Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) called Tuesday for the Department of Justice to appoint a special counsel to investigate the Uranium One scandal after reports that suggest the FBI knew of Russian bribery and money laundering leading up to the 2010 deal.
Grassley, writing on Twitter, said, “Whoever in DOJ is capable [with] authority to appoint a special counsel [should] do so to investigate” the Uranium One scandal.
Whoever in DOJ is capable w authority to appoint a special counsel shld do so to investigate Uranium One "whoever" means if u aren't recused
— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) October 25, 2017
Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself in March from any investigations into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election after a controversy arose about his meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, meetings that he did not disclose at his confirmation hearing.
Grassley’s call for a special counsel comes in the wake of reporting by The Hill that the FBI had found evidence of Russia’s involvement in “bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering” to grow their energy business in the U.S. and that Russian nuclear officials had routed “millions of dollars” to donate to the Clinton Foundation ahead of the partial sale of Uranium One to Russian energy giant Rosatom.
Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sat on the government board making the decision whether to approve the sale in 2010, which transferred 20 percent of U.S. uranium to the Russians. The DOJ would wait four years to act on the FBI findings, by which point the Uranium One sale was completed.
The connection between Clinton and the Uranium One deal was first made by Government Accountability Institute (GAI) President and Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Peter Schweizer, who broke the Uranium One scandal in his 2015 book Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.
The Hill’s reporting has brought the scandal back into the attention of the public as well as lawmakers who are asking why Congress was not informed of the FBI’s findings.
Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee asked federal agencies involved in the approval to inform the committee what they knew about the FBI probe and when. Grassley said he is not convinced by assurances of the Obama administration that there was no basis to block the deal.
“I am not convinced by these assurances,” Grassley wrote in a letter to 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.”
Both the House Intelligence and Oversight and Government Reform Committees announced Tuesday that they would also be investigating the deal in a joint probe.
“We are not going to jump to any conclusions at this time but one of the things we are concerned about was whether there was an FBI investigation, whether there was a DOJ investigation and if so, why Congress was not informed of this matter,” Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told reporters.
Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY.