House Republicans announced a joint investigation Tuesday into the sale of the Uranium One company to a Russian company under the Obama administration — after reports emerged of an FBI investigation into bribery and kickbacks by the Russians as they sought to expand their uranium footprint.
“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 Tuesday.
Both the House Intelligence and Oversight and Government Reform Committees announced that they will investigate if there was an FBI probe into the deal, according to NBC News. That deal saw Russian giant Rosatom obtain 20 percent of U.S. uranium reserves when it purchased the Canadian company Uranium One between 2010 and 2013.
Government Accountability Institute (GAI) President and Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Peter Schweizer 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. He reported how nine foreign investors in the deal funneled $145 million to the Clinton Foundation, ahead of the approval decision — made by a board on which then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sat.
The reporting was corroborated by a 4,000-word investigative piece in the New York Times, which also focused on the flow of cash into the Clinton Foundation coffers around the time of the decision.
The scandal dogged Clinton throughout the campaign, but the controversy sparked up again last week when the Hill reported that ahead of the deal, the FBI had uncovered “substantial evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering” to expand Russia’s nuclear footprint in the U.S. as early as 2009.
The agency also found that Russian nuclear officials had routed “millions of dollars” to the U.S. to benefit the Clinton Foundation and that the Justice Department “investigated” the evidence for four years, without informing Congress or the public.
Adding to the intrigue is a revelation by Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) that a confidential informant has come to the committees, which are working with the DOJ to release the informant from a gag order, according to the Hill.
The Senate Judiciary Committee announced last week that it was also investigating the matter, and had sent letters to federal agencies involved in the decision, asking what they knew about the reported FBI probe and when they knew it.
Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who has consistently raised questions about the Uranium One deal, said he was not convinced by Obama administration claims that there was no basis on which to block the deal.
“I am not convinced by these assurances,” Grassley wrote in a letter to the Homeland Security Department. “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.”
Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY