In August 2022, the Justice Department announced that the FBI had foiled an Iranian plot to assassinate former national security adviser John Bolton in retaliation for the U.S. killing Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps–Qods Force commander Qasem Soleimani.
But the “hitman” hired to target Bolton was an FBI informant. This was reported Sunday night by 60 Minutes, which glossed over that fact and treated the Bolton-assassination plot as legitimate.
“Lucky for Bolton, the assassin was an FBI informant,” the news show reported, painting the assassination plot as a legitimate threat.
However, DOJ charging papers show that the “plot” was largely contrived, and that Bolton was never in actual danger. Moreover, the DOJ has claimed the man who tried hiring the FBI informant was a member of Iran’s IRGC-QF, but charging papers show that investigators never confirmed that fact.
To top it off, it turns out that a key FBI official overseeing this contrived Bolton-assassination plot was Steven D’Antuono—the same official who led the Detroit field office during the dubious Gretchen Whitmer kidnap plot before being transferred to head the DC field office during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol Hill protest-turned-riot.
According to DOJ charging papers, the man who attempted to assassinate Bolton is Iranian national Shahram Poursafi, who was charged but has not been arrested, presumably because he’s in Iran.
FBI special agent Randi Beck said in an affidavit that he believes Poursafi is a member of the IRGC-QF because he “did not deny” the affiliation, and because he found one picture of Poursafi wearing a jacket with an IRGC-QF patch. The FBI provided no other evidence that Poursafi is actually an IRGC-QF member.
Beck’s affidavit said Poursafi first contacted a person online—identified only as “Individual A”—in November 2021, asking him to take photos of Bolton for a “book” the Iranian was writing. Individual A then contacted the FBI informant, who began a months-long dialogue with Poursafi.
“The [informant] asked POURSAFI to be direct about his request so there was no misunderstanding as to what POURSAFI had requested. POURSAFI responded that he wanted ‘the guy’ purged or eliminated. POURSAFI then clarified that [Bolton] was the target,” Beck’s affidavit said.
In December 2021, the FBI informant took photos of Bolton—with Bolton’s full knowledge and consent—and sent them to Poursafi, Beck said in his affidavit.
Poursafi and the FBI informant would discuss payment over the next several months. Poursafi initially indicated that he could pay the informant before the job was completed, but then later backtracked and wanted Bolton killed first.
By April 2022, Poursafi was apparently fed up with the FBI informant.
“POURSAFI informed the CHS that if the CHS did not complete the second assassination, his group had others prepared to finish the operation,” Beck’s affidavit said.
The FBI informant responded by asking for a $100 payment—just to prove that the Iranian could send him money.
Records indicate that Poursafi made the $100 payment, and then the FBI wrapped up its investigation.
Several months later, D’Antuono trumpeted the successful takedown of the Bolton assassination plot.
“An attempted assassination of a former U.S. Government official on U.S. soil is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” said D’Antuono, who has since retired.
“The FBI will continue to identify and disrupt any efforts by Iran or any hostile government seeking to bring harm or death to U.S. persons at home or abroad. This should serve as a warning to any others attempting to do the same.”
Today, Bolton still has Secret Service protection due to the plot against him, he told 60 Minutes.
This article was originally featured at Headline USA and is republished with permission.