Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is demanding that the Department of Justice answer questions about Hillary Clinton’s role in the 2010 deal that gave the Russian government, through its wholly owned nuclear energy company known as ARMZ, a controlling 51 percent interest in Uranium One, the Canadian company that at the time owned 20 percent of U.S. uranium deposits.
Grassley sent a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, asking her to answer several questions about the deal that was approved by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) an interagency panel on which representatives of the Department of Treasury, the Department of State, the Department of Justice and six other cabinet departments or agencies sit.
The agency, authorized statutorily by the Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007 (FINSA) is required to review and approve or reject any foreign investments in American companies, or foreign companies that own substantial American assets, that will have an impact on national security.
At the time of the 2010 CFIUS approval of the Uranium One-ARMZ transaction, Hillary Clinton served as Secretary of State. Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Jose W. Fernandez served as her representative on CFIUS.
Former Attorney General Eric Holder headed the Department of Justice at the time of the 2010 transaction. It has not been publicly reported who from the Department of Justice represented him on the CFIUS panel at the time.
“In light of the gravity of the decision to allow a Russian takeover of almost a quarter of U.S. uranium assets,” Grassley wrote, “it is in the public interest to determine the facts and circumstances of the transaction, including any potential donations that could have influenced the CFIUS review process.”
In his letter, Grassley asked Lynch to answer these four questions by July 16:
1. What role did the Department of Justice play in the Uranium One/ARMZ transaction? Please explain in detail.
2. Please list the Department of Justice personnel that were involved in the Uranium One/ARMZ transaction.
3. Did Secretary Clinton’s relationship with the Clinton Foundation require her to recuse herself from the CFIUS’s review of the Uranium One/ARMZ transaction? If so, did she recuse herself? If the relationship did not require recusal, please explain why not.
4. Was Attorney General Holder briefed by Department of Justice personnel regarding the Uranium One/ARMZ transaction? If so, by whom and how many times? If not, why not?
You can read the full letter here.
Grassley also touched on several problematic issues on which Breitbart News reported previously and first brought to public attention by Breitbart editor-at-large Peter Schweizer, in his book Clinton Cash, released in May. Among the concerns cited by Grassley:
[B]etween 2008 and 2010, Uranium One and former UrAsia investors donated $8.65 million to the Clinton Foundation. During this period of time, Uranium One’s legal hold on the Kazakhstan-based uranium deposits was in doubt. Allegedly, Uranium One executives contacted U.S. Embassy officials in Kazakhstan to help ensure the validity of their mining licenses. According to The New York Times, the State Department cable explaining the circumstances was copied to Secretary Clinton, among other individuals. In 2009, when the validity of the mining licenses was at issue, the Chairman of Uranium One, Mr. Ian Telfer, donated $1 million to the Clinton Foundation via his family charity called the Fernwood Foundation. In the same year, ARMZ acquired a 17% stake in Uranium One and the parties sought an initial CFIUS review.
In June 2010, Rosatom, via ARMZ, sought majority ownership in Uranium One. According to news reports, Mr. Telfer donated $250,000 to the Clinton Foundation during this crucial time. In total, Mr. Telfer donated over $2 million through 2013.10 In addition, in June 2010, President Clinton was paid $500,000 for a speech in Russia, funded by a Russian investment bank that assigned a buy rating to Uranium One stock and also reportedly had ties to the Kremlin. In October 2010, CFIUS approved Rosatom’s plan to acquire a controlling 51% stake and, in January 2013, Rosatom purchased all remaining Uranium One shares.
If the news reports are true, Secretary Clinton’s involvement in the decision-making process needs to be more closely examined given that the Clinton Foundation was accepting donations from parties who had a stake in the outcome of the uranium deal.
Grassley also noted that “[t]he risk of conflicts with Secretary Clinton at State was so great that the Clinton Foundation and the Obama Administration entered into a memorandum of understanding which, in part, required donations to be disclosed. However, millions of dollars in donations to the Clinton Foundation from executives with an interest in the Uranium One/ARMZ transaction were not disclosed, breaching the agreement.”
In his letter, Grassley asserted that: “The amount of time between filing [of the request for approval of the ARMZ-Uranium One Transaction in the first week of August 2010] and final resolution [on October 22, 2010] is less than the 75-90 day review that, according to statute, is generally the timeline.”
Earlier, Breitbart News reported that the deal was approved by CFIUS only 52 days after Uranium One shareholders approved the transaction on August 31, 2010. In that article, Breitbart noted, as Senator Grassley observed, that Uranium One’s management told its shareholders they had submitted the transaction to CFIUS for its approval during the first week of August.
As Breitbart reported in May:
The speedy approval of the ARMZ-Uranium One transaction (CFIUS Case No. 10-40) raises the possibility that the deal may have received expedited treatment, though the management of Canadian based Uranium One stated in a Management Information Circular/Notice to Shareholders published August 6, 2010 and dated August 3, 2010 that “Uranium One and ARMZ intend to submit a joint voluntary notice with CFIUS during the first week of August 2010.”
Senator Grassley also noted that “[t]he timing of donations to the Clinton Foundation raises the appearance of potential influence in CFIUS’s review process.”
In May, Breitbart News reported that “[t]wo legal experts tell Breitbart News Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation could be in legal peril for violating United States statutes, as found in 18 U.S. Code § 201 – Bribery of public officials and witnesses.”
As Breitbart News reported at the time:
When asked if the donations to the Clinton Foundation by defense contractors including Boeing (which subsequently received State Department approval of sales of their products to foreign governments) constituted a violation of domestic bribery statues, Law School Professor and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) expert Michael Koehler tells Breitbart News, “I’ll answer that question by quoting a former law professor who was fond of saying ‘if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck chances are it is a duck’”
Former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Andy McCarthy thinks there’s enough evidence for the FBI and DOJ to launch an investigation into whether Hillary Clinton broke federal statutes that prohibit the bribery of public officials.
“There is certainly a reasonable basis for federal agents and prosecutors to investigate whether there was an understanding that Secretary Clinton would be influenced in the performance of her official duties by lavish donations to her family foundation, and, indeed, that the Clinton Foundation was operated as a racketeering enterprise, McCarthy tells Breitbart News.
Late Wednesday, Breitbart News asked a spokesperson for the Department of Justice to comment on Senator Grassley’s letter, but has not yet received a response.