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Democrats Ask Why Israeli Firm Was Hired To Spy On Obama Officials

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The top Democrats on the House Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees want an Israeli spy firm to share data on its alleged campaign against Obama administration officials associated with 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,” said the letter sent Thursday by Reps. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., the top Democrat on the Oversight Committee, and Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., his counterpart on Foreign Affairs. “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.”

The letter was mostly symbolic: As the minority, Democrats do not have subpoena powers, and even with such powers, congressional authority over a foreign entity would be limited.

Black Cube, a company also alleged to have tracked alleged victims of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, who was arrested Friday on rape charges, does not comment on its cases. At the time of the revelations that it was behind spying on Rhodes and Kahl, the firm said “It is Black Cube’s policy to never discuss its clients with any third party, and to never confirm or deny any speculation made with regard to the company’s work.”

Separately, a spokesman told The New York Times 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.”

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