Hillary Clinton is making her way into the headlines once again. But this time, it seems Americans have a shot at figuring out what reallyhappened– especially with relation to her involvement in actual Russian meddling in U.S. affairs.
The Hill on Tuesday published a report blowing the top off a political scandal involving Russia, Bill and Hillary Clinton and a handful of former Obama administration officials now involved in the ongoing Russian collusion investigation against President Donald Trump.
At the heart of the report is the Uranium One deal signed in 2010 by President Obama and how it was conceived amid pretty damning evidence of violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which makes it illegal for foreign officials to offer personal payments and kickbacks to U.S. policymakers.
According to The Hill’s review of FBI sources, the government was aware that Russian “nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States…” at the time the agreement was signed.
When investigators followed the money, the trail led them straight to the Clinton Family Foundation.
From The Hill’s report:
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 racketeering scheme was conducted “with the consent of higher level officials” in Russia who “shared the proceeds” from the kickbacks, one agent declared in an affidavit years later.
As the Obama administration rubber-stamped deals giving the Russians massive control over U.S. uranium supplies, the Justice Department had a mountain of evidence suggesting collusion between Secretary of State Clinton and Russian business interests. And no one said a word.
Via The Hill:
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.
The first decision occurred in October 2010, when the State Department and government agencies on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States unanimously approved the partial sale of Canadian mining company Uranium One to the Russian nuclear giant Rosatom, giving Moscow control of more than 20 percent of America’s uranium supply.
(…) In 2011, the 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.
Clinton’s closeness to the Russian deal did become a matter of national contention in 2015 when conservative Peter Schweitzer and The New York Times reported on speaking fee payments influential Russians made to Bill Clinton.
But the Clintons and the Obama administration denied any wrongdoing as they simultaneously began pushing the narrative that the Trump campaign was somehow working with Russians to manipulate the outcome of the election.
The Hill reports that the highest levels of U.S. law enforcement again decided against publicizing evidence of potential Clinton wrongdoing following the denials of conflict:
But FBI, Energy Department and court documents reviewed by The Hill show the FBI, in fact, had gathered substantial evidence well before the committee’s decision that Vadim Mikerin — the main Russian overseeing Putin’s nuclear expansion inside the United States — was engaged in wrongdoing starting in 2009.
That may be because Attorney General Eric Holder, was himself a little too close to the corruption.
As The Hill notes:
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.
The FBI eventually did get around to arresting and charging some of the parties involved in the scheme. But Americans didn’t hear very much about the outcome of the investigation The Hill describes as “a gold mine” in uncovering schemes of Russian corruption in the U.S.
From the report:
A Russian financier in New Jersey was among those arrested for the money laundering, court records show.
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.
Bringing down a major Russian nuclear corruption scheme that had both compromised a sensitive uranium transportation asset inside the U.S. and facilitated international money laundering would seem a major feather in any law enforcement agency’s cap.
But the Justice Department and FBI took little credit in 2014 when Mikerin, the Russian financier and the trucking firm executives were arrested and charged.
The only public statement occurred a year later when the Justice Department put out a little-noticed press release in August 2015, just days before Labor Day. The release noted that the various defendants had reached plea deals.
What’s worse is that the Obama Justice Department also neglected to inform members of Congress of the evidence it had, despite major concerns from legislators regarding the uranium agreements.
Instead, Americans and lawmakers were inundated with a different narrative involving Trump and Russian election manipulation.
And guess what? Some of the same officials involved in what looks like a clear effort to cover Clinton involvement in real-world Russian collusion are currently running efforts to tie Trump to the Kremlin.
The Hill points out:
The investigation was ultimately supervised by then-U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, an Obama appointee who now serves as President Trump’s deputy attorney general, and then-Assistant FBI Director Andrew McCabe, now the deputy FBI director under Trump, Justice Department documents show.
Both men now play a key role in the current investigation into possible, but still unproven, collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s campaign during the 2016 election cycle. McCabe is under congressional and Justice Department inspector general investigation in connection with money his wife’s Virginia state Senate campaign accepted in 2015 from now-Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe at a time when McAuliffe was reportedly under investigation by the FBI.
The connections to the current Russia case are many. The Mikerin probe began in 2009 when Robert Mueller, now the special counsel in charge of the Trump case, was still FBI director. And it ended in late 2015 under the direction of then-FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump fired earlier this year.
This is a very big deal which should raise major questions about the legitimacy of the investigation into yet-unproven accusations regarding Trump’s ties to Russia. It could also act as a catalyst for new investigations, as members of Congress, along with the current Justice Department and the Trump administration, revisit calls to lock her up along with potentially dozens of other high-ranking former Obama officials.