Representative Peter King (R-N.Y.), who serves on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said there are a lot of questions to be answered about why the Obama administration agreed to sell 20% of U.S. uranium production to Russia in 2010, especially when there was an FBI investigation at the time involving bribery and kickbacks to a Russian official and that the FBI never told Congress about the crime, the people involved, and the prosecution of the case.
"I know Congress was never told about this investigation," Rep. King said on Varney & Co., Oct. 24. "Why did the FBI close down the investigation? Robert Mueller was head of the FBI then. It raises a lot of questions.” (Mueller is now the special counsel investigating alleged Russian collusion with the 2016 Trump campaign.)
Between 2009 and 2014, an American undercover informant helped the FBI investigate a bribery and money-laundering conspiracy, in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, involving at least two Americans and one Russian nuclear official engaged in the transportation of uranium into the United States. The Russian worked for a subsidiary of the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom).
In October 2010, despite the FBI's evidence of corruption, bribery, and money-laundering involving a senior Russian nuclear official, the Obama administration, through the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which included then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, agreed to sell the Vancouver-based Uranium One company to Rosatom. The sale gave Rosatom control over 20% of U.S. uranium capacity.
Prior to, during, and after that sale's approval by the Obama administration, at least nine investors donated $145 million to the Clinton Foundation, which is headed by former Democratic President Bill Clinton.
On Varney & Co., host Stuart Varney said to Rep. King, “First of all, congressman, the uranium deal. $145 million? That’s a shocking number to us, at least.”
Rep. King said, “Stu, all of this has to be looked into. What’s really changed the game here is that there have been very credible news reports recently that an FBI informant has come out and said that back in 2007, 2008, 2009 there was an active FBI investigation showing bribery, and corruption, and influence peddling by the Russians to try to get this uranium deal approved."
“Our question is, number one, if that’s true, did the FBI notify the Obama administration?" said King. "Did they notify the Justice Department? Did they notify the Treasury Department and State Department? And if so, why did the deal go forward?"
“Back in 2010, I sent a letter to Tim Geithner in the Treasury Department, who had to approve this deal – one of those who had to approve the deal – and learning not of the corruption, I was not aware of the corruption," said King.
"But I was aware of why would we be giving 20% of our uranium supply to a company which is owned by the Russian government, controlled by the Russian government?" said the congressman. "He [Geithner] said he was on top of it. The CFIUS committee on foreign investment in the U.S. was thoroughly investigating this."
“Well, if they were, were they told by the FBI about the investigation and, if so, why did they go ahead and approve it?" said King.
"I know Congress was never told about this investigation," he said.
"Why did the FBI close down the investigation?" he said. "Robert Mueller was head of the FBI then. It raises a lot of questions.”
When the FBI was gathering its case (2009-2014), two of the senior people involved were U.S. attorney Rod J. Rosenstein, currently the deputy attorney general of the United States, and FBI execuitve Andrew McCabe, who currently is the deputy director of the FBI. Robert Mueller was the FBI director until September 2013, when James Comey became the director.
Comey was fired by President Donald Trump in May 2017 and Mueller was appointed special counsel by Rosenstein to investigate alleged Russian collusion in the 2016 Trump campaign.
Some of the members of the CFIUS committee included Hillary Clinton, Attorney General Eric Holder, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
Two House committees and the Senate Judiciary Committee are investigating the Uranium One scandal. Details reportedly are being worked out for the FBI informant to brief members of Congress about what he knows.