“My sources tell me President Trump is putting the finishing touches on a White House initiative to declassify documents that have remained hidden from the public for far too long.
This welcome effort to provide more public transparency and accountability almost certainly will focus early on the failings of the now-debunked Russia collusion probe. And I’m sure it will spread quickly toward other high-profile issues, such as the government’s UFO files that have been a focus of clamoring for decades.
But my reporting indicates three sets of documents from the Obama years should be declassified immediately, too, because they will fundamentally change the public’s understanding of history and identify ways to improve governance.
The first includes the national security assessments that the U.S. intelligence community conducted under President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton concerning the Russia nuclear giant Rosatom’s effort to acquire uranium business in the United States.
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) – made up of Secretary Clinton and eight other senior federal officials – approved Rosatom’s purchase of mining company Uranium One’s U.S. assets in fall 2010, even as the FBI was gathering evidence that the Russian company’s American arm was engaged in bribery, kickbacks and extortion.
Sources who have seen these classified assessments tell me they debunk the last administration’s storyline that there were no national security reasons to oppose Rosatom’s Uranium One purchase or Vladimir Putin’s successful efforts to secure billions of dollars in new nuclear contracts with American utilities during the Obama years.
“There were red flags raised, and the assessments expose other weaknesses in how CFIUS goes about these approval processes,” one knowledgeable source told me.
Under Obama, sensitive foreign acquisitions almost routinely were rubber-stamped by CFIUS, and the approval process sometimes was delegated by Cabinet officials on the CFIUS committee to lower-ranking aides.
Clinton, for example, claims she allowed a deputy to decide the Uranium One purchase, even as her family foundation collected millions in donations from parties interested in the transaction and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, collected a $500,000 speech fee from Moscow.
Since Trump took office and Steve Mnuchin took over as Treasury secretary, laudable legislative and administrative changes have been designed to tighten up the CFIUS process, and the percentage of rejected foreign acquisitions has increased because of more aggressive national security vetting.
But sources say the release of the Rosatom intelligence assessments would identify additional steps that can improve the process, and finally would give Americans a complete picture of what happened during one of the most politically controversial CFIUS decisions in history.” (Read more: The Hill, 8/28/2019)