The Office of the Special Counsel (OSC) has opened an investigation into the Trump administration’s decision to pursue a nuclear agreement with the government of Saudi Arabia, The Daily Beast reported on Monday.
Specifically, OSC “is looking at whether officials were retaliated against for raising concerns about the administration’s work related to a Saudi nuclear deal.”
The agency is reportedly reviewing “potentially improper dealings by senior members of the Trump administration in their attempt to map out a nuclear deal with Riyadh.”
According to The Beast:
“The line of inquiry is part of a broader investigation in the Office of the Special Counsel—an independent federal investigative and prosecutorial agency—into alleged politically motivated personnel decisions at government offices.”
“The details of the OSC probe, previously unreported, are the first indication that a government body other than Congress is investigating matters related to a potential nuclear deal between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.“
OSC is an independent prosecutorial agency with the legal authority to file motions for disciplinary and corrective action, and report any violations of the law to the attorney general.
The nuclear deal with Saudi Arabia involves sharing secret information on reactor technology, was first reported last month. There is now a lot of concern in Congress about U.S.-Saudi relations.
These concerns have increased greatly after the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. A report issued by House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Elijah Cummings in February outlined allegations about efforts inside the White House to rush the transfer of the highly sensitive U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia which Democrats say was a violation of the Atomic Energy Act. They have maintained that such transfers must be reviewed by Congress before taking place.
Since then, the Energy Department under Secretary Rick Perry has approved seven U.S. companies to conduct nuclear-related work in Saudi Arabia.
The Trump Administration May Be Giving Saudi Arabia Nuclear Secrets
The cozy relationship between the current administration and the dictators in Saudi Arabia is not good for the United States, and not good for peace in the Middle East.
As Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman of California said:
“One thing that is in our interest is to prevent Saudi Arabia from getting a nuclear weapon.”
“What I’ve seen in this administration recently… is an effort to evade Congress and to some extent evade your department and provide substantial nuclear technology and aid to Saudi Arabia while [the country] refuses to abide by any of the controls we would like to see regarding reprocessing, enrichment.”
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.