The original Russia collusion story: Uranium

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The original Russia collusion story: Uranium

In case you missed it while peo­ple hash­tag “#MeToo”, John Solomon and Ali­son Spann report that in 2009 the FBI uncov­ered Russ­ian bribery plot before Obama admin­is­tra­tion approved con­tro­ver­sial nuclear deal with Moscow, Rosatom’s pur­chase of Ura­nium One.

Rus­sia and the Clintons:

They also obtained an eye­wit­ness account — backed by doc­u­ments — indi­cat­ing Russ­ian nuclear offi­cials had routed mil­lions of dol­lars to the U.S. designed to ben­e­fit for­mer Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton’s char­i­ta­ble foun­da­tion dur­ing the time Sec­re­tary of State Hillary Clin­ton served on a gov­ern­ment body that pro­vided a favor­able deci­sion to Moscow, sources told The Hill.

The Obama administration’s deci­sion to approve Rosatom’s pur­chase of Ura­nium One has been a source of polit­i­cal con­tro­versy since 2015.

That’s when con­ser­v­a­tive author Peter Schweitzer [sic] and The New York Times doc­u­mented how Bill Clin­ton col­lected hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars in Russ­ian speak­ing fees and his char­i­ta­ble foun­da­tion col­lected mil­lions in dona­tions from par­ties inter­ested in the deal while Hillary Clin­ton presided on the Com­mit­tee on For­eign Invest­ment in the United States.

How much? US$145 mil­lion.

Russ­ian bribes and kick­backs endan­ger­ing national security:

The case also exposed a seri­ous national secu­rity breach: Mik­erin had given a con­tract to an Amer­i­can truck­ing firm called Trans­port Logis­tics Inter­na­tional that held the sen­si­tive job of trans­port­ing Russia’s ura­nium around the United States in return for more than $2 mil­lion in kick­backs from some of its exec­u­tives, court records show.

One of Mikerin’s for­mer employ­ees told the FBI that Tenex offi­cials in Rus­sia specif­i­cally directed the scheme to “allow for padded pric­ing to include kick­backs,” agents tes­ti­fied in one court filing.

Rus­sia gets the uranium:

In 2011, the [Obama] admin­is­tra­tion gave approval for Rosatom’s Tenex sub­sidiary to sell com­mer­cial ura­nium to U.S. nuclear power plants in a part­ner­ship with the United States Enrich­ment Corp. Before then, Tenex had been lim­ited to sell­ing U.S. nuclear power plants reprocessed ura­nium recov­ered from dis­man­tled Soviet nuclear weapons under the 1990s Mega­tons to Megawatts peace program.

The Rus­sians were com­pro­mis­ing Amer­i­can con­trac­tors in the nuclear indus­try with kick­backs and extor­tion threats, all of which raised legit­i­mate national secu­rity con­cerns. And none of that evi­dence got aired before the Obama admin­is­tra­tion made those deci­sions,” a per­son who worked on the case told The Hill, speak­ing on con­di­tion of anonymity for fear of ret­ri­bu­tion by U.S. or Russ­ian officials.

Regard­ing that 2011 approval, Ed Mor­ris­sey notes that there were two deals: Rosatom’s 2010 pur­chase of Ura­nium One, and the 2011 “approval for Rosatom to vastly expand its sales of ura­nium inside the US through its Tenex subsidiary.”

The DOJ did noth­ing for years (empha­sis added):

Rather than bring imme­di­ate charges in 2010, how­ever, the Depart­ment of Jus­tice (DOJ) con­tin­ued inves­ti­gat­ing the mat­ter for nearly four more years, essen­tially leav­ing the Amer­i­can pub­lic and Con­gress in the dark about Russ­ian nuclear cor­rup­tion on U.S. soil dur­ing a period when the Obama admin­is­tra­tion made two major deci­sions ben­e­fit­ing Putin’s com­mer­cial nuclear ambitions.

Solomon and Spann point out that

Then-​Attorney Gen­eral Eric Holder was among the Obama admin­is­tra­tion offi­cials join­ing Hillary Clin­ton on the Com­mit­tee on For­eign Invest­ment in the United States at the time the Ura­nium One deal was approved. Mul­ti­ple cur­rent and for­mer gov­ern­ment offi­cials told The Hill they did not know whether the FBI or DOJ ever alerted com­mit­tee mem­bers to the crim­i­nal activ­ity they uncov­ered.

That smells like a polit­i­cal cover-​up of the first magnitude.

Indeed, today Solomon and Spann report that

An Amer­i­can busi­ness­man who worked for years under­cover as an FBI con­fi­den­tial wit­ness was blocked by the Obama Jus­tice Depart­ment from telling Con­gress about con­ver­sa­tions and trans­ac­tions he wit­nessed related to the Russ­ian nuclear industry’s efforts to win favor with Bill and Hillary Clin­ton and influ­ence Obama admin­is­tra­tion deci­sions, his lawyer tells The Hill.

John Hin­der­aker asks,

who super­vised the Rus­sia inves­ti­ga­tion? Rod Rosen­stein. Who was the FBI direc­tor when the Rus­sia probe began in 2009? Robert Mueller. Who was run­ning the FBI when the case ended with a whim­per and an appar­ent cover-​up? James Comey.

Rosen­stein and Muller should resign over con­flict of inter­est, but I’m sure they will not.

