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Top Democrats Seek Information on “Dirty Ops” Campaign Against Obama Administration Officials Involved With Negotiating Iran Nuclear Agreement

May 25, 2018
Press Release

Washington, D.C. (May 25, 2018)—Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Rep. Eliot L. Engel, the Ranking Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, sent a letter to the founders of Black Cube after troubling reports that the firm was engaged in a “dirty ops” campaign against key officials from the Obama Administration who helped negotiate the Iran nuclear deal.

“We are writing to request documents relating to reports that Black Cube conducted a ‘dirty ops’ campaign against former Obama Administration officials Ben Rhodes and Colin Kahl at the behest of associates of President Donald Trump,” the Ranking Members wrote.  “If these reports are accurate, they raise grave questions about how and why a foreign entity was engaged to attempt to secretly influence the foreign policy of the United States.”

A source with knowledge of the engagement reportedly stated:  “The idea was that people acting for Trump would discredit those who were pivotal in selling the deal, making it easier to pull out of it.”  The Ranking Members have since obtained documents that appear to confirm that the firm attempted to obtain information about Mr. Rhodes and Mr. Kahl through their family members on multiple occasions. 

Multiple individuals using aliases from non-existent companies made attempts to contact the spouses of both Ben Rhodes and Colin Kahl, as well as Mr. Kahl himself.  LinkedIn pages for the aliases and the websites for the organizations reportedly have been deleted.  One of the companies, Reuben Capital Partners, is the same name used in Black Cube’s operation to suppress allegations that Hollywood investor Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted and harassed multiple women.

“Your firm has denied these reports only in the broadest terms, stating—in the present tense—that ‘Black Cube has no relation whatsoever to the Trump administration, to Trump aides, to anyone close to the administration, or to the Iran nuclear deal,’” the Ranking Members wrote.  “You have not denied the operation itself, you have not explained who was aware of it, and you have not identified the clients who funded it.”

Cummings and Engel asked for all documents and communications relating to Colin Kahl, Ben Rhodes, their families, and the multiple aliases used by the firm, as well as documents and information relating to the “dirty ops” campaign and communications from, to, copying, or referring to Trump Administration officials or aides to the President.

Click here to read the full letter.

115th Congress