Renaissance Capital

June 29, 2010 – Hillary Clinton opposes the Magnitsky Act at the same time Bill Clinton gives a speech in Moscow for Renaissance Capital

Bill Clinton makes a cool half a million after giving a speech to Renassaince Capital on June 29, 2010. (Credit: public domain)

“In December 2015, The Wall Street Journal reported that Hillary Clinton opposed the Magnitsky Act while serving as secretary of state. Her opposition coincided with Bill Clinton giving a speech in Moscow for Renaissance Capital, a Russian investment bank—for which he was paid $500,000. “Mr. Clinton also received a substantial payout in 2010 from Renaissance Capital, a Russian investment bank whose executives were at risk of being hurt by possible U.S. sanctions tied to a complex and controversial case of alleged corruption in Russia.

Members of Congress wrote to Mrs. Clinton in 2010 seeking to deny visas to people who had been implicated by Russian accountant Sergei Magnitsky, who was jailed and died in prison after he uncovered evidence of a large tax-refund fraud. William Browder, a foreign investor in Russia who had hired Mr. Magnitsky, alleged that the accountant had turned up evidence that Renaissance officials, among others, participated in the fraud.” The State Department opposed the sanctions bill at the time, as did the Russian government. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov pushed Hillary Clinton to oppose the legislation during a meeting in St. Petersburg in June 2012, citing that U.S.-Russia relations would suffer as a result.

The Wall Street Journal report continued, “A few weeks later [June 29, 2010], Bill Clinton participated in a question-and-answer session at a Renaissance Capital investors conference. He was paid $500,000. After the appearance, Mr. Clinton received a personal thank-you call from Vladimir Putin, then the Russian prime minister, the government news agency TASS reported.”

A spokesperson for Hillary Clinton denied the connection between her stance against the bill and Bill Clinton’s paid speech, but the conflict of interest is undeniable. During the presidential election, the Clinton campaign even took measures to stop a story reporting the link. An email released by Wikileaks from a Clinton Campaign [staffer]  and Chair John Podesta in May 2015 noted, “With the help of the research team, we killed a Bloomberg story trying to link HRC’s opposition to the Magnitsky bill to a $500,000 speech that WJC gave in Moscow.” (Read more: The Observer, 7/13/2017)

May 14, 2010 – Emails show Clinton ties to Russian oligarch, Viktor Vekselberg, owner of Renova Group and head of the Skolkovo deal

Viktor Vekselberg (Credit: Dmitry Lovetsky/The Associated Press)

“New emails show Clinton Foundation staff pushed Hillary Clinton’s State Department to approve a meeting between Bill Clinton and a powerful Russian oligarch as her agency lined up investors for a project under his purview.

The Clintons’ relationship with Viktor Vekselberg, the billionaire whose name appears in the documents, has taken on new significance amid an expanding criminal investigation into his company. Last week, authorities raided the offices of Vekselberg’s firm, Renova Group, following allegations of bribery from several of Renova’s subsidiaries.

Vekselberg had been named head of a partnership dubbed the “Russian Silicon Valley” just three months before a Clinton Foundation employee began pushing the State Department to approve Bill Clinton’s proposed meeting with Vekselberg and a handful of other Russian executives.

(…) Vekselberg’s Renova Group has donated between $50,000 and $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation, donor records show. Another firm associated with Vekselberg, OC Oerlikon, donated $25,000 to the Clinton Foundation.

Renova’s interests in mining, oil and telecommunications have helped Vekselberg become one of Russia’s wealthiest individuals and an influential figure within the Kremlin.

Beginning in May 2010, Amitabh Desai, a Clinton Foundation employee who acted as a frequent liaison to the State Department on behalf of Bill Clinton, asked agency officials if they had any objections to the former president’s plan to meet with a handful of Russian executives on an upcoming swing through the country.

“Would State have concerns about WJC seeing any of these folks?” Desai wrote on May 14, 2010, using Bill Clinton’s initials. Vekselberg’s name appeared on the list of Russian businessmen.

After receiving no reply, Desai asked senior members of Hillary Clinton’s staff again 10 days later for their thoughts on Bill Clinton’s proposed meetings. On June 3, 2010, Desai said he and the former president “urgently need feedback” about what he had described as a “possible trip to Russia.”

Finally, after Desai entreated the State Department for a response to the list of names for the fourth time on June 7, 2010, Jake Sullivan, a top aide to Hillary Clinton, forwarded the request to another State Department official and asked: “What’s the deal [with] this?”

In April of that year, Bill Clinton’s staff had submitted to the State Department ethics office a request for the former president to deliver a paid speech in Moscow on June 28, 2010, an engagement that necessitated the trip to Russia that Desai described.

Renaissance Capital, a Russian investment bank, paid Bill Clinton $500,000 for that speech, according to his wife’s financial disclosures from 2010. The State Department had given its approval for the trip just two days after Bill Clinton’s office filed its request.

The former president’s travel to Russia for the speech and potential meetings with Vekselberg and others came as Hillary Clinton’s State Department labored to drum up interest in a technology-sharing project, led by Vekselberg, called Skolkovo.” (Read more: Washington Examiner, 9/12/2016)

August 2009 – The FBI investigates a Russian bribery plot connected to Rosatom and Uranium One

Bill Clinton meets with Vladimir Putin in Moscow, 2010. (Credit: Mikhael Metzel/The Associated Press)

“Fifteen months before the 13 members of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, known as CFIUS, approved the sale of the Canadian company Uranium One to Russia’s nuclear arm giant Rosatom, the FBI began investigating persons who were connected to the Russian state corporation. The FBI said in court documents and in interviews conducted by Circa that by 2010 they had gathered enough evidence to prove that Rosatom-connected officials were engaged in a global bribery scheme that included kickbacks and money laundering. FBI officials said the investigation could have prevented the sale of Uranium One, which controlled 20 percent of U.S. uranium supply under U.S. law.

The deal which required approval by CFIUS, an inter-agency committee who reviews transactions that leads to a change of control of a U.S. business to a foreign person or entity that may have an impact on the national security of the United States. At the time of the Uranium One deal the panel was chaired by then-Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and included then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then-Attorney General Eric Holder.

By the time CFIUS approved the sale of Uranium One to Rosatom the FBI’s investigation had already gathered substantial evidence of bribery and kickbacks against a Russian national, Vadim Mikerin, who was then a top official with Rosatom’s Tenex subsidiary, according to court documents. The FBI said while at Tenex, which was located in Maryland, Mikerin was involved in multiple bribery and kickback schemes.

(…)The Justice Department didn’t move forward an indictment with prosecution of bribery by people tied to Rosatom, through subsidies and other entities, until 2014 after CFIUS approved the sale of Uranium One, leaving the American public without knowledge of the Russian company’s allegedly illegal actives as it went to procure one-fifth of U.S. uranium supply.

(…) “A Russian state-owned enterprise responsible for selling Russian nuclear materials, contracted with a U.S. public relations expert in 2009 to provide public relations and marketing consulting services to TENEX in the United States,” states a court warrant. “The contractor approached the FBI and received authorization to participate in the scheme.”

Victoria Toensing, a lawyer for the FBI informant, said her client “is not only afraid of the Russian people, but he is afraid of the US government because of the threats the Obama administration made against him.”

“My client was providing information for a couple years before this really got voted on by CFIUS, and here’s the rub. High-ranking law enforcement officials in the Obama Administration knew that there was corruption in this company and that information about the corruption in this Russian entity never made it to CFIUS, evidently, because CFIUS authorized the purchase in 2010.” -Victoria Toensing, lawyer (Video interview at source link)

(…) One of the points of contention for people investigating the Clinton’s connections with Russia and the Uranium One deal was a $500,000 payment given to Bill Clinton by the Russian bank Renaissance Capital for a speech he gave in Moscow in June 2010. Analysts at Renaissance Capital, who paid the Bill Clinton for the speech, spoke highly of Uranium One’s stock saying in July 2010 research report that it was “the best play” in the uranium markets. The speech by Bill Clinton and the 2010 research report by Renaissance Capital happened while CFIUS, of which Hillary Clinton was a sitting member, was looking at the Uranium One sale to Rosatom. A spokesperson for Hillary Clinton did not return calls seeking comment and no evidence has been presented the speech payment made to Bill Clinton had any connection to the passage of the deal. Officials at Renaissance Capital could not be reached immediately for comment.At the time of the investigation did any of the U.S. law enforcement, intelligence or other agencies involved in the case inform the CFIUS board of the ongoing investigation? If not, why not? If they were informed, why did they make the decision they did to approve the Uranium One transaction? Did the president, himself, know?,” a U.S. official who worked counterintelligence cases related to Russia told Circa.

During the time of the FBI’s investigation which began in 2009, Tenex was able to expand its American foothold with $6 billion in new utility contracts, according to documents and news reports obtained by Circa.

The case being built against Mikerin in 2010 was under the supervision of Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, then an Obama appointee who now serves as President Trump’s deputy attorney general. According to court documents, the case was also handled by then Assistant FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who is currently the deputy FBI director under Trump. The Department of Justice and the FBI would not comment on the bribery investigation of Mikerin.” (Read more: Circa, 10/17/2017)