What We Know About The Russian Uranium Scheme Involving Clinton and Obama

The Obama administration and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have risen to the center of controversy over a 2010 nuclear deal that handed Russia control of 20 percent of the U.S.’s uranium supply. The Uranium One deal has been referred to as a Russian nuclear bribery scheme and similar names since government documents surfaced last week showing the FBI had substantial evidence of racketeering by Russian officials before the Obama administration approved the deal.

What happened in the deal?

In October 2010, the State Department and other agencies on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) unanimously approved the partial sale of Uranium One, a Canadian mining company, to the Russian nuclear giant Rosatom, vastly expanding Russian President Vladimir Putin’s footprint inside the U.S.’s atomic energy industry.

FBI agents and a confidential informant made secret recordings, gathered records and intercepted emails as far back as 2009, which showed that Russian officials had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks. The Department of Justice did not bring charges until 2014.

How is Hillary Clinton involved?

Clinton served on CFIUS when the inter-agency committee voted in favor of the Uranium One deal.

The FBI and the informant prior to the deal going through also had obtained documents and an eyewitness account that Russian officials routed millions of dollars to the U.S. benefiting the charitable foundation of her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

How is the Obama administration involved?

Besides being responsible for signing off on the Uranium One deal, the Obama administration granted a U.S. temporary work visa to Russian nuclear industry executive Vadim Mikerin in December 2011 and renewed it in August 2014, according to court records that came to light on Tuesday. Mikerin engaged in illegal conduct as early as 2009 but was not arrested and charged with extortion until a few months after the Obama administration renewed his work visa.

Both the Obama administration and the Clintons have insisted that no evidence existed of Russian interference and that there were no national security concerns for CFIUS to go against the deal.

What can we expect?

Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee demanded that 10 federal agencies that played a role in the deal disclose whether they were aware that the FBI held evidence of Russian bribery prior to passing the agreement through.

On the night of October 18, the committee stepped up its efforts by requesting permission to interview the undercover informant who had been barred from disclosing information over the nearly five-year period because he signed a nondisclosure agreement with the FBI.

On Tuesday, the committee’s chairman, Republican Senator Chuck Grassley demanded all visa records and documentation for Mikerin from the State Department and Department of Homeland Security by November 7.

President Donald Trump on Wednesday chimed in on reports that the House Intelligence Committee would also open an investigation.

“I think the uranium sale to Russia and the way it was done so underhanded with tremendous amounts of money being passed,” Trump said, “I think that's Watergate modern age.”