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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Obama-era Russian Uranium One deal: What to know

    Obama-era Russian Uranium One deal: What to know

    By Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News

    What is the Russia-Clinton uranium deal?

    What's the latest on a controversial uranium deal with Russia that was brokered during Hillary Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State?

    Multiple congressional committees are investigating an Obama-era deal that resulted in a Russian company purchasing American uranium mines.

    Lawmakers are also asking the Department of Justice to lift a reported gag order on a confidential informant who is expected to have more information about the agreement that allowed Russia to control about one-fifth of the uranium mining in the U.S. – and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s involvement in it.

    President Trump called the Uranium One deal “the real Russia story” as federal investigators continue to probe Russia’s alleged involvement in the 2016 election. And The Hill recently reported that Russian officials engaged in a “racketeering scheme” to further its energy goals in the U.S.

    What was the Uranium One deal?

    In 2013, Russian company Rosatom acquired a Canadian uranium mining company, now called Uranium One, which has assets in the U.S. Uranium is key to making nuclear weapons.

    Rep. DeSantis says House will investigate Clinton, Russia uranium deal

    Through the deal, Russia is able to own about 20 percent of U.S. uranium production capacity. However, Colin Chilcoat, an energy affairs specialist who has written extensively about Russia's energy deals, said that the company only extracts about 11 percent of uranium in the U.S.

    'Clinton Cash' author talks Russian uranium deal controversy

    The deal also “doesn’t allow for that uranium to be exported at all,” Chilcoat told Fox News. “It’s not like it’s leaving the U.S. or somehow finding its way to more insidious players.”

    The agreement was approved by nine government agencies with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), an inter-agency group that reviews how certain foreign investments can impact national security. Clinton’s State Department was one of those agencies, though the former secretary of state told WMUR-TV in 2015 that she was not “personally involved” in the agreement.


    Why is it controversial?

    Republicans have largely decried the deal, especially as some investors reportedly donated millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation. Former President Bill Clinton also received a $500,000 speaking fee in Russia and reportedly met with Vladimir Putin around the time of the deal.

    The FBI had looked into the agreement and uncovered that some Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in nefarious dealings, which included extortion, bribery and kickbacks, The Hill reported. Evidence of wrongdoing by Vadim Mikerin, the Russian official overseeing Putin’s nuclear expansion in the U.S. who was eventually sentenced to prison, was discovered by the FBI before the deal was approved, according to The Hill.

    Author Peter Schweizer – who wrote about the deal in his 2015 book “Clinton Cash” – told Fox News that there is no evidence that the people involved with approving the agreement knew that the FBI had an ongoing investigation into it.

    "If anyone colluded for a foreign government in last year’s election, it was the Clinton campaign."

    - White House press secretary Sarah Sanders

    But Republicans say the whole affair raises serious questions.

    “Now it’s the Democrats who have some explaining to do,” Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement. “I hope they will cooperate with the investigation, be forthcoming with the American people and I expect the media to cover these new developments with the same breathless intensity that they have given to this investigation since day one.”

    And White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told Fox News Tuesday that “if anyone colluded for a foreign government in last year’s election, it was the Clinton campaign [and] the Democrats.”

    Trump has often accused the media of not reporting enough on the Uranium One deal.

    “Uranium deal to Russia, with Clinton help and Obama administration knowledge, is the biggest story that Fake Media doesn’t want to follow!” the president tweeted on Oct. 19.


    Donald J. Trump

    Uranium deal to Russia, with Clinton help and Obama Administration knowledge, is the biggest story that Fake Media doesn't want to follow!
    4:17 AM - Oct 19, 2017

    Twitter Ads info and privacy

    And on March 27, Trump asked on social media why the House Intelligence Committee has not launched an investigation into the “Bill and Hillary deal that allowed big Uranium to go to Russia.”

    How does this tie in with the other Russia investigation?

    Trump has called the Uranium One deal the “real Russia story” and has urged the media to cover the story more. Multiple congressional committees as well as the Justice Department are looking into possible Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential election – and ties between Russians and Trump’s campaign.

    "That's your real Russia story. Not a story where they talk about collusion and there was none. It was a hoax. Your real Russia story is uranium," Trump told reporters during a press conference last week.


    Robert Mueller, the special counsel leading the probe into alleged Russian interference in the election, was the head of the FBI when it investigated Rosatom officials’ extortion and corruption.

    And the investigation was led by then-Assistant FBI Director Andrew McCabe, now the deputy FBI director, and then-U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, now the deputy attorney general, The Hill reported.

    Mueller's investigators in the Russia probe report to Rosenstein.

    "Your real Russia story is uranium."

    - President Donald Trump

    Congressional committees are looking into whether Mueller informed the Obama administration, particularly those tasked with approving the Uranium One deal, prior to CFIUS approval.


    In her attempt to discredit reports of the controversy surrounding the Uranium One deal, Clinton said Trump and “his allies, including Fox News,” are diverting from the investigation.

    “The closer the investigation about real Russian ties between Trump associates and real Russians … the more they want to just throw mud on the wall,” she said Monday. “I’m their favorite target, me and President Obama.”

    What happens next?

    Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, has asked the Department of Justice to lift an apparent non-disclosure agreement preventing a federal informant from speaking about the deal.

    The informant’s lawyer, Victoria Toensing, has told Fox Business that her client can “tell what all the Russians were talking about during the time that all these bribery payments were made.” The informant was prevented from testifying by former attorneys general Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, according to Toensing.

    “Witnesses who want to talk to Congress should not be gagged and threatened with prosecution for talking,” Grassley, R-Iowa, said in a statement.

    Hillary Clinton: Uranium One Stories 'Debunked Repeatedly'

    During a hearing with Attorney Gen. Jeff Sessions, Grassley pressed the former senator on actions the Justice Department might take regarding the deal. Grassley said he’s written several letters to government agencies inquiring if they knew about the FBI probe before they approved of the deal.

    Sessions said the Justice Department will take “appropriate” actions but declined to comment specifically on the influence Russian officials might have had on the Obama administration to “smooth the way” for the deal.

    “I hear your concerns and they will be reviewed,” Sessions said.

    The House Oversight committee has also launched an investigation, Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., told Fox News. He said that the investigation “could be criminal,” depending on statute of limitations.

    The House Intelligence Committee announced on Tuesday that it will investigate several Obama-era controversies, including the Uranium One deal.

    "We're not going to jump to any conclusions, but we're going to try and get the facts," House Intelligence Chairman Devin Dunes, R-Calif., said.




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