Congressman Jeb Hensarling

Representing the 5th District of Texas

Hensarling Statement on State Department Admission That Payment to Iran Was Contingent on Release of Hostages

Aug 19, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, released the following statement on Thursday after the State Department admitted that the United States would not hand over $400 million in cash to Iran until it released four American hostages:

“There’s a word for that.  It’s called ransom.  But two weeks ago, President Obama insisted to the American people that the $400 million cash payment to Iran was not in any way, shape, or form ransom.  The Administration clearly has a lot of explaining to do. Already, the Financial Services Committee has asked the Justice Department, the Treasury, and the Federal Reserve for all records related to the secret delivery of this cash to Iran.  The State Department’s admission that this money was indeed a ransom payment intensifies the need for Congress to fully investigate this outrageous action by the Administration and the urgency for the Administration to turn over these records immediately.  Just months before making this ransom payment to Iran, the Obama Administration was threatening ordinary Americans with criminal prosecution for proposing private ransom payments to win the release of their family members.  But it seems the Obama Administration will bend over backwards to accommodate the world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorism."