MARSHA BLACKBURN


Biden Administration Denies Report of Prisoner Swap with Iran

The Biden administration denied a report from Iranian state TV on Sunday that the U.S. and U.K. agreed to exchange billions of dollars for American and British prisoners held in Iran. State TV quoted an anonymous Iranian government official laying out the terms of the alleged deal on Sunday. “The Americans accepted to pay $7 billion and swap four Iranians who were active in bypassing sanctions for four American spies who have served part of their sentences,” the official said in comments quoted in on-screen crawl, translated by the Associated Press. “Unfortunately that report is untrue there is no agreement to release these four Americans,” White House chief of staff Ron Klain told CBS’s Face the Nation immediately following the report. The U.S. State Department also denied the claim of a prisoner swap. “Reports that a prisoner swap deal has been reached are not true,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement. “As we have said, we always raise the cases of Americans detained or missing in Iran. We will not stop until we are able to reunite them with their families.” Iran is currently holding four known American prisoners: Baquer and Siamak Namazi; Iranian-American businessman Emad Shargi; and conservationist Morad Tahbaz. It is unclear which Iranian citizens held in the U.S. would be returned to Iran as part of the alleged deal. The alleged prisoner swap would also see the U.K. pay 400 million pounds in exchange for the release of British-Iranian Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a former employee at the Thompson Reuters Foundation.

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GOP lawmaker charged for letting far-right rioters into Oregon State Capitol

An Oregon Republican state lawmaker faces charges after allegedly allowing dozens of far-right protesters to breach the State Capitol in Salem last December, court records show.Driving the news: Rep. Mike Nearman faces charges of official misconduct in the first degree and criminal trespass in the second degree, both misdemeanors, following an investigation by state police that began after the Dec. 21 breach.Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for freeProsecutors allege that "being a public servant," the 57-year-old "did unlawfully and knowingly perform an act which constituted an unauthorized exercise of his official duties, with intent to obtain a benefit or to harm another" while the legislature was in session.Zoom in: Video footage appears to show Nearman opening two doors, enabling entrance to the Capitol for the rioters — many not wearing masks and waving flags supporting former President Trump,."More than 30 people made it into the vestibule and about 150 protesters were gathered right outside the door," the New York Times reports. Law enforcement arrested at least five people following the incident, AP notes.Of note: Democratic lawmakers filed a formal complaint in January, accusing Nearman of endangering them and others present, knowing that "only authorized personnel are allowed in the building due to the COVID-19 pandemic," according to Oregon Public Broadcasting.Several Democrats have called for Nearman to resign following Friday's announcement of charges.State Rep. Rachel Prusak (D) said in a Twitter post Saturday that Nearman had "acted as part of a coordinated effort to allow enemies of democracy into the building; literally opening the door to sedition."The other side: Nearman has yet to respond to requests for comment following the charges, but he said last January that he does not "condone violence, nor do I participate in it," per the Salem Statesman Journal. "I hope for due process, and not the mob justice to which Speaker Kotek is subjecting me," he added.What's next: Nearman has been ordered to appear in the Marion County Court on May 11. More from Axios: Sign up to get the latest market trends with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free

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