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Atty. Toensing on Uranium Scandal: Obama Was Briefed on Russian Bribery, Kickback Operation

Michael W. Chapman
By Michael W. Chapman | November 1, 2017 | 1:42 PM EDT

President Barack Obama and
Russian President Vladimir
Putin (YouTube)

Although President Barack Obama apparently was briefed in 2009-2014 about a bribery and money laundering scheme involving a Russian official and Russian subsidiary involved in the transportation of uranium in the United States, the Obama administration, with the blessing of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, agreed to selling the Vancouver-based Uranium One company to Rosatom (Russia's State Atomic Energy Corporation), which gave the Russians (and President Vladimir Putin)  control over 20% of U.S. uranium production. 

Prior to, during, and after this sale in October 2010, at least nine investors in Uranium One gave $145 million to the Clinton Foundation. Bill Clinton personally received $500,000 for a speech sponsored by a Russian bank that supported the purchase of Uranium One.

 

An attorney, Victoria Toensing, who represents an undercover informant who helped the FBI in its investigation of the kickback and money laundering scheme, said her client has information on how bribery money came from Russian operatives, and how these Russians were seeking to expand their holdings in the uranium market and "peddle influence with the State Department and the Clintons."

Toensing, speaking on the Oct. 25 edition of Hannity, also said that her client "was being told by the FBI that President Obama was being briefed on this matter" as the investigation was occuring 2009-2014.

Investigative reporters John Solomon and Sara Carter, also on the Hannity program, confirmed some of Toensing's statements and stressed that the money being used to buy influence was "coming from Moscow."

"There is no doubt that the color of money that was raining down during this period was noticeably red," said Solomon.  "It was coming from Moscow. I have been working on a project just putting all the different money that's came in from Russia. It is over $40 million over a two-, three-year period going to people around the Clintons. That can't be an accident." 

President Bill Clinton (Screenshot YouTube) 

That money does not include the multi-million-dollar donations made to the Clinton Foundation. 

Further, the informant apparently has emails, documents, and tapes that "show the bribery, the racketeering, the corruption, the money laundering and the extortion," noted Hannity, and Victoria Toensing said, "Yes."

She added,  "And he can put a lot of meat on those bones that Sara and John have built for us. He can give context and he can tell about conversations, the Russians had, about what they were doing with various piles of money and the Uranium One."

When asked by Hannity where the money came form, Toensing said, "Russia." 

Hannity then asked Carter and Solomon, "So, for four years, this FBI informant, Victoria's client, worked undercover and he discovered a network, if you will, evidence that showed not only did they use money laundering, kickbacks, bribery, extortion, but that they also had the evidence that this was a network that was being built and designed by Moscow and Vladimir Putin to corner uranium market in this country. He knew that. He knew that at the time. Is that what you're saying?"

Carter said, "That's exactly what I'm saying."

She continued, "I mean, one of the biggest issues was that Vladimir Putin wanted to penetrate the U.S./uranium market as well as our energy market. This was a huge deal for him. He wanted to move this through. It was a main, main point. And all of the things that he did."

Russian national Vadim Mikerin, former president of Tenam, a subsidiary of
Tenex, which is owned by Rosatom, the Russian State Atomic Energy
Corporation, which now controls 20% of U.S.
uranium production. (YouTube) 

Commenting on the Russian official, Vadim Mikerin, and two other people -- Daren Condrey and Boris Rubizhevsky -- who were convicted in the bribery and money laundering scheme, Solomon said that the sentencing documents show "there is no doubt that this compromised America's nuclear security. With no doubt that it was a corrupt scheme that could have put uranium in danger."

The informant worked undercover for the FBI in the Mikerin case. As explained by the Department of Justice (DOJ) in August 2015, two U.S. conspirators -- Condrey and Rubishevsky -- paid over $2 million to influence the Russian nuclear energy official, Mikerin, and to secure business with the state-owned Russian nuclear energy company, Rosatom. 

"According to court documents," said the DOJ, "Mikerin was the president of TENAM Corporation and a director of the Pan American Department of JSC Techsnabexport (TENEX).  TENAM, based in Bethesda, Maryland, is a wholly-owned subsidiary and the official representative of TENEX in the United States. 

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, former director of the
FBI, 2001-2013. 
(You Tube screenshot) 
 

"TENEX, based in Moscow, acts as the sole supplier and exporter of Russian Federation uranium and uranium enrichment services to nuclear power companies worldwide.  TENEX is a subsidiary of Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation [Rosatom]."

The conspiracy essentially involved Mikerin providing uranium transportation contracts bid-free to a transportation firm run by Condrey. In exchange, Condrey paid kickbacks to Mikerin. Rubishevsky, according to the DOJ, acted as a middle man to launder the payments to Mikerin. 

"Court documents show that between 2004 and October 2014, conspirators agreed to make corrupt payments to influence Mikerin and to secure improper business advantages for U.S. companies that did business with TENEX, in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)," stated the DOJ on Dec. 15, 2015.  "Mikerin admitted that he conspired with Daren Condrey, Boris Rubizhevsky and others to transmit approximately $2,126,622 from Maryland and elsewhere in the United States to offshore shell company bank accounts located in Cyprus, Latvia and Switzerland with the intent to promote the FCPA violations.  Mikerin further admitted that the conspirators used consulting agreements and code words to disguise the corrupt payments." (Emphasis added.) 

James Comey, former FBI director, 2013-2017. (YouTube) 

In December 2015, Vadim Mikerin was sentenced to 48 months in prison for conspiracy to commit money laundering "in connection with his role in arranging more than $2 million in corrupt payments to influence the awarding of contracts with a Russian state-owned nuclear energy corporation," stated the DOJ. Condrey and Rubizhevsky pleaded guiilty, respectively, to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. 

Some of the lead investigators in the case included Rod J. Rosenstein, who is now deputy attorney general of the United States and Andrew G. McCabe, who is now the deputy director of the FBI. During the bulk of the investigation, Robert Mueller was the FBI director; in September 2013, James Comey became the FBI director. 

In 2017, Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller as Special Counsel to investigate alleged collusion with Russia by the 2016 Trump campaign. 

Tony Podesta, the brother of long-time Bill and Hillary Clinton adviser John Podesta -- who ran Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign -- resigned from his lobbying firm, the Podesta Group, apparently because the firm has been drawn into the Russian collusion investigation headed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, as the New York Times reported on Oct. 30, 2017. 

Hillary Clinton and John Podesta.  (YouTube) 

"No charges have been brought against Mr. Podesta or officials from the Podesta Group or Mercury," reported The Times. "But both firms have been subpoenaed for records and testimony about their work on behalf of a client referred to them in 2012 by Mr. Manafort and Mr. Gates, the European Center for a Modern Ukraine, a nonprofit group based in Brussels."

Incidentally,  the database at OpenSecrets.org shows that the Podesta Group has done some lobbying work for Uranium One. In 2012, the Podesta Group was paid $40,000 by Uranium One for lobbying expenses; in 2014, $80,000; and in 2015, $60,000

Onhis Oct. 25 broadcast, Sean Hannity asked Sara Carter,  "Let's go to 2009, what did the FBI know and why would people like Robert Mueller, the director of the FBI at the time, or Rod Rosenstein, who was the head in the investigation, why would they have ignored this and then, also, the Department of Justice, Eric Holder had to know what the FBI had. Why would he ever sign off on giving Putin 20 percent of our uranium when the evidence shows he was trying to corner market here?"

Carter said, "Back in 2009, they were well aware of money laundering, kickbacks connected to the Russian uranium industry and connected to firms here inside, you know, inside the United States.... [W]here did that money go and who they were bribing? And how real a National Security threat was this? I mean, was this just kind of covered up?"

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, a former lead attorney in the
Mikerin bribery and money laundering case involving the transportation
of uranium into the United States. (YouTube) 

"I think right now the House Intelligence Committee, the House Oversight Committee, the Senate Judiciary Committee and hopefully, a special counsel will look into this and connect all of those dots," said Carter.

Last week, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) called on the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel to investigate the Uranium One scandal. Also, according to Toensing, she is working out details for her client to brief members of Congress on what he knows. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. (YouTube) 

 


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Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman