Breaking News

Former Attorney General Says $400 Million Airlift to Iran Is “Legal But Not Right”
Download PDF
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

Michael Mukasey

Michael Mukasey. Photo courtesy of NBC.

Summary: A former Attorney General slams the government for airlifting money to Iran.

This week, news that the United States had airlifted $400 million to Iran around the same time that four American hostages were released went viral. While the official government statement was that the payment was part of an arms deal, many prominent Republicans denounced the cash, saying it was a ransom for the detainees. Additionally, a prominent legal expert wrote a scathing opinion in The Wall Street Journal, denouncing the cash payment as “legal but not right.”


Former U.S. Attorney General and former New York district court judge Michael B. Mukasey was vocal yesterday in the Wall Street Journal.

“If you want a piece of evidence that not everything that is lawful is also right, look no further than the Obama administration’s January shipment of $400 million in euros and Swiss francs to Iran—in cash in an unmarked cargo plane,” Mukasey wrote.

According to Mukasey, the payment was legal because it was not from taxpayer funds. Instead, it derived from a 1970s deposit on a weapons purchase from Iran. The money that was airlifted was also not U.S. dollars, but a combination of European monies, thus making it lawful to transfer.

Get JD Journal in Your Mail

Subscribe to our FREE daily news alerts and get the latest updates on the most happening events in the legal, business, and celebrity world. You also get your daily dose of humor and entertainment!!

Mukasey joined critics of the money transfer by pointing out that a cash payment could not be traced and was thus dangerous. Although CIA Director John Brennan has assured that the money will be spent on things like infrastructure, prominent Republicans have said that there is no guarantee Iran will not use the money to fund terrorist groups.

“But why cash, and why in an unmarked cargo plane?” Mukasey continued. “How come the U.S. did not simply transfer the $400 million we are told actually belonged to Iran to a foreign entity, to be converted into foreign funds for conventional banking transmission to Tehran? That would have permitted the U.S. to keep track of how Iran spent the money, at least to some extent.”

Mukasey goes on to explain how the federal government avoided money laundering legally, but that does not stop the damage from being done. He pointed out that if a private citizen had done what the government had, despite the legality, he or she would still be at risk of serving time in jail.

Do you agree or disagree with Mukasey? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: Wall Street Journal



Associate Lawyer

USA-CA-Woodland Hills

AV rated law firm in Woodland Hills, CA with an an emphasis in real estate, homowner association rep...

Apply now

Litigation Associate


We are actively seeking to hire a litigation associate with at least 4 years of experience in genera...

Apply now

Insurance Defense Attorney (Hybrid remote)

USA-NY-White Plains

Job details Salary $85,000 - $185,000 a year Job Type Full-time Qualifications ...

Apply now

Litigation Attorney

USA-FL-Boca Raton

TITLE: Litigation Attorney (Personal Injury) SALARY: Starts at $90k-130k JD: Looking to hire a...

Apply now




Search Now

Associate Attorney

USA-CA-Woodland Hills

Woodland Hills office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm seeks an associate attorney with ...

Apply Now

Associate Attorney


Braintree office of our client seeks associate attorney with 1-5 years of experience in civil litiga...

Apply Now

Criminal Defense Attorney


Raleigh office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm seeks a criminal defense attorney with 1...

Apply Now

Most Popular


To Top