President Trump on Thursday chastised establishment media for not focusing attention on new revelations this week of corruption in the Russia uranium deal approved by the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton’s State Department.
Trump’s tweet came amid a new claim Thursday that an FBI informant was blocked by the Obama administration from testifying to Congress of Russian efforts to influence the Clintons and the Obama administration regarding the Russia deal. The sale of Uranium One to a Russian state-owned firm coincided with a flow of tens of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation from parties with a vested interest in the deal as well as a $500,000 speaking fee to Bill Clinton from a Russian bank tied to the Kremlin.
The initial report by The Hill on Tuesday disclosed that before a government panel in which Hillary Clinton was a member approved the sale that gave Moscow 20 percent of American uranium reserves, the FBI was sitting on evidence Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to expand Moscow’s nuclear business in the U.S.
The 2010 deal for a majority stake of Canadian-based Uranium One and its plausible connection to major donations to the Clinton Foundation was exposed by author Peter Schweizer in his book “Clinton Cash” and confirmed in a 3,000 word, front-page story by the New York Times.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has acknowledged it is investigating the claims, including Clinton “conflicts to interest,” demanding several federal agencies disclose whether they knew the FBI had uncovered the corruption before the 2010 deal was completed.
Now, attorney Victoria Toensing has told The Hill she has a client who alleges Russian executives told him they “facilitated the Obama administration’s 2010 approval of the Uranium One deal and sent millions of dollars in Russian nuclear funds to the U.S. to an entity assisting Bill Clinton’s foundation.”
“All of the information about this corruption has not come out,” said Toensing, a former Reagan Justice Department official and former chief counsel of the Senate intelligence committee.
Working undercover, the FBI informant, according to court records, immediately reported that Russian officials had asked him to make kickback payments to the Russians.
The client’s work, The Hill reported, enabled the bureau to crack a multibillion-dollar racketeering scheme by Russian nuclear officials on U.S. soil.
Toensing told The Hill she’s trying to get the Trump administration or the FBI to allow her client to talk to Congress by releasing him from a non-disclosure agreement the FBI forced him to sign.
Trump, meanwhile, tweeted Thursday: “Uranium deal to Russia, with Clinton help and Obama administration knowledge, is the biggest story that Fake Media doesn’t want to follow!”
As WND reported in March, while Congress was examining allegations that Trump and his aides colluded with Russia to defeat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, the president called on Congress to investigate the Clintons’ relationships with Russia, including the donations by uranium investors to the Clinton Foundation.
Toensing said her client has memos documenting that the Obama Justice Department threatened him when he attempted to file a lawsuit to recover money Russians stole from him, which could have drawn attention to the Russian corruption during the 2016 election.
The Justice Department threatened to bring a criminal case against him for violating the non-disclosure agreement, she said. The Hill also said it obtained emails from a civil attorney working with the witness who described the pressure the department was exerting on him to stay quiet.
“The government was taking a very harsh position that threatened both your reputation and liberty,” a civil lawyer working with the witness wrote in one email, according to The Hill.
The Clintons and the Obama administration have denied any wrongdoing, but Toensing said her client can testify “the sale of the uranium went on despite the government knowing about all of this corruption.”
The Hill noted that the case resulted in guilty pleas from the main Russian executive sent to the U.S. to expand Vladimir Putin’s nuclear business, an executive of an American trucking firm and a Russian financier from New Jersey.
Senate examining claims
On Wednesday, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions about the new revelations in the Russia uranium deal.
“What are you doing to find out how Russian takeover of American uranium was allowed to occur despite criminal conduct by Russian company that the Obama administration approved to make the purchase?” Grassley asked.
“I would offer that some people have gone to jail in that transaction already,” Sessions replied, “but [The Hill] article talks about other issues. Without confirming or denying existence of any particular investigation, I would say I hear your concerns and they will be reviewed.”
Senate Judiciary aides told the Hill the committee had asked 10 federal agencies involved in the Russian uranium approvals to provide information, and sources said Grassley is expected to seek access to potential witnesses soon.
In a letter last week to the Homeland Security Department, Grassley said he was no longer convinced by the Obama administration’s assurances in 2015 that there was no reason to block the Uranium One deal.
“The sale of Uranium One resulted in a Russian government takeover of a significant portion of U.S. uranium mining capacity,” he 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.”
Grassley also said he has additional information about the $500,000 fee Bill Clinton received from a Russian investment bank for a June 2010 speech. The bank’s senior officers, Grassley wrote, include former Russian intelligence personnel, and the company had been described by sources as an “extension” of the Russian government.
The senator pointed out that in the same month as the Clinton speech, Uranium One and the state-owned company Rosatom notified Obama’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States of the Russian government’s intent to acquire 20 percent of U.S. uranium assets.
“The next month, in July 2010, Renaissance Bank reportedly assigned Uranium One a ‘buy’ rating, a move that would principally benefit its Russian investors,” Grassley wrote.
“The donations raise concerns about potential conflicts of interest for Secretary Clinton and the Obama administration.”
‘Spontaneous outbreak of philanthropy’
Former Uranium One chairman Ian Telfer was among several individuals connected to the deal who made donations to the Clinton Foundation. Telfer made four foreign donations totaling $2.35 million, the New York Times reported.
The donations flowed as the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013. Snopes and other “fact checkers” who insist there was no quid pro quo have argued that most of the donations were made in 2008, before Hillary Clinton became secretary of state. But she was running for president at that time.
A spokesman for Clinton’s campaign in 2015 declared: “No one has produced a shred of evidence that Hillary Clinton ever took action as Secretary of State in order to support the interests of donors to the Clinton Foundation. To suggest the State Department, under then-Secretary Clinton, exerted undue influence in the U.S. government’s review of the sale of Uranium One is utterly baseless.”
The origin of the deal traced back to 2005, when mining financier Frank Giustra traveled with Bill Clinton to work out an agreement with the government of Kazakhstan for mining rights.
Giustra has donated $31.3 million to the Clinton Foundation.
“Clinton Cash” author Schweizer pointed out that when the Uranium One deal was under way, “a spontaneous outbreak of philanthropy among eight shareholders in Uranium One” took place.
The Times pointed out that the Canadian tax records show the contributions to the Clinton Foundation were not publicly disclosed, which violated an agreement Clinton signed with the Obama administration when she became secretary of state to disclose all foreign donations.