the operation neither involve nor harm his homeland.
“We knew he was paying for his team helping us, and that probably ran into the millions,” a U.S. official involved in the operation confirmed.
One agent who helped court Deripaska was Andrew McCabe, the recently fired FBI deputy director who played a seminal role starting the Trump-Russia case, multiple sources confirmed.
Evidence that Levinson was alive was uncovered with the $25 million private search and rescue effort which fell apart in 2010 under then-Secretary of State Clinton.
“We tried to turn over every stone we could to rescue Bob, but every time we started to get close, the State Department seemed to always get in the way,” Robyn Gritz, the agent overseeing the Levinson case in 2009, said.
The operation was ended in 2011 by the FBI leaving Levinson’s whereabouts a mystery 11 years after he disappeared.
“Deripaska’s efforts came very close to success,” a former federal prosecutor who represents Levinson’s family, David McGee, said. “We were told at one point that the terms of Levinson’s release had been agreed to by Iran and the U.S. and included a statement by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pointing a finger away from Iran. At the last minute, Secretary Clinton decided not to make the agreed-on statement.”
Solomon, the writer of the Hill report, spoke to Fox News’ Laura Ingraham about the failed rescue.
“The lawyer for the family told me they had a deal. Deripaska came back. We were sending a plane to the tarmac, we’re going to rescue him,” Solomon explained. “There’s a statement that the Iranian government wanted saying, “We really weren’t involved.” And Hillary Clinton was unwilling to give them that, a sort of absolution. So the deal fell apart. The plane left and he was never rescued.”
No efforts were made by the Obama administration to negotiate Levinson’s release when the Iran nuclear deal was signed in 2016 either.
Meanwhile, the FBI has allowed Deripaska into the U.S. on multiple occasions and he has been tied to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who was charged by Mueller with money laundering and illegal lobbying. However, Mueller’s indictment of Manafort never named Deripaska, who was reportedly asked for help when the FBI began investigating the infamous Fusion GPS Steele dossier.
“The real question becomes whether it was proper to leave [Deripaska] out of the Manafort indictment, and whether that omission was to avoid the kind of transparency that is really required by the law,” Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz told Solomon.
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