The Trump administration has appointed Elliott Abrams to lead U.S. efforts on Venezuela, Reuters reported on Friday, marking the return to government of a man previously caught up in the Reagan-era Iran-Contra scandal.
Abrams served as assistant secretary of state during the Reagan administration and “was convicted in 1991 on two misdemeanor counts of withholding information from Congress during the Iran-Contra scandal.”
Under the advisement of then-Attorney General William Barr — who is also President Donald Trump’s nominee to replace Jeff Sessions as his own attorney general — former President George H.W. Bush pardoned Abrams and several others convicted for their actions during the Iran-Contra scandal.
Now, Abrams will join the Trump team in its approach to Venezuela, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced last week:
“Elliott will be a true asset to our mission to help the Venezuelan people fully restore democracy and prosperity to their country,” Pompeo said in announcing Abrams’ appointment.
He said Abrams would accompany him to the United Nations on Saturday for a Security Council meeting on Venezuela where the U.S. will press other countries to support opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s interim head of state.