Posted: 3:35 am EST
On January 25, Secretary Pompeo announced that he was “incredibly excited” that Elliot Abrams “a seasoned, principled, and tough-minded foreign policy veteran is joining our State Department team.” Pompeo cited Abrams’ work during the Reagan years as “former assistant secretary of state for human rights and humanitarian affairs and as assistant secretary for inter-American affairs.” He also cited Abrams service under President George W. Bush where the new special envoy previously “served on the National Security Council as the senior director for democracy, human rights, and international affairs; senior director for North African and Near East affairs; and deputy national security adviser for global democracy strategy.”
Pompeo told reporters that “Elliott will be a true asset to our mission to help the Venezuelan people fully restore democracy and prosperity to their country.”
Left unmentioned was Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh’s Iran/Contra report which notes that Elliott Abrams — “Pleaded guilty October 7, 1991, to two misdemeanor charges of withholding information from Congress about secret government efforts to support the Nicaraguan contra rebels during a ban on such aid. U.S. District Chief Judge Aubrey E. Robinson, Jr., sentenced Abrams November 15, 1991, to two years probation and 100 hours community service. Abrams was pardoned December 24, 1992.” (see Summary of Prosecutions xxiii and Chapter 25 U.S. v. Elliott Abrams 375).
Meanwhile, National Security Adviser John Bolton, also could not contain his excitement, tweeting: “Pleased to hear that my good friend Elliott Abrams is rejoining State as Special Envoy for Venezuela. Welcome back to the fight.”
On January 27, Secretary Pompeo also issued the following statement on the appointment of Carlos Alfredo Vecchio as the Chargé d’Affaires of the Government of Venezuela to the United States:
The United States accepted interim President Juan Guaido’s designation of Carlos Alfredo Vecchio as the Chargé d’Affaires of the Government of Venezuela to the United States on January 25. Mr. Vecchio will have authority over diplomatic affairs in the United States on behalf of Venezuela.
After his accreditation, Mr. Vecchio met with Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale, who reaffirmed the United States’ strong support for interim President Guaido’s leadership of Venezuela. The United States looks forward to working with Mr. Vecchio and other diplomatic staff as designated by interim President Guaido.
.@SecPompeo announced today that Elliott Abrams will lead @StateDept efforts on #Venezuela to help the Venezuelan people fully restore democracy and prosperity to their country. #EstamosUnidosVE pic.twitter.com/iUFHnRhi8x
— Department of State (@StateDept) January 25, 2019
Elliott Abrams, a controversial neoconservative figure who was entangled in the Iran-Contra affair, has been named as a Trump administration special envoy overseeing policy toward Venezuela https://t.co/ZNJpYC6DGT
— POLITICO (@politico) January 26, 2019
Pompeo has announced Elliott Abrams, a former Reagan official who pleaded guilty to withholding information from Congress during the Iran-Contra scandal, will serve as the Trump administration's special envoy to Venezuela https://t.co/okwKrUpRcc
— Axios (@axios) January 26, 2019
Elliott Abrams, Iran-Contra convict, named special envoy to Venezuela https://t.co/ChJ98q79vg
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) January 25, 2019
And here is a blast from the past, a 1995 video from a Rose show of Friday 03/31/1995 with then Representative Robert Torricelli, former Assistant Secretary of State Elliott Abrams, and journalist Allan Nairn discuss the potentially illegal intervention in the Guatemalan military:
True then, and just as true now. Appointment of Elliot Abrams for Venezuela made us dig through Independent Counsel Walsh Iran/Contra Report from 1993https://t.co/fAL0orr9fb
— Diplopundit (@Diplopundit) January 28, 2019