Rosatom

December 20, 2018 – Federal Court refuses to unseal documents justifying FBI raid on reported Clinton Foundation whistleblower

“A federal court refused to unseal government documents that permitted the FBI to raid the home of a reportedly recognized whistleblower who, according to his lawyer, delivered documents pertaining to the Clinton Foundation and Uranium One to a presidentially appointed watchdog.

The U.S. District Court of Maryland’s Chief Magistrate Judge Beth P. Gesner, a Clinton appointee, also sealed her justification for keeping the documents secret in a single-page Dec. 20 order.

On Nov. 15, federal Magistrate Judge Stephanie Gallagher authorized the raid on Dennis Cain’s Union Bridge, Maryland, home. She sealed the government documents justifying it.

The Daily Caller News Foundation asked Gallagher on Nov. 29 to unseal the documents, noting that Cain’s attorney has said his client, a former employee of an FBI contractor, is a recognized whistleblower. The documents should be released in light of “an urgent public interest” surrounding the case, TheDCNF wrote.

Attorneys and experts who defend government whistleblowers told TheDCNF the court should disclose whether prosecutors told Gallagher that Cain was a protected whistleblower under the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act.

Cain enjoyed his whistleblower status as early as last summer when he handed over documents to Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz, according to Cain’s lawyer, Michael Socarras. Horowitz instructed a top aide to personally hand-deliver the documents to the House and Senate intelligence committees, the attorney said.

The documents reportedly show that federal officials failed to investigate potential criminal activity regarding the Clinton Foundation and Rosatom, the Russian company that purchased Uranium One. (Read more: The Daily Caller, 1/27/2019)

October 1, 2018 – Opinion – The FBI refuses to declassify and release 37 pages of memos about Russia, Clintons and Uranium One

Eight years after its informant uncovered criminal wrongdoing inside Russia’s nuclear industry, the FBI has identified 37 pages of documents that might reveal what agents told the Obama administration, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and others about the controversial Uranium One deal.

There’s just one problem: The FBI claims it must keep the memos secret from the public.

Their excuses for the veil of nondisclosure range from protecting national security and law enforcement techniques to guarding the privacy of individual Americans and the ability of agencies to communicate with each other.

(…) “I was the reporter who first disclosed last fall that a globetrotting American businessman, William Douglas Campbell, managed to burrow his way inside Russian President Vladimir Putin’s nuclear giant, Rosatom, in 2009 posing as a consultant while working as an FBI informant.

Campbell gathered extensive evidence for his FBI counterintelligence handlers by early 2010 that Rosatom’s main executive in the United States, Vadim Mikerin, orchestrated a racketeering plot involving kickbacks, bribes and extortion that corrupted the main uranium trucking company in the United States. That is a serious national security compromise by any measure.

The evidence was compiled as Secretary Clinton courted Russia for better relations, as her husband former President Clinton collected a $500,000 speech payday in Moscow, and as the Obama administration approved the sale of a U.S. mining company, Uranium One, to Rosatom.

The sale — made famous years later by author Peter Schweizer and an epic New York Times exposé in 2015 — turned over a large swath of America’s untapped uranium deposits to Russia.

Mikerin was charged and convicted, along with some American officials, but not until many years later. Ironically, the case was brought by none other than current Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein — a magnet for controversy, it turns out.

But the years-long delay in prosecution mean that no one in the public, or in Congress, was aware that the FBI knew through Campbell about the Russian bribery plot as early as 2009 — well before the Obama-led Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) approved Uranium One in fall 2010.

Since the emergence of Campbell’s undercover work, there has been one unanswered question of national importance.

Did the FBI notify then-President Obama, Hillary Clinton and other leaders on the CFIUS board about Rosatom’s dark deeds before the Uranium One sale was approved, or did the bureau drop the ball and fail to alert policymakers?

Neither outcome is particularly comforting. Either the United States, eyes wide open, approved giving uranium assets to a corrupt Russia, or the FBI failed to give the evidence of criminality to the policymakers before such a momentous decision.” (Read more: The Hill, 10/01/2018)

February 7, 2018 – Uranium One informant makes Clinton allegations to Congress

William D.Campbell worked as an informant for federal authorities investigating Vadim Mikerin, a Russian official in charge of US operations for Tenex, a unit of Rosatom. (Credit: TenamUSA)

“An FBI informant connected to the Uranium One controversy told three congressional committees in a written statement that Moscow routed millions of dollars to America with the expectation it would be used to benefit Bill Clinton‘s charitable efforts while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton quarterbacked a “reset” in U.S.-Russian relations.

The informant, [William] Douglas Campbell, said in the statement obtained by The Hill that he was told by Russian nuclear executives that Moscow had hired the American lobbying firm APCO Worldwide specifically because it was in position to influence the Obama administration, and more specifically Hillary Clinton.

Democrats have cast doubt on Campbell’s credibility, setting the stage for a battle with Republicans over his testimony.

Campbell added in the testimony that Russian nuclear officials “told me at various times that they expected APCO to apply a portion of the $3 million annual lobbying fee it was receiving from the Russians to provide in-kind support for the Clintons’ Global Initiative.”

“The contract called for four payments of $750,000 over twelve months. APCO was expected to give assistance free of charge to the Clinton Global Initiative as part of their effort to create a favorable environment to ensure the Obama administration made affirmative decisions on everything from Uranium One to the U.S.-Russia Civilian Nuclear Cooperation agreement.”

APCO officials told The Hill that its support for the Clinton Global Initiative and its work with Russia were not connected in any way, and in fact involved different divisions of the firm. They added their lobbying for Russia did not involve Uranium One but rather focused on regulatory issues aimed at helping Russia better compete for nuclear fuel contracts inside the United States. (Read more: The Hill, 2/07/18)

December 15, 2017 – FBI informant, William Douglas Campbell, is interviewed by FBI agents from Arkansas, regarding Clinton donors connected to Uranium One

William Dennis Campbell (Credit: Tenam, USA)

(…) In his first on-camera interview, William Douglas Campbell told The Hill he was interviewed for about five hours in December by FBI agents from Little Rock, Ark., who were investigating whether donations to the Clinton’s charitable empire were used to influence U.S. nuclear policy during the Obama years.

(…) “Campbell worked as an FBI undercover informant from 2008 through 2014 inside Russia’s nuclear industry, helping to uncover a bribery, kickback, money laundering and extortion scheme that sent several Russian and U.S. executives to prison.

He was summoned for a closed-door congressional interview last month by Republicans, who believe the criminal wrongdoing Campbell uncovered should have stopped the Obama administration from approving the sale of the Uranium One mining firm and billions of dollars in U.S. nuclear fuel contracts to Russia. House Democrats issued a blistering memo attacking Campbell’s credibility, saying he couldn’t identify specific crimes committed by the Clintons and suffered from memory lapses that required him to rely on written notes.

Campbell dismissed the Democrats’ attacks as partisan.

(…) Campbell also disputed allegations by anonymous Justice officials and Democrats that while undercover he may have engaged in illegal payments with the Russians without approval. He said Moscow asked him to pay $25,000 in 2010 to hire a consultant to train him on nuclear issues and that his FBI handlers “sanctioned and were aware that I was transferring those monies.” When the Russians didn’t provide the consulting and asked for more money, the agents recognized it was a kickback scheme and authorized him to keep making payments so they could make a criminal case, he said.

He dismissed suggestions he lacked credibility, noting the FBI recently asked him for fresh information and paid him a $51,000 reward in 2016.

“I was embraced and told what a good job I had done,” he said. (Read more: The Hill, 3/22/2018)

November 22, 2017 – Jeff Sessions orders further scrutiny of Uranium One and the Clinton Foundation

(Credit: The Associated Press)

“After it claimed no such document existed, the Justice Department just unearthed a letter Matt Whitaker delivered to the Utah U.S. attorney directing a review of how the department handled the Clinton Foundation and the Uranium One issues.

Then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions wrote the letter on Nov. 22, 2017 for Utah U.S. Attorney John Huber. Matt Whitaker, who was Sessions’ chief of staff at the time, emailed the letter to Huber that day, writing, “As we discussed.” He also sent Huber a copy of a letter the Justice Department’s Congressional affairs chief sent to the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee on Nov. 13 of that year.

The existence of a letter documenting Sessions’ directive that the DOJ revisit probes of Trump’s top political foe is a surprise because a department lawyer said in court last year that senior officials insisted it didn’t exist. The liberal nonprofit American Oversight obtained the letter through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request they filed on Nov. 22, 2017––the same day Whitaker emailed Sessions’ letter to Huber.

The request asked for documentation of the directions Sessions gave Huber about the review of the Clinton investigations. After DOJ failed to produce any written directions, American Oversight sued.

And on Nov. 16, 2018, Senior Counsel in the Office of Information Policy Vanessa Brinkmann, who handles FOIA Requests, said a lawyer in Sessions’ office told her no such letter existed. That lawyer spoke with Huber and Whitaker, she said in a declaration filed in federal court, and then told her that “when the Attorney General directed Mr. Huber to evaluate these matters, no written guidance or directives were issued to Mr. Huber in connection with this directive, either by the Attorney General, or by other senior leadership office staff.”

That wasn’t correct. On Wednesday of last week, a DOJ lawyer told American Oversight that they had found the document that kicked off Huber’s work.

The letter, which American Oversight provided to The Daily Beast, is consistent with what the DOJ’s chief of legislative affairs has told Congress: that Huber is scrutinizing the sale of a Canadian uranium mining company with interests in the United States to Rosatom, a Russian state-owned company. Republicans have long alleged that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declined to oppose the deal because of contributions to the Clinton Foundation.” (Read more: The Daily Beast, 3/09/2019)

October 22, 2010 – Red flags are raised in national security assessments of the Uranium One deal

(Credit: public domain)

“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)

October 22, 2010 – The Obama administration and CFIUS committee approve the Uranium One deal

(Credit: public domain)

“Before the Obama administration approved a controversial deal in 2010 giving Moscow control of a large swath of American uranium, the FBI had gathered substantial evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States, according to government documents and interviews.

Federal agents used a confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather extensive financial records, make secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009 that showed Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FBI and court documents show.

They also obtained an eyewitness account — backed by documents — indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow, sources told The Hill.

The racketeering scheme was conducted “with the consent of higher level officials” in Russia who “shared the proceeds” from the kickbacks, one agent declared in an affidavit years later.

Rather than bring immediate charges in 2010, however, the Department of Justice (DOJ) continued investigating the matter for nearly four more years, essentially leaving the American public and Congress in the dark about Russian nuclear corruption on U.S. soil during a period when the Obama administration made two major decisions benefiting Putin’s commercial nuclear ambitions.

The first decision occurred in October 2010, when the State Department and government agencies on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States unanimously approved the partial sale of Canadian mining company Uranium One to the Russian nuclear giant Rosatom, giving Moscow control of more than 20 percent of America’s uranium supply.” (Read more: The Hill, 10/17/2017)

May 14, 2010 – Bill Clinton seeks State’s permission to meet with Russian nuclear official during Obama uranium decision

Arkady Dvorkovich (Credit: public domain)

“As he prepared to collect a $500,000 payday in Moscow in 2010, Bill Clinton sought clearance from the State Department to meet with a key board director of the Russian nuclear energy firm Rosatom — which at the time needed the Obama administration’s approval for a controversial uranium deal, government records show.

Arkady Dvorkovich, a top aide to then-Russian President Dmitri Medvedev and one of the highest-ranking government officials to serve on Rosatom’s board of supervisors, was listed on a May 14, 2010, email as one of 15 Russians the former president wanted to meet during a late June 2010 trip, the documents show.

“In the context of a possible trip to Russia at the end of June, WJC is being asked to see the business/government folks below. Would State have concerns about WJC seeing any of these folks,” Clinton Foundation foreign policy adviser Amitabh Desai wrote the State Department on May 14, 2010, using the former president’s initials and forwarding the list of names to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s team.

The email went to two of Hillary Clinton’s most senior advisers, Jake Sullivan and Cheryl Mills.

The approval question, however, sat inside State for nearly two weeks without an answer, prompting Desai to make multiple pleas for a decision.

“Dear Jake, we urgently need feedback on this. Thanks, Ami,” the former president’s aide wrote in early June.

Sullivan finally responded on June 7, 2010, asking a fellow State official “What’s the deal w this?”

Bill Clinton meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin just weeks before the controversial Uranium One deal is signed. (Credit: public domain)

The documents don’t indicate what decision the State Department finally made. But current and former aides to both Clintons told The Hill on Thursday the request to meet the various Russians came from other people, and the ex-president’s aides and State decided in the end not to hold any of the meetings with the Russians on the list.

Bill Clinton instead got together with Vladimir Putin at the Russian leader’s private homestead.

“Requests of this type were run by the State Department as a matter of course. This was yet another one of those instances. Ultimately, President Clinton did not meet with these people,” Angel Urena, the official spokesperson for the former president, told The Hill.

Aides to the ex-president, Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation said Bill Clinton did not have any conversations about Rosatom or the Uranium One deal while in Russia, and that no one connected to the deal was involved in the trip.” (Read more: The Hill, 10/19/2017)

2010 – 2011: Clintons understate support from firm hired by Russian nuclear company

Margery Kraus, founder and executive chairman, APCO Worldwide (Credit: public domain)

“The Clinton Foundation’s donor disclosure site vastly understated support that the Clinton Global Initiative received from APCO Worldwide, a global communications firm that lobbied on behalf of Russia’s state-owned nuclear company.

The site, created to detect conflicts of interest for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton because of her family’s various charitable efforts, shows APCO gave between $25,000 and $50,000 over the last decade.

But according to interviews and internal documents reviewed by The Hill, APCO was much more generous and provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in pro-bono services and in-kind contributions to the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) between 2008 and 2016.

For instance, an internal CGI document prepared in fall 2011 lists APCO’s in-kind contribution at $275,000 for that year alone. And APCO’s annual report on its global charitable efforts boasted of a large jump in support for CGI in 2011.

“In 2011, APCO significantly increased its pro-bono support for CGI and, for the first time, our team managed the press around CGI’s America meeting, as well as its global Annual Meeting,” APCO stated in a report submitted to the United Nations Global Compact.

The increase in the contributions came as APCO was paid $3 million in 2010 and 2011 to work for Rosatom, Russia’s state-owned nuclear company. Rosatom paid APCO to lobby the State Department and other federal agencies on behalf of its Tenex subsidiary, which sought to increase its commercial uranium sales in the United States.

In 2010 and 2011, APCO made more than 50 contacts with federal and congressional figures for Tenex, including at least 10 at the State Department, its foreign agent disclosure reports show.

APCO officials estimate their total cash support for CGI totaled $45,600 and their in-kind support to CGI exceeded $1 million since 2008. They also acknowledged that the firm’s pro-bono work increased significantly in 2011 while it worked for Tenex. But they insisted there was no connection between the professional and pro-bono work because separate units of the firm handled each.” (Read more: The Hill, 11/28/2017)

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)