Obama of­fi­cials did noth­ing to halt ura­nium deal with Rus­sia.

Obama of­fi­cials did noth­ing to halt a self-serv­ing ura­nium deal with a shady Rus­sian firm

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - By James A. Lyons

The crim­i­nal­iza­tion of gov­ern­ment agen­cies by the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion was far more ex­ten­sive than pre­vi­ously re­al­ized. The Ura­nium One deal is a prime ex­am­ple of how key gov­ern­ment agen­cies have been crim­i­nal­ized.

To un­der­stand the com­pro­mis­ing el­e­ments of the Ura­nium One deal, one must go back to the first Ge­orge W. Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion when U.S. nu­clear com­pa­nies were per­mit­ted to pur­chase ura­nium from Rus­sia’s dis­as­sem­bled nu­clear war­heads. Tenex, a sub­sidiary of Rosatom, was a Rus­sian-con­trolled com­pany re­spon­si­ble for the sales and trans­porta­tion of the ura­nium to the United States. Tenex (Rosatom) also had es­tab­lished

an Amer­i­can com­pany, Te­nam USA, based in Bethesda, Md. The Rus­sian of­fi­cial in charge of Te­nam USA was Vadim Mik­erin.

Mr. Mik­erin, a very en­ter­pris­ing in­di­vid­ual, had to­tal con­trol over Rosatom-Te­nam’s con­tracts with the U.S. ura­nium com­pa­nies. Con­se­quently, he was able to force the com­pa­nies to pay in­flated prices for the re­cov­ered ura­nium. The in­flated pro­ceeds were then laun­dered through var­i­ous shell com­pa­nies and over­seas se­cret bank ac­counts. The Amer­i­can com­pa­nies that par­tic­i­pated in this crim­i­nal ex­tor­tion scheme not only com­pro­mised their in­tegrity but made them­selves sub­ject to Rus­sian black­mail, po­ten­tially com­pro­mis­ing our na­tional se­cu­rity.

In May 2008, the Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion en­tered into a new co­op­er­a­tive nu­clear en­ergy agree­ment with Rus­sia. How­ever, this was quickly ter­mi­nated when Rus­sia in­vaded Ge­or­gia. It still oc­cu­pies two Geor­gian prov­inces, Abk­hazia and South Os­se­tia. Nonethe­less, in 2009, the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion, led by Sec­re­tary of State Hil­lary Clin­ton, re­newed co­op­er­a­tion and com­merce on nu­clear en­ergy with Rus­sia.

To help Vladimir Putin ex­pand Rus­sia’s nu­clear en­ergy ob­jec­tive to be­come the dom­i­nant player through­out the world, Mr. Mik­erin hired an Amer­i­can lob­by­ist in 2009. This lob­by­ist be­came un­com­fort­able with the ex­tor­tion scheme and be­came an FBI in­for­mant un­der none other than FBI Di­rec­tor Robert Mueller. Eric Holder was U.S. at­tor­ney gen­eral. The FBI in­ves­ti­ga­tion was cen­tered in Mary­land where the U.S. at­tor­ney ap­pointed by Mr. Obama was Rod Rosen­stein, cur­rently Pres­i­dent Trump’s deputy at­tor­ney gen­eral. Mr. Rosen­stein is the one who ap­pointed Robert Mueller as spe­cial coun­sel to in­ves­ti­gate Rus­sian col­lu­sion in our 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

By early 2010 the FBI had suf­fi­cient in­for­ma­tion to prove the case of rack­e­teer­ing and money laun­der­ing against Mr. Mik­erin. Fur­ther, the FBI was also alerted to the fact that Rus­sian nu­clear of­fi­cials were try­ing to es­tab­lish a re­la­tion­ship with the Clin­tons.

Shortly af­ter Mrs. Clin­ton’s trip to Rus­sia in March 2010, a Rus­sian-con­trolled en­tity, the Renaissance Bank, of­fered for­mer Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton $500,000 for a sin­gle speech. Dur­ing the Ge­orge W. Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion, Mr. Clin­ton sep­a­rately helped his friend Frank Gius­tra, a Cana­dian bil­lion­aire, and his com­pany, UR-Asia En­ergy, ob­tain key ura­nium min­ing rights in Kaza­khstan. With this deal, Gius­tra’s UR-Asia En­ergy was then able to ob­tain Ura­nium One, a South African com­pany. This was a $3.5 bil­lion wind­fall for Mr. Gius­tra. Ac­cord­ing to Andrew McCarthy in a Na­tional Re­view ar­ti­cle, Ura­nium One al­ready con­trolled 20 per­cent of U.S. ura­nium as­sets. How and when the trans­fer of this key na­tional se­cu­rity ma­te­rial took place re­mains an open ques­tion.

In the mean­time, Mr. Putin also wanted Kaza­khstan’s ura­nium. A cri­sis was averted when a deal was struck be­tween Hil­lary Clin­ton’s State De­part­ment, in an emer­gency meet­ing with the Kazakh regime, which would per­mit Rus­sia’s en­ergy gi­ant Rosatom to pur­chase 17 per­cent of Ura­nium One. As a re­sult, the threat to Clin­ton friend Frank Gius­tra’s hold­ings in Kaza­khstan and Ura­nium One were pro­tected. Mr. Gius­tra and his board of di­rec­tors “gen­er­ously” con­trib­uted $145 mil­lion to the Clin­ton Foun­da­tion.

Mr. Putin’s ul­ti­mate ob­jec­tive was to have com­plete con­trol of Ura­nium One’s as­sets. How­ever, since Ura­nium One al­ready con­trolled 20 per­cent of Amer­i­can’s ura­nium as­sets, Rus­sia’s Rosatom would need to get the ap­proval of the Com­mit­tee on For­eign In­vest­ment in the United States (CFIUS). It’s in­ter­est­ing that the staff chair­man of CFIUS was Trea­sury’s Amien Nabi Mir, an Obama ap­pointee with con­nec­tions to Pak­istan’s in­tel­li­gence ser­vice and the Is­lamic So­ci­ety of North Amer­ica.

Clearly, there was strong con­gres­sional op­po­si­tion to Rus­sia’s ac­qui­si­tion of Amer­ica’s strate­gic ura­nium de­posits. Sen. John Bar­rasso, Wy­oming Repub­li­can, ob­jected to Rus­sia’s con­trol of ura­nium as­sets in his state. There is no ques­tion that At­tor­ney Gen­eral Holder and FBI Di­rec­tor Mueller had suf­fi­cient in­for­ma­tion to bring rack­e­teer­ing fraud and money laun­der­ing charges against Mr. Putin’s con­trolled Rosatom agent, Mr. Mik­erin, in 2010, which would have killed the deal. How­ever, that was not go­ing to be al­lowed to hap­pen. Con­se­quently, in Oc­to­ber 2010, CFIUS gave the ap­proval of Rosatom’s ac­qui­si­tion of Ura­nium One, even though we do not pro­duce enough ura­nium to meet our own re­quire­ments. Un­be­liev­able.

Why the in­ves­ti­ga­tion was al­lowed to run for an­other four years is un­clear. How­ever, it con­tin­ued through the 2012 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion cy­cle and up to the point in 2014 when Mrs. Clin­ton was mak­ing plans for her pres­i­den­tial run. Ac­cord­ing to The Hill, the FBI and the Jus­tice De­part­ment then qui­etly ne­go­ti­ated a “mi­nor” guilty plea that was an­nounced just be­fore the 2014 La­bor Day hol­i­day. How con­ve­nient.

Fur­ther, ac­cord­ing to The Hill’s re­port of the Mik­erin plea deal, Mr. Rosen­stein’s of­fice, along with the Jus­tice De­part­ment’s fraud at­tor­ney, con­ve­niently failed to men­tion in the plea deal that there was fraud and ex­tor­tion in 2009 and 2010, which oc­curred be­fore CFIUS’ ap­proval of Rosatom’s ac­qui­si­tion of Ura­nium One.

Sep­a­rately, a gag or­der had been placed on the FBI in­for­mant by the Obama Jus­tice De­part­ment, which re­cently has been lifted. The en­tire crim­i­nal process of the Ura­nium One deal reaches the level of trea­son and must be fully in­ves­ti­gated.

IL­LUS­TRA­TION BY LINAS GARSYS

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