And these are not the only play­ers in the case. Last year I posted on the Clinton’s Colom­bian Fondo Acceso part­ner Frank Gius­tra, whose min­ing com­pany merged with three Kaza­khstan min­ing com­pa­nies, after which it was acquired by Rosatom. Guess who autho­rized that,

Because ura­nium is a strate­gic asset, the sale required (and received) approval from mul­ti­ple U.S. agen­cies, includ­ing the Depart­ment of State, then run by Hillary Clinton.

Last night in Sean Hannity’s show (35 min­utes into the video) Peter Schweizer, author of Clin­ton Cash, explained that Hillary knew that the Rus­sians were try­ing to cor­ner the ura­nium mar­ket, that the dona­tions to the Clin­ton Foun­da­tion were hid­den, and, as if things weren’t bad enough, that “Ura­nium One, now owned by Rosatom, is actu­ally export­ing yel­low­cake from the United States,” when the ura­nium is sup­posed to stay in the U.S.

The Sen­ate Judi­ciary Com­mit­tee has launched a probe into the case.

Don’t hold your breath on this story mak­ing it to the front pages.

UPDATE

Two and a half years ago at Da Tech Guy: Oh look, the guy behind the Clin­ton ura­nium deal was also the guy behind the Clin­ton FTA deal

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin Amer­ica at Fausta’s blog

In case you missed it while people hashtag “#MeToo“, John Solomon and Alison Spann report that in 2009 the FBI uncovered Russian bribery plot before Obama administration approved controversial nuclear deal with Moscow, Rosatom’s purchase of Uranium One.

Russia and the Clintons:

They also obtained an eyewitness account — backed by documents — indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow, sources told The Hill.
. . .
The Obama administration’s decision to approve Rosatom’s purchase of Uranium One has been a source of political controversy since 2015.

That’s when conservative author Peter Schweitzer [sic] and The New York Times documented how Bill Clinton collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in Russian speaking fees and his charitable foundation collected millions in donations from parties interested in the deal while Hillary Clinton presided on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

How much? US$145 million.

Russian bribes and kickbacks endangering national security:

The case also exposed a serious national security breach: Mikerin had given a contract to an American trucking firm called Transport Logistics International that held the sensitive job of transporting Russia’s uranium around the United States in return for more than $2 million in kickbacks from some of its executives, court records show.

One of Mikerin’s former employees told the FBI that Tenex officials in Russia specifically directed the scheme to “allow for padded pricing to include kickbacks,” agents testified in one court filing.

Russia gets the uranium:

In 2011, the [Obama] administration gave approval for Rosatom’s Tenex subsidiary to sell commercial uranium to U.S. nuclear power plants in a partnership with the United States Enrichment Corp. Before then, Tenex had been limited to selling U.S. nuclear power plants reprocessed uranium recovered from dismantled Soviet nuclear weapons under the 1990s Megatons to Megawatts peace program.

“The Russians were compromising American contractors in the nuclear industry with kickbacks and extortion threats, all of which raised legitimate national security concerns. And none of that evidence got aired before the Obama administration made those decisions,” a person who worked on the case told The Hill, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution by U.S. or Russian officials.

Regarding that 2011 approval, Ed Morrissey notes that there were two deals: Rosatom’s 2010 purchase of Uranium One, and the 2011 “approval for Rosatom to vastly expand its sales of uranium inside the US through its Tenex subsidiary.”

The DOJ did nothing for years (emphasis added):

Rather than bring immediate charges in 2010, however, the Department of Justice (DOJ) continued investigating the matter for nearly four more years, essentially leaving the American public and Congress in the dark about Russian nuclear corruption on U.S. soil during a period when the Obama administration made two major decisions benefiting Putin’s commercial nuclear ambitions.

Solomon and Spann point out that

Then-Attorney General Eric Holder was among the Obama administration officials joining Hillary Clinton on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States at the time the Uranium One deal was approved. Multiple current and former government officials told The Hill they did not know whether the FBI or DOJ ever alerted committee members to the criminal activity they uncovered.

That smells like a political cover-up of the first magnitude.

Indeed, today  Solomon and Spann report that

An American businessman who worked for years undercover as an FBI confidential witness was blocked by the Obama Justice Department from telling Congress about conversations and transactions he witnessed related to the Russian nuclear industry’s efforts to win favor with Bill and Hillary Clinton and influence Obama administration decisions, his lawyer tells The Hill.

John Hinderaker asks,

who supervised the Russia investigation? Rod Rosenstein. Who was the FBI director when the Russia probe began in 2009? Robert Mueller. Who was running the FBI when the case ended with a whimper and an apparent cover-up? James Comey.

Rosenstein and Muller should resign over conflict of interest, but I’m sure they will not.

And these are not the only players in the case. Last year I posted on the Clinton’s Colombian Fondo Acceso partner Frank Giustra, whose mining company merged with three Kazakhstan mining companies, after which it was acquired by Rosatom. Guess who authorized that,

Because uranium is a strategic asset, the sale required (and received) approval from multiple U.S. agencies, including the Department of State, then run by Hillary Clinton.

Last night in Sean Hannity’s show (35 minutes into the video) Peter Schweizer, author of Clinton Cash, explained that Hillary knew that the Russians were trying to corner the uranium market, that the donations to the Clinton Foundation were hidden, and, as if things weren’t bad enough, that “Uranium One, now owned by Rosatom, is actually exporting yellowcake from the United States,” when the uranium is supposed to stay in the U.S.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has launched a probe into the case.

Don’t hold your breath on this story making it to the front pages.

UPDATE

Two and a half years ago at Da Tech Guy: Oh look, the guy behind the Clinton uranium deal was also the guy behind the Clinton FTA deal

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog