The plot to throw Donald Trump into Iraqi prisons grows stronger as Supreme Judicial Council President Faiq Zidan, who issued an arrest warrant, is invited by the Department of Justice.
According to the U.S. government, the Department of Justice (DOJ) planned to extend a warm welcome to an Iraqi judge who issued an arrest warrant for former President Donald Trump because he had ordered the killing of a global Iranian terrorist who was responsible for the deaths of more than 600 American service members.
The accused pro-Iran regime jurist, Faiq Zidan, was scheduled to visit the DOJ, according to information obtained exclusively by Fox News Digital last week from a person with first-hand knowledge of his travels.
However, the DOJ purportedly and dramatically reversed its invitation to Zidan after receiving numerous press inquiries from Fox News Digital within a 24-hour period.
A source familiar with the situation told Fox News on Thursday, “Zidan will not be meeting with any DOJ officials.”
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The Supreme Judicial Council President Faiq Zidan will be welcomed by the Department of Justice, thus we defer to the DoJ to describe their discussions, a State Department official said in a statement to Fox News Digital on Wednesday in response to a question about the visit prior to its cancellation. We interact with a variety of Iraqi colleagues, and we value doing so with the judiciary there. The DOJ frequently hosts foreign judges in meetings.
The judge informed numerous American officials that the DOJ invited him to Washington, D.C., according to a different source aware of Zidan’s invitation to the DOJ. Given Zidan’s words and actions in support of the Iranian regime, it is possible that the State Department and DOJ were working against each other when deciding whether to invite him.
According to Zidan, the Supreme Judicial Council of Iraq issued an arrest warrant for Trump in January over the deliberate killings of two Iranians in 2020: Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the head of the pro-Iran Kata’ib Hezbollah militia, and Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force.
Zidan, who claimed that Trump confessed to his “crime” in relation to the assassination of the “Leaders of Victory,” was cited by Iranian regime-controlled media outlets and other news organizations. The American administration claims that terrorists allied with IRGC leader Soleimani killed over 600 American service members in the Middle East. Soleimani was classified as a terrorist by the US and the EU.
President Biden received letters from Congress in 2023 expressing concern about Zidan. In a letter to Biden sent just last month, three powerful lawmakers urged him to do everything in his power to put an end to Iran-aligned elements in Iraq’s treatment of Iraqi Kurds and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
The letter noted, “You are well aware of the role the U.S. played in supporting the Iraqi people as they developed a constitution in 2005 that established the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan. The Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has served as one of the United States’ most reliable partners in the Middle East, yet is being economically strangled, politically and legally pressured, including reportedly by Faiq Zidan, President of the Supreme Judicial Council in Iraq, and militarily threatened by Iran and Iran-backed elements in Baghdad.”
Zidan’s name can also be spelled Zaydan and other anglicized variants. The KRG is regarded as America’s most crucial ally in contemporary Iraq and the only free area in Iraq.
Representatives Joe Wilson, R-South Carolina, Michael McCaul, R-Texas, and Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Michael Waltz, R-Florida, all signed the letter. Regarding the letter from September, Fox News Digital contacted the State Department.
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In a subsequent letter, Waltz asked Biden, “Have the State or Treasury Departments determined whether Faiq Zaydan, the President of the Iraqi Supreme Judicial Council, meets the criteria for sanctions for gross human rights, acting as a foreign agent, corruption, and material support as defined by the Global Magnitsky Act and E.O. 13818.” The Magnitsky Act enables the American government to penalize foreign officials who gravely violate human rights. Property belonging to people who have committed major human rights breaches is frozen under Executive Order 13818.
In a letter dated March 22, Naz Durakolu, assistant secretary for the Bureau of Legislative Affairs, responded to the February letter on behalf of the White House. “The Biden-Harris Administration remains committed to vigorously implementing our visa restrictions and sanctions programs, including those related to Iran and those related to corruption,” Durakolu, whose office is a component of the State Department, wrote in a letter without mentioning the court. The Department of the Treasury and the State Department actively analyze cases and use these powers to designate people and businesses around the world. We make no comments on anticipated future sanctions or visa restrictions.
A spokesperson for the State Department told Fox News Digital that the agency does not comment on communications between congressional delegations and the State Department.
The White House and the National Security Council were contacted for comment by Fox News Digital. Fox News Digital was referred to the DOJ by the NSC.
Numerous Iraqi specialists offered their opinions on the anticipated DOJ meeting with Zidan prior to Thursday’s revelation that it had been canceled.
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“The Justice Department should be focused on protecting Americans targeted by IRGC assassination and kidnapping plots, not hosting the IRGC’s man in Baghdad who wants to prosecute Americans for killing terrorists,” said Richard Goldberg, a senior adviser for the Washington, D.C.-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies, in an interview with Fox News Digital. In America, Zidan shouldn’t be permitted.
According to Michael Knights, a Washington Institute fellow and author of a piece on Zidan, “Zidan issued one order after another that has disadvantaged opponents of Iranian militias.”
According to Knights, Soleimani and al-Muhandis “were the architects of moving Zidan up through the judicial system” following the 2003 American invasion of Iraq. He oversaw counterterrorism courts to prevent any of Iran’s allies from being charged under Iraqi law.
Knights emphasized the absence of contemporary judicial standards in Iraq, stating that Zidan “is a supreme court judge who may recruit and remove other justices. One Supreme Court justice serves Iraq. He has equal authority as the Iraqi prime minister. Iran installed him; he was not elected; and his terms are unlimited.
Knights cited the case of an American citizen who was imprisoned in Iraq last year while looking into Zidan’s suspected wrongdoing as an illustration of Zidan’s alleged human rights violations. He claimed that “Zidan broke numerous Iraqi laws by detaining the U.S. citizen” who was subjected to both physical and psychological torture. Prior to Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican Leader, working to obtain the American’s release, they had been detained for 11 weeks.
Knights argued that the US government must “absolutely” punish Zidan for violating human rights. And he added, “What it [DOJ] should not be doing is inviting him to the country to congratulate him on the great job he is doing.” Knights said that such a trip to the DOJ would have only strengthened Zidan and his pro-Iran regime actions in Iraq.
Zidan is a “dangerous person,” according to Entifadh Qanbar, president of the Kurdish Protection Action Committee (KPAC) in the United States, who spoke to Fox News Digital. It is a catastrophe, according to Qanbar, an Iraqi civil engineer, that the DOJ welcomed Zidan because “he has no morals and sold himself to the Iranians. Whatever the Iranians tell him to do, he does. He issued an arrest warrant against Trump.”
Zidan did not convict any of the murders after Iranian-backed militias slaughtered 800 Iraqis in 2019, according to Qanbar, and Iranian fighters boasted about it.
When speaking with Zidan’s agent on the phone, Fox News Digital requested a written WhatsApp press inquiry. The WhatsApp media request from Fox News Digital received no response from Zidan.