House committees initiate probe of Obama-era uranium agreement with Russia

UPDATE 3 — 10/31, 2:50 p.m. EDT: A Washington Post inquiry has revealed that Russia’s state-owned nuclear energy company, Rosatom, now produces significantly less uranium than a 2010 number cited by House oversight committee chairman, Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), last week.

According to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, additional permits to mine uranium have been granted to U.S. firms over the past seven years which has cut Russia’s proportion of total production.

NRC also noted that figures widely cited by media outlets pertain to only one of two methods used to mine uranium, so-called in-situ recovery, which is generally utilized to extract low-grade ore.  As of 2016, Rosatum produced just over two percent of all uranium in the U.S.

 

UPDATE 2 — 10/27, 8:30 p.m. EDT: CNN has reported President Trump is ordering the State Department to release any of Hillary Clinton’s emails it has remaining in its archives that were exchanged during the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee’s tenure as secretary.

According to one source, described as a White House official, the State Department has over 13,000 pending FOIA requests dating back to the late 2000s which have yet to be answered.

Trump has also requested the Justice Department lift the gag order on a top government witness with knowledge of the Obama State Department’s approval of Uranium One’s sale to a Russian government-held entity. 

 

UPDATE — 7:37 p.m. EDT: Multiple media outlets reported Wednesday data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica, whose clients included the 2016 Trump campaign, inquired with WikiLeaks last year about Hillary Clinton’s now-infamous emails.

According to CNN sources, the company’s CEO, Alexander Nix, sought to obtain the emails in question and create a database that could be exploited by the GOP campaign and a Trump super PAC.

WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange rejected Cambridge’s request, telling Nix via email that he would release the Clinton documents on his own.

 

Two House committees announced a joint investigation of an Obama-era agreement which transferred control over 20 percent of American uranium production to a Russian firm.

Both the House’s intelligence and oversight committees, chaired by Reps. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), will conduct the probe.

“We’re not going to jump to any conclusions at this time, but one of the things as you know that we’re concerned about is whether or not there was an FBI investigation, and if so, why was Congress not informed of this matter,” Oversight chairman Devin Nunes said when announcing the investigation.

Nunes’ announcement arrives at the same time both committees also revealed the opening of probes looking into the Obama Justice Department’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her State Department tenure.

Seeking answers to whether probes were conducted and why Congress was not informed of the investigations, Nunes’ and Gowdy’s probes will revolve around what is referred to as the “Uranium One deal.”

Specifically at issue is the acquisition of Uranium One, a Canadian firm with extensive global uranium interests, by Russian regulatory agency, Rosatom.  Uranium One’s business interests include holdings in the U.S.

At the time of the sale of Uranium One to Rosatom former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was serving as secretary of the State Department.  Considered a strategic national security asset, the sale of the company to Russia required approval from several government agencies.

While at State, Hillary Clinton gave the green light to the sale of Uranium One to Rosatom.

Following the conclusion of the transaction, records related to the sale revealed donations to the Clinton Foundation were made by individuals associated with Uranium One.  One of those associated with Uranium One, Frank Giustra, has donated over $30 million to the Clinton’s charity.

Records also reveal over $2 million in donations from individuals associated with the sale of Uranium One to Rosatom were never reported by the Clinton Foundation.

Shortly after the agreement was concluded, former President Bill Clinton accepted $500,000 from a Russian bank for a speaking appearance in Moscow.

Complicating matters for former President Barack Obama is the fact the agreement to transfer ownership of Uranium One was known to include widespread allegations of bribery, a fact the Obama Justice Department was aware of, but chose to allow the sale to continue.

A similar probe led by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is underway in the Senate.

 

[Los Angeles Times] [New York Post] [AP] [Photo courtesy Getty/ABC News]

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