I’m not sure if this is a “bombshell” report from the New York Times this morning or if it’s just more of the same old same old when it comes to Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation. The Paper of Record has been digging into more details from Peter Schweizer’s upcoming book, Clinton Cash, and finds that there was a lot of money changing hands between interests in Russia, Canada and the United states at a time when Russia was moving to try to gain control of a significant portion of the world’s uranium supplies. (It’s something they seem to have been spectacularly successful at, by the way, since they now own roughly a quarter of the total resources.)
At The Week, Peter Weber summarizes some of the top lines from this extremely complicated story.
From 2009 to 2013, when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, a Russian company owned by state atomic energy agency Rosatom slowly took over a Canadian company that controlled about 20 percent of America’s uranium deposits, The New York Times details in a long exposé. At the same time, people connected to the Canadian company, Uranium One, donated millions to the Clinton Foundation, and some of those donations weren’t disclosed on the foundation’s public donor list, The Times reports.
Since uranium is considered a strategic asset, the Rosatom’s final deal to take a 51 stake Uranium One had to be approved by the cabinet-level Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which included Clinton’s office along with several other cabinet secretaries.
When I said some of the top lines above I was referring to the fact that the Rosatom / Uranium One deals are burying the lede to a certain extent. There are a couple of specifics in the Gray Lady piece which scream for a bit more attention but don’t show up until many paragraphs down in the article. Uranium One’s chairman gave the Clinton Foundation $2.35M dollars which was not reported to the Obama administration by Hillary Clinton while she was Secretary of State, though there was an agreement in place that all such donations were to be accounted for. And lest you think all of the cash was flowing to the charitable work of the foundation, there was this:
And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.
That’s a half million dollars for one speech from a Russian investment bank. Pretty good work if you can get it, but the timing is certainly suspicious.
The problem with all of this is the same as it’s been since the first of these stories began cropping up. It’s extremely difficult to identify any sort of direct quid pro quo as you pull on the individual threads of the story. In these deals, money was moving around from hand to hand in multiple countries with the end result being approval of deals which the State Department could say were going to be approved anyway. And when the money is flowing into a charitable organization with Hillary Clinton’s name on it rather than her own private bank account it adds on another layer of obfuscation. That’s why it seems to me that the speech payment to Bill (who shares family resources with Hillary) is the more startling story than the other donations. Further, if there was an “agreement” in place that all such donations be reported and Hillary’s foundation failed to do so, that’s also more significant than the actual cash. Does a failure to report constitute a violation of any laws? I’m guessing it won’t, but it still stinks to High Heaven.
Also, while I’m sure we’ll have more on this later today, there’s a parallel story breaking at the same time. Somebody noticed that during three of the years when the foundation was taking in all of these foreign donations, they reported to the IRS that they had received zero such government donations. The foundation has said that those were “accounting errors.”
I’m pretty sure Al Capone said the same thing.