Washington jockeys for Clinton uranium-scandal testimony

By Alicia Powe

Hillary-Clinton-hands-600

WASHINGTON – Chiefs of several congressional committees on Thursday started jockeying for time and testimony from an FBI informant on Bill and Hillary Clinton’s involvement in the Uranium One deal a few years ago, shortly after the informant was told that he had been released, apparently by President Trump himself, from a non-disclosure agreement.

Several congressional figures contend that they were kept in the dark about the scandal when it transpired, but now they’re demanding the Obama administration be held accountable for the apparent corruption that is being uncovered.

Members of the House Oversight Committee and the House Intelligence Committee are keen on having the FBI’s former informant specify the Kremlin’s relationship with the Clintons and launched a probe into the 2010 deal.

The Senate Judiciary Committee already had the facts about the sale on its radar.

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, argued the timeline of the Obama administration’s negotiations with Russia is a key part of the investigation.

“One of the things that you know we’re concerned about is whether or not there was an FBI investigation,” Nunes said. “Was there a DOJ investigation? If so, why was Congress not informed of this matter?”

Last week, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote in a letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that he suspects parties interested in the Uranium One transaction influenced the Obama administration’s approval of the deal by donating “millions of dollars” to the Clinton Foundation.

“The sale of Uranium One resulted in a Russian government takeover of a significant portion of U.S. uranium mining capacity,” Grassley wrote. “In light of that fact, very serious questions remain about the basis for the finding that this transaction did not threaten to impair U.S. national security.”

President Trump is calling the Uranium One deal Barack Obama’s Watergate. In it, a Russian-linked company was given permission to buy up about 20 percent of U.S. uranium resources.

Dan Bongino’s “Life Inside the Bubble: Why a Top-Ranked Secret Service Agent Walked Away From It All” is a look at life inside the presidential “bubble,” a haze of staffers, consultants, cronies, acolytes, bureaucrats and lobbyists that creates the “alternate reality” in which monumental policy decisions are made.

Former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino sounded off about the issue:

“This is going to be ugly,” he said. “If you were writing a script for a potential thriller … you have a presidential nominee, the sale of nuclear fuel to a hostile foreign actor, the husband of the secretary of state who works for the administration collecting five times the amount of Facebook ads you allege changed the course of the election …”

“We’re supposed to sit back and pretend nothing happened?”

“The uranium sale to Russia and the way it was done was so underhanded. With tremendous amounts of money being passed, I actually think that’s Watergate: modern age,” Trump told reporters.

It was the Justice Department that lifted a longstanding gag order that would have prohibited a former FBI informant from testifying before Congress about what he witnessed while undercover during the Obama administration’s Uranium One deal.

DOJ spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said an agreement was reached between the DOJ and FBI that will, for the first time, allow the confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to disclose all details he is privy to pertaining to the uranium scandal.

“As of tonight, the Department of Justice has authorized the informant to disclose to the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, as well as one member of each of their staffs, any information or documents he has concerning alleged corruption or bribery involving transactions in the uranium market, including but not limited to anything related to Vadim Mikerin, Rosatom, Tenex, Uranium One, or the Clinton Foundation,” Flores said.

The FBI also reportedly sent the informant’s lawyer, Victoria Toensing, a formal letter stating that it no longer had any reason require the informant to keep his investigation confidential, clearing the way for him to potentially testify before Congress.

“The FBI has informed me that they are releasing my client from his [nondisclosure agreement] so that he can testify to Congress about his work uncovering the Russian nuclear bribery case and the efforts he witnessed by Moscow to gain influence with the Clintons in hopes of winning favorable uranium decisions from the Obama administration,” Toensing told the Hill.

“He is now able and willing to talk with the congressional committees seeking his testimony, though I will be working with all parties to ensure his identity remains confidential to ensure his safety,” she added.

The release of the former FBI informant’s confidentiality agreement comes nearly eight years after he first went undercover for the FBI.

Federal agents used the informant for five years to gather the Russian nuclear industry’s extensive financial records, document secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009.

According to FBI and court documents, the evidence he obtained during the sting proved Moscow violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by compromising an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks.

The information he provided to U.S. intelligence agencies assisted the Justice Department in unfolding what prosecutors say was a crime scheme involving kickbacks, extortion and money laundering that ultimately resulted in securing convictions against Russia’s top commercial nuclear executive in the United States, a Russian financier in New Jersey, and the head of a U.S. uranium trucking company.

He also witnessed and obtained evidence indicating Russian nuclear officials donated millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state. This was contemporaneous with her approval of the deal, and Bill Clinton’s being paid $500,000 for a speech in Moscow.

Last year, the informant was mandated by the Obama administration’s Justice Department to withdraw a lawsuit that threatened to reveal details about the case during last year’s presidential election.

But the informant now will be pressed by House committees to provide details about how Russian energy giant Rosatom was able to persuade the Obama administration to cede 20 percent of U.S. uranium production capability to Vladimir Putin’s government and how Rosatom acquired Canadian mining company Uranium One and secured billions in new uranium sales contracts with American utilities.

The Obama administration’s decision to approve Russia’s uranium purchase has been a source of political controversy since 2015, when it was revealed that former President Clinton collected a $500,000 speaking fee from a Russian bank and millions more in charitable donations for his foundation from those interested in the Uranium One deal during his wife’s tenure as secretary of state.

In October 2010, the Clinton-led State Department unanimously approved the partial sale.

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The Clintons and the Obama administration defended their actions, maintaining at the time that granting Putin control of the large swath of America’s uranium stockpile did not jeopardize national security.

Yet, the administration was well aware that Russia used bribery, money laundering and extortion to get access to the U.S. atomic energy industry to enhance Putin’s atomic energy business and approved the deal during the ongoing FBI probe into Russian bribery in the transactions.

The FBI began gathering evidence in 2009 that proved Vadim Mikerin, the CEO of Tenex and the main Russian overseeing Putin’s nuclear expansion inside the United States, was involved in a massive bribery scheme that compromised an American trucking company that shipped uranium for Russia.

Nonetheless, the DOJ refrained from bringing immediate charges in 2010 and continued investigating the matter for nearly four more years, withholding critical information about Russian nuclear corruption on U.S. soil from the American public and Congress, as the Obama administration continued to allow Putin’s commercial nuclear ambitions expand.

The investigation of Uranium One was supervised by two men who now play a key role in the current investigation alleging collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s campaign during the 2016 election cycle: former U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, an Obama appointee who now serves as President Trump’s deputy attorney general, and Assistant FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who now serves as the deputy FBI director under Trump, Justice Department documents show.

Mikerin pleaded guilty in 2015 to a money laundering charge and is currently in prison. The Justice Department released a statement on Dec. 15, 2015, explaining that Mikerin, “a former Russian official residing in Maryland was sentenced today to 48 months in prison” and ordered to forfeit more than $2.1 million.

Toensing revealed in an interview with WND last week that her client’s revelations about the Obama administration’s corrupt ties with Russia were ignored by the FBI for political reasons and that he was threatened with criminal prosecution by former Attorney General Loretta Lynch when he attempted to come forth with details about Uranium One.

“My client began working with the FBI in 2009 after he was contracted with the Russian company in the nuclear business. All of a sudden, he was asked to take part of his salary and give it as kickback money in bribes. They didn’t say it that way. They just said take part and pay this person, pay that person. So he went to the FBI. He was appalled,” said Toensing. “That started in 2009. Can you imagine my client’s surprise when he finds out in October 2010 that the U.S. government authorized the purchase by these corrupt companies of a company [that provided] 20 percent of the uranium for the United States?”

FBI officials were stunningly indifferent when the informant detailed the laundering, bribery and extortion taking place amongst the White House, State Department and Russia, Toensing explained.

“‘Why did this go through? Why did this happen? Look, I’ve been giving you all this information,’ he says to his FBI people. They kind of rolled their eyes and one of them said, ‘Politics,’” said Toensing. “My client was never given the money back that he paid out from his own salary that the FBI had promised to give him, so he brought suit in 2016.”

“When he filed this suit, the Loretta Lynch Justice Department called his lawyer and threatened him and said, ‘If you don’t withdraw this lawsuit, we’re going after your liberty and reputation,’” she added. “They said, ‘You signed a non-disclosure agreement when you started working and you will be violation of that non-disclosure agreement, and we will prosecute you for that.’”

Dan Bongino’s “Life Inside the Bubble: Why a Top-Ranked Secret Service Agent Walked Away From It All” is a look at life inside the presidential “bubble,” a haze of staffers, consultants, cronies, acolytes, bureaucrats and lobbyists that creates the “alternate reality” in which monumental policy decisions are made.

Source:: World Net Daily – World

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