It’s about time!
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has ordered a fresh new investigation into Hillary Clinton’s Uranium One scandal.
DOJ prosecutors are now questioning FBI agents, and demanding explanations on evidence they uncovered in the now “dead” criminal investigation of Hillary’s Uranium One scandal.
On the orders of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Justice Department prosecutors have begun asking FBI agents to explain the evidence they found in a now dormant criminal investigation into a controversial uranium deal that critics have linked to Bill and Hillary Clinton, multiple law enforcement officials told NBC News.
The interviews with FBI agents are part of the Justice Department’s effort to fulfill a promise an assistant attorney general made to Congress last month to examine whether a special counsel was warranted to look into what has become known as the Uranium One deal, a senior Justice Department official said.
At issue is a 2010 transaction in which the Obama Administration allowed the sale of U.S. uranium mining facilities to Russia’s state atomic energy company. Hillary Clinton was secretary of state at the time, and the State Department was one of nine agencies that agreed to approve the deal after finding no threat to U.S. national security.
A senior law enforcement official who was briefed on the initial FBI investigation told NBC News there were allegations of corruption surrounding the process under which the U.S. government approved the sale. But no charges were filed.
As the New York Times reported in April 2015, some of the people associated with the deal contributed millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation. And Bill Clinton was paid $500,000 for a Moscow speech by a Russian investment bank with links to the transaction.
Hillary Clinton has denied playing any role in the decision by the State Department to approve the sale, and the State Department official who approved it has said Clinton did not intervene in the matter. That hasn’t stopped some Republicans, including President Trump, from calling the arrangement corrupt — and urging that Clinton be investigated.
In a letter to Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Stephen Boyd said Justice Department lawyers would make recommendations to Sessions about whether an investigation should be opened or expanded, or whether a special counsel should be appointed to probe a number of issues of concern to Republicans.
In recent weeks, FBI agents who investigated the case have been asked by Justice Department prosecutors to describe the results of their probe. The agents also have been asked if there was any improper effort to squash a prosecution, the law enforcement sources say.
The senior Justice Department official said the questions were part of an effort by the Sessions team to get up to speed on the controversial case, in the face of allegations from Congressional Republicans that it was mishandled.
An FBI spokesman declined to comment.
On June 8, 2010, Uranium One announced it had signed an agreement to sell a majority stake to the mining arm of Rosatom, the Russian nuclear energy agency.
At the time, Uranium One’s two licensed mining operations in Wyoming amounted to about 20 percent of all uranium mining production capacity in the U.S, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. (That figure has since decreased.)
Because enriched uranium is a component of nuclear weapons, the deal required a national security review by the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States.
As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, The New York Times reported, Uranium One’s Canadian chairman, Ian Telfer, used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million to the Clinton Foundation. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the foundation, the Times reported, despite a promise to publicly identify all donors. The foundation later said it made a mistake.
Others associated with Uranium One also donated to the Clinton Foundation, according to the Times.
Sen John Barrasso, a Republican from Wyoming, raised objections to the sale, saying it would “give the Russian government control over a sizable portion of America’s uranium production capacity.”
The U.S. ambassador to Kazakhstan also raised concerns in cables to Clinton’s State Department that Rosatom was acting on behalf of Russia’s military intelligence agency, the GRU, to gobble up uranium mines after Russia felt “squeezed” by having their uranium imports limited by other countries.
Nonetheless, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, known as CFIUS, approved the deal by a unanimous vote, according to public reports. Clinton was just one member of the nine member CFIUS by virtue of her role as Secretary of State. The other eight members of CFIUS came from Treasury, Homeland Security, Commerce, Defense, Energy, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Office of Science & Technology, and the Justice Department.
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