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Sessions wants review of Obama-era Hezbollah investigations

December 23, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday ordered a review of the Obama administration’s handling of a Drug Enforcement Administration program targeting drug trafficking by Iranian-backed Hezbollah.

Sessions didn’t say what prompted the review and stopped short of accusing the prior administration of wrongdoing. But the announcement comes after a Politico report that raised questions about whether Obama administration officials thwarted investigators’ work on the program for fear of jeopardizing a nuclear deal with Iran.

Politico reported the DEA program known as Project Cassandra had been targeting the terrorist group’s trafficking of cocaine into the U.S. and abroad but was stymied by Obama officials. The administration at the time was eager to improve relations with Iran and stall its nuclear weapons program.

Sessions said the review will evaluate “allegations that certain matters were not properly prosecuted” and ensure the investigations were correctly handled.

“Operations designed to investigate and prosecute terrorist organizations that are also fueling that drug crisis must be paramount in this administration,” he said in a statement. “While I am hopeful that there were no barriers constructed by the last administration to allowing DEA agents to fully bring all appropriate cases under Project Cassandra, this is a significant issue for the protection of Americans.”

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