With new information just coming out about a bribery scandal surrounding the controversial Uranium One deal of 2010, the Senate Judiciary is taking action and will probe the scandal looking for answers.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has launched a probe into a Russian nuclear bribery case to determine whether several federal agencies knew the FBI had uncovered a racketeering scheme involving Russian officials, prior to the Obama administration’s controversial Uranium deal with Moscow in 2010.
According to The Hill, aides for the Senate Judiciary Committee revealed the committee has sent requests to 10 federal agencies for information relating to their approval of Russia’s Rosatom to buy Uranium One, a Canadian mining company that controlled 20 percent of America’s uranium deposits.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, questioned Attorney General Jeff Sessions Wednesday about a series of reports by The Hill revealing the FBI had obtained evidence as early as 2009 showing that officials for the Russian company making the Uranium One purchase were involved in a racketeering scheme.
However, the Department of Justice waited until 2014 to bring any charges on the evidence first gathered in 2009 and 2010, according to The Hill.
“According to government documents and recent news reports, the Justice Department had an ongoing criminal investigation for bribery, extortion, money laundering, into officials for a Russian company making the purchase of Uranium One,” Grassley said. “That purchase was approved during the previous administration and resulted in Russians owning 20 percent of America’s uranium mining capacity.
“What are you doing to find out how Russian takeover of American uranium was allowed to occur despite criminal conduct by Russian company that the Obama administration approved to make the purchase?” Grassley asked Sessions.
Sessions said he was unable to confirm or deny the existence of an investigation into the Uranium One deal, but revealed that some individuals involved with the transaction have already gone to jail. He also added that Grassley’s concerns will be reviewed.
Grassley followed up by asking Sessions if former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s financial connection with the Russian officials involved in the Uranium One deal had any connection to the Obama administration’s approval of the deal.
“Reports suggest that the Clinton Foundation received millions of dollars from interested parties in the transaction,” Grassley said.
“Bill Clinton received $500,000 for a speech in Moscow (in) June 2010 from a Russian government-aligned bank. The same month as the speech, Russia began the uranium acquisition process. This fact pattern raises serious concerns about improper political influence on the process by the Clinton’s during the Obama administration.”
“Has the Justice Department fully investigated whether the Russians compromised the Obama administration’s decisions to smooth a way for transactions and if not, why not?” Grassley asked Sessions.
“We are working hard to maintain discipline in the department,” Sessions responded. “It wouldn’t be appropriate for me to comment on any ongoing investigations.”