While concerns over Russian penetration into the political system in the 2015-16 election cycle continue to percolate, allegations of other such penetrations continue to gain steam. The Hill’s John Solomon reports that an FBI informant has testified to three congressional committees that Moscow had taken special aim at political figures in its attempt to corner the global market on nuclear fuel. That penetration involved the Clinton Foundation, William Douglas Campbell insists, and the Obama administration knew it:
An FBI informant connected to the Uranium One controversy told three congressional committees in a written statement that Moscow routed millions of dollars to America with the expectation it would be used to benefit Bill Clinton’s charitable efforts while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton quarterbacked a “reset” in US-Russian relations.
The informant, Douglas Campbell, said in the statement obtained by The Hill that he was told by Russian nuclear executives that Moscow had hired the American lobbying firm APCO Worldwide specifically because it was in position to influence the Obama administration, and more specifically Hillary Clinton. …
Campbell said Russian nuclear officials “told me at various times that they expected APCO to apply a portion of the $3 million annual lobbying fee it was receiving from the Russians to provide in-kind support for the Clinton’s Global Initiative,” he added in the testimony.
“The contract called for four payments of $750,000 over twelve months. APCO was expected to give assistance free of charge to the Clinton Global Initiative as part of their effort to create a favorable environment to ensure the Obama administration made affirmative decisions on everything from Uranium One to the U.S.-Russia Civilian Nuclear Cooperation agreement.“
As Solomon reported in October, the FBI discovered a Russian bribery and kickback operation in 2009. Campbell became an informant for the FBI, pushing bribes with their knowledge, often with his own money, in order to help illuminate the trail. His efforts helped get lower-level indictments, but then a funny thing happened, Campbell told Solomon. Rather than shutting down the efforts to grab control of US uranium producers, the Obama administration instead approved the deals — despite what Campbell had helped the FBI uncover:
Campbell, whose work as an informant was first disclosed in a series of stories published last fall by The Hill, helped the FBI gathered evidence as early as 2009 that the Russian nuclear industry was engaged in a kickback, bribery and racketeering scheme on U.S. soil. The criminal scheme, among other things, compromised the U.S. trucking firm that had the sensitive job of transporting uranium around America, Campbell testified.
Campbell says he provided the FBI the evidence of wrongdoing months before the Obama administration approved a series of favorable decisions that enriched Rosatom, including the CFIUS decision.
Even more curiously, the Obama administration went ahead with the deal even though they knew Russia was helping Iran to advance its nuclear industry. Sara Carter noted this in her report yesterday:
An informant who spent years gathering information on the Russian energy and uranium market industry for the FBI, met staff members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, House Oversight, and House Intelligence Committees on Wednesday. He gave explosive testimony on his years as an undercover informant providing information to the FBI on Russian criminal networks operating in the United States. He also contends in his testimony, and written briefs, to the FBI that Russia attempted to hide its ongoing aid to help sustain Iran’s nuclear industry, at the time the Obama administration approved the sale of 20 percent of U.S. uranium mining rights to Russia. …
Campbell testified before numerous Congressional members and investigators that his extensive counterintelligence work on Russia and stated that during his time as an informant, he obtained information that Russia was continuing to aid the Iranian government by providing tools and equipment necessary for the nation’s nuclear reactors, despite promises that they were not sharing such technology with Iran.
In an April 16, 2010, summary brief provided to his former FBI handlers and obtained by this reporter, he stressed his deep concerns about Tenex, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Russian state nuclear arm, Rosatom and its ongoing work to provide Iran with the technology needed for its nuclear reactor program.
At the time, Rosatom was seeking the approval to purchase the Canadian mining company Uranium One, which controlled roughly 20 percent of American uranium.
“TENEX continues to supply Iran with fuel through their Russian company TVEL,” stated Campbell in a 2010 brief provided to the FBI in 2010. TVEL is a Russian nuclear fuel cycle company headquartered in Moscow. “They (TVEL) continue to assist with construction consult and fabricated assemblies to supply the reactor. Fabricated assemblies require sophisticated engineering and are arranged inside the reactor with the help and consult of TVEL.” …
“I was speechless and angry in October 2010 when CFIUS approved the Uranium One sale to Rosatom. I was deeply worried that TLI continued to transport sensitive uranium despite the fact that it had been compromised by the bribery scheme,” stated Campbell in his testimony to lawmakers. “I expressed these concerns repeatedly to my FBI handlers. The response I got was that “politics” was somehow involved. I remember one response I got from an agent when I asked how it was possible CFIUS would approve the Uranium One sale when the FBI could prove Rosatom was engaged in criminal conduct. His answer: “Ask your politics.”
And yet, the Obama administration did nothing to stop the deal or cut off Russian penetrations. Why? Recall that in 2009, Hillary Clinton was busy handing a “reset button” to Russia’s Sergei Lavrov and Barack Obama was insisting that he could manage a friendly relationship better than George W. Bush did. Even as late as 2012, Obama was caught on a live microphone telling then-Russian president Dmitri Medvedev to ask Vladimir Putin to be patient, as Obama would have “more flexibility” after the election. Obama wanted a grand deal with Putin on nuclear arms, just the same way he wanted a grand deal with Iran on the same issue. Only when later Russian penetration into American politics cut against Obama and Hillary’s interests did the Russians finally become a bête noire for both of them.
Carter and Campbell’s attorney Victoria Toensing discussed this last night on Sean Hannity. It’s mainly a recap of the two articles linked above, but it’s doubtful you’ll see any other coverage on other networks, so enjoy it while you can (via Jeff Dunetz):