By John Solomon
The Senate Judiciary Committee has launched a probe into a Russian nuclear bribery case, demanding several federal agencies disclose whether they knew the FBI had uncovered the corruption before the Obama administration in 2010 approved a controversial uranium deal with Moscow.
The senator cited a series of The Hill stories that showed the FBI had evidence that Russian nuclear officials were involved in a racketeering scheme as early as 2009, well before the uranium deal was approved.
“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 purchase of Uranium One,” Grassley said. “That purchase was approved during 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?” he asked Sessions.
Sessions responded: “I would offer that some people have gone to jail in that transaction already, but the article talks about other issues. Without confirming or denying existence of any particular investigation, I would say I hear your concerns and they will be reviewed.”
Senate Judiciary aides said the committee had sent requests for information to 10 federal agencies involved in the Russian uranium approvals.
The committee is discussing other bipartisan requests to make in the coming days, and Grassley also is expected to seek access to potential witnesses soon, escalating from the information requests he made a few years back, according to people familiar with the investigation.
The senator also specifically conveyed in recent letters he no longer accepts the Obama administration’s assurances from 2015 that there was no basis to block the Uranium One deal.
“I am not convinced by these assurances,” Grassley wrote the Homeland Security Department last week. “The sale of Uranium One resulted in a Russian government takeover of a significant portion of U.S. uranium mining capacity. In light of that fact, very serious questions remain about the basis for the finding that this transaction did not threaten to impair U.S. national security.”
Though Wednesday’s hearing was scheduled for other purposes, aides said they expected Grassley to ask Sessions questions about a story published in The Hill on Tuesday that disclosed the FBI had uncovered evidence showing Russian nuclear officials were engaged in a racketeering scheme involving bribes, kickbacks and money laundering designed to expand Russian President Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business on U.S. soil…Continue Reading →
This article (Senate Judiciary opens probe into Obama-era Russian nuclear bribery case) was originally published on The Hill and syndicated by The Event Chronicle.