Friday, January 26, 2018

The Peeling of the Uranium One Onion, and Democrat Party Crimes

By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

The truth is beginning to bubble to the surface.  The crimes of the Democrats are being revealed piece by piece through the hard work of Trump's Justice Department, recently highlighted by an 11-count indictment by a grand jury investigating possible Russian bribery involving former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Uranium One deal negotiated when she was part of the Obama administration.

The indictment against Maryland resident Mark Lambert, a former co-president of a nuclear transportation company involved in Hillary Clinton’s deal to sell U.S. uranium interests to a Russian company, slammed the 54-year-old Lambert with "one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and to commit wire fraud, seven counts of violating the FCPA, two counts of wire fraud and one count of international promotion money laundering."

The statement added: "The charges stem from an alleged scheme to bribe Vadim Mikerin, a Russian official at JSC Techsnabexport (TENEX), a subsidiary of Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation and the sole supplier and exporter of Russian Federation uranium and uranium enrichment services to nuclear power companies worldwide, in order to secure contracts with TENEX."

The investigation lasted eight-years, but it wasn't until Trump's team got into the mix that the sale of Uranium One to the Russian company, completed in 2013, finally came up with an indictment.

The story was originally revealed when Peter Schweizer, Government Accountability Institute president and Breitbart News senior editor-at-large, brought to light the truth with his book "Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped the Make Bill and Hillary Rich".

The Uranium One scandal deepens when you realize that in order for the partial sale of the Canadian firm Uranium One to Russia’s atomic energy giant Rosatom to have taken place, the Obama administration was needed to approve the sale (because it transferred 20 percent of U.S. uranium stocks to Russia).  Hillary Clinton was on the federal board that approved the deal in 2010, and Obama's team was involved intricately.

Talk about collusion!

Schweizer reported in "Clinton Cash" nine foreign investors gave $145 million to Hillary and Bill Clinton’s personal charity, the Clinton Foundation, as a part of the payoff.  Meanwhile, nearly at the same time, Bill Clinton was paid $500,000 for a speech in Moscow.  Another payoff?

Last month U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered the DOJ to re-examine the evidence in the Uranium One investigation, so as to complete the eight year investigation the Obama Justice Department refused to look deeply into.

Talk about conflict of interest when it came to the Obama team investigating what was going on.

The Democrat Party reminds me more of a political mafia, than of a political party.

What becomes even more disconcerting, and rotten with a further conflict of interest, is the fact that the special prosecutor going after President Trump with the alleged collusions between Trump's presidential campaign and Russia, Special Counsel Robert Mueller, is also a part of the crimes committed in this huge scandal.  Nearly a year ago Julian Assange at WikiLeaks revealed a 2009 State Department cable to the Russians which indicates then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton directed FBI Director Mueller to deliver a sample of Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) to Russia. The uranium had reportedly been stolen.

Think about this, a moment.  The guy who was deep into the lies and crimes of the Democrat Party in a situation that could be called treason against the United States with his collusion with the Russians to help in giving them 20% of America's uranium is investigating a case of collusion between the Russians and Trump, but in the latter case, no evidence exists or has surfaced.

When it comes to Hillary Clinton, who was Secretary of State, she asked the FBI director, Mueller, to personally make the uranium transfer when the FBI is not under the supervision of the State Department.

The Wikileaks release of the cable on May 17 also happened to occur on the same day that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein tapped Mueller as an “independent” counsel to investigate any supposed Trump-Russian ties.

Mueller's team are pretty much all hardcore Democrats, with seven staffers having contributed large sums of money to either Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, or the Democratic National Committee. None donated any money to Trump, or to any other Republican presidential candidate in the last campaign.

What could go wrong?

While the cable only revealed that Mueller assisted in the deal between Russia and Uranium One, one wonders how deeply his involvement truly was.

According to the New American, WikiLeaks also revealed that Secretary of State Clinton sent a cable to John Beryle, who was U.S. Ambassador to Russia; the U.S. Ambassador to the Georgia Embassy; and U.S. ambassador to the Russian Embassy, on August 17, 2009. The cable read in part, “Action Request: Embassy Moscow is requested to alert at the highest appropriate level the Russian Federation that FBI Director Mueller plans to deliver the HEU sample once he arrives in Moscow on September 21.” 
Shepard Ambellas, editor-in-chief of, said in June 2017 that the classified cable indicated that the delivery of the 10-gram sample of HEU to Russian law enforcement sources occurred during a secret “plane-side” meeting on the tarmac. (This brings up memories of Bill Clinton’s tarmac meeting in Arizona with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, where they said they just discussed their grandchildren.)
The liberal media has not only refused to report anything about all of this, when they do it is with doubt and favorable language towards the Democrats.

Was this what Hillary Clinton meant when she said it was time to reverse worsening relations with Russia with a “reset button”?

Russia, at the time, was happy with the appointment of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.  In Schweizer's Clinton Cash book, he noted, “An important side note to the Russian reset was how it involved a collection of foreign investors who had poured vast sums of money into the Clinton Foundation and who continued to sponsor lucrative speeches for Bill. These investors stood to gain enormously from the decisions Hillary made as secretary of state.”

Hillary's “reset” was an important part in the uranium deals.  The Bush administration had pulled out of a uranium deal with the Russians after Russian forces went into Georgia in 2008, but the Obama administration (with Hillary taking the lead) reopened the negotiations. A deal was reached in 2010, and as Schweizer wrote, “Several multimillion-dollar Clinton Foundation donors were at the center of the deal.” In fact, “The Clinton Foundation also failed to disclose major contributions from entities controlled by those involved in the Uranium One deal. Thus, beginning in 2009, the company’s chairman, [Ian] Telfer, quietly started funneling what would become $2.35 million to the Clinton Foundation through a Canadian entity he controlled.”

After all of this, are we still comfortable with Robert Mueller, knowing he was involved in the delivery of uranium to the Russians, heading an investigation against Trump and an allegation that his campaign colluded with the Russians?

Remember, this is not only about the Clintons and Mueller.  The whole Democrat Party apparatus, or at least the top names in the party, are a part of this ... and that includes former President Barack Obama.

Think about it.  $500,000 was funneled by the Putin regime to Bill Clinton from a Kremlin-tied Russian bank for a single speech, which was all tied to a multi-million-dollar influence-peddling scheme to enrich the former president and his wife, then secretary of state Hillary Clinton.  Russia was promised an acquisition of Uranium One, and with it, tens of billions of dollars in U.S. uranium reserves. But, the Uranium One scandal is not only a Clinton scandal, because in order for it to happen the Obama administration had to be interwoven into it.  The Obama administration, with Secretary Clinton at the forefront, knowingly compromising American national-security interests. The Obama administration green-lighted the transfer of control over one-fifth of American uranium-mining capacity to Russia, a historic enemy of the United States.  The Obama administration knew the deal included Russia’s state-controlled nuclear-energy conglomerate, Rosatom.  The Obama administration knew when they approved the transfer that Rosatom’s American subsidiary was engaged in a lucrative racketeering enterprise that had already committed felony extortion, fraud, and money-laundering offenses. The Obama administration also knew that congressional Republicans were trying to stop the transfer, so the Obama administration Justice Department concealed what it knew, allowing the racketeering enterprise to continue.  All of this treasonous compromising of the American uranium industry was allowed by the Obama administration, and encouraged, because they knew that if they commenced a prosecution against Rosatom's American subsidiary for racketeering it would screw up the uranium transfer to Russia.  Prosecutors waited four years before quietly pleading the case out for nearly nothing, violating Justice Department charging guidelines.

Meanwhile, the administration did what it could to hold back the Republicans in Congress, at one time reportedly threatening an informant who wanted to go public.

Russia needed this.  They were falling behind.  They were being considered a third-rate economic power.  Putin was seeking to develop and exploit its capacity as a nuclear-energy producer, and Bush's screw up in a nuclear-cooperation agreement with the Kremlin in May 2008 was tabled because it was realized how dangerous trusting the Russians was.  While trying to be our friends, the GOP realized it was not in the best interest of the United States and decided not to work with Russia.  So, they appealed to the other party, and offered what the Democrats love most - money and power.

The Republicans tabled the deal largely because Russia reminded us of who they really are when they invaded Georgia. To this day the Russians also continue to occupy Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and of course there is also the invasion of Ukraine and the illegal acquisition of Crimea.

President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton turned the other cheek, calling for a “reset” of relations with Moscow.  They promised renewed cooperation and commerce in nuclear energy with a country that was actively invading her neighbors.  The American People would never approve of such a thing.  Those who grew up regarding the former Soviet Union as our arch-enemy still remember those days.  We disagreed when globalist President George H.W. Bush in 1992 agreed with the emerging Russian federation (after the collapse of the U.S.S.R.) that U.S. nuclear providers would be permitted to purchase uranium from Russia’s disassembled nuclear warheads because we really didn't want anything to do with the communists (who claimed they were no longer communists). 

The deal happened, and guess what?  The Russian commercial agent responsible for the sale and transportation of this uranium to the U.S. is the Kremlin-controlled company “Tenex” (formally, JSC Techsnabexport). Tenex is a subsidiary of Rosatom. Tenex (and by extension, Rosatom) have an American arm called “Tenam USA.” Tenam is based in Bethesda, Maryland.

When President Obama grabbed the reins of the executive branch, the Russian official in charge of Tenam, Vadim Mikerin, was given a visa in 2010.  A racketeering investigation led by the FBI determined that he was already operating here in 2009, and the racketeering scheme was responsible for arranging and managing Rosatom/Tenex’s contracts with American uranium purchasers.

Mikerin's dealings made him a star with U.S. companies, and he used that leverage to extort and defraud U.S. contractors so that they would end up paying inflated prices for uranium. They then laundered the proceeds through shell companies and secret bank accounts in Latvia, Cyprus, Switzerland, and the Seychelle Islands.

The inflated payments enriched Kremlin-connected energy officials in the U.S. and in Russia to the tune of millions of dollars, and they compromised the American companies that paid the bribes, rendering players in U.S. nuclear energy — a sector critical to national security — vulnerable to blackmail by Moscow.

The plan dug deep into the Obama administration through an unnamed (to this day) and well-respected Washington lawyer, formerly a federal prosecutor and counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee, who, largely due to the worries that he might be acting illegally, contacted the FBI and revealed what he knew.  Obama's Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department permitted him to continue to participate in the Russian racketeering scheme as a “confidential source” (giving him immunity).  The FBI director behind all of this?  You got it!  Our good friend, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, who is now the special counsel investigating whether Trump colluded with Russia.

The U.S. attorney at the time was Obama appointee Rod Rosenstein — now President Trump’s deputy attorney general, and the man who appointed Mueller as special counsel to investigate Trump.

The FBI was able to understand and monitor the racketeering enterprise almost from the start thanks to their unnamed mole.  In 2010 the Obama Justice Department and FBI could prove the scheme existed and that three separate extortionate payments had taken place.  And the Democrats saw the illegal and treasonous opportunity to jump in.  The timing was great, because Russian nuclear officials were trying to ingratiate themselves with the Clintons.

Why and how were the Clintons tied into this?
In 2005, former President Clinton helped Canadian billionaire buddy Frank Giustra obtain coveted uranium-mining rights from Kazakhstan’s dictator. The Kazakh deal enabled Giustra’s company (Ur-Asia Energy) to merge into Uranium One (a South African company), a $3.5 billion windfall. Giustra and his partners thereafter contributed tens of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation as payment for the favor. 
Besides the valuable Kazakh reserves, Uranium One also controlled about a fifth of the uranium stock in the United States. Alas, Putin, the neighborhood bully, also wanted the Kazakh uranium. He leaned on Kazakhstan’s dictator, who promptly arrested the official responsible for selling the uranium-mining rights to Giustra’s company. This put Uranium One’s stake in jeopardy of being seized by the Kazakh government. As Uranium One’s stock plunged, its panicked executives turned to the State Department, where their friend Hillary Clinton was now in charge. State sprung into action, convening emergency meetings with the Kazakh regime. A few days later, it was announced that the crisis was resolved (translation: the shakedown was complete). Russia’s energy giant, Rosatom, would purchase 17 percent of Uranium One, and the Kazakh threat would disappear — and with it, the threat to the value of the Clinton donors’ holdings. 
For Putin, though, that was just a start. He didn’t want a minority stake in Uranium One, he wanted control of the uranium. For that, Rosatom would need a controlling interest in Uranium One. That would be a tall order — not because of the Kazakh mining rights but because acquisition of Uranium One’s American reserves required U.S. government approval. Uranium is foundational to nuclear power and thus to American national security. As the New York Times explained in a report on the disturbing interplay between the Clinton Foundation and the transfer of American uranium assets to Russia, the United States gets a fifth of its electrical power from nuclear energy, but only produces a fifth of the uranium it needs. Consequently, a foreign entity would not be able to acquire rights to American uranium without the approval of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. 
CFIUS is composed of the leaders of 14 U.S. government agencies involved in national security and commerce. In 2010, these included not only Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who had cultivated a reputation as a hawk opposed to such foreign purchases, but Attorney General Eric Holder, whose Justice Department (and its lead agency, the FBI) were conducting the investigation of Rosatom’s ongoing U.S. racketeering, extortion, and money-laundering scheme. In March 2010, to push the Obama “reset” agenda, Secretary Clinton traveled to Russia, where she met with Putin and Dimitri Medvedev, who was then keeping the president’s chair warm for Putin. Soon after, it emerged that Renaissance Capital, a regime-tied Russian bank, had offered Bill Clinton $500,000 to make a single speech — far more than the former president’s usual haul in what would become one of his biggest paydays ever. Renaissance was an aggressive promoter of Rosatom. The Clinton speech took place in Moscow in June. The exorbitant speech fee, it is worth noting, is a pittance compared with the $145 million Newsweek reports was donated to the Clinton Foundation by sources linked to the Uranium One deal. The month before the speech, the Hill reports, Bill Clinton told his wife’s State Department that he wanted to meet while in Russia with Arkady Dvorkovich, who, in addition to being a top Medvedev aide, was also a key Rosatom board member. It is not known whether the State Department gave clearance for the meeting; the question appears to have become moot since the former U.S. president met directly with Putin and Medvedev. You’ll be comforted, I’m sure, to learn that aides to the Clintons, those pillars of integrity, assure us that the topics of Rosatom and Uranium One never came up. 
Keeping Congress in the Dark Meanwhile, congressional opposition to Russia’s potential acquisition of American uranium resources began to stir. As Peter Schweizer noted in his essential book, Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, four senior House members steeped in national-security issues — Peter King (R., N.Y.), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R., Fla.), Spencer Bachus (R., Ala.), and Howard McKeon (R. Calif.) — voiced grave concerns, pointing out that Rosatom had helped Iran, America’s sworn enemy, build its Bushehr nuclear reactor. The members concluded that “the take-over of essential US nuclear resources by a government-owned Russian agency . . . would not advance the national security interests of the United States.” Republican senator John Barrasso objected to Kremlin control of uranium assets in his state of Wyoming, warning of Russia’s “disturbing record of supporting nuclear programs in countries that are openly hostile to the United States, specifically Iran and Venezuela.” 
The House began moving a bill “expressing disfavor of the Congress” regarding Obama’s revival of the nuclear-cooperation agreement Bush had abandoned. Clearly, in this atmosphere, disclosure of the racketeering enterprise that Rosatom’s American subsidiary was, at that very moment, carrying out would have been the death knell of the asset transfer to Russia. It would also likely have ended the “reset” initiative in which Obama and Clinton were deeply invested — an agenda that contemplated Kremlin-friendly deals on nuclear-arms control and accommodation of the nuclear program of Russia’s ally, Iran. That was not going to be allowed to happen. It appears that no disclosure of Russia’s racketeering and strong-arming was made to CFIUS or to Congress — not by Secretary Clinton, not by Attorney General Holder, and certainly not by President Obama. 
In October 2010, CFIUS gave its blessing to Rosatom’s acquisition of Uranium One. 
A Sweetheart Plea Helps the Case Disappear Even though the FBI had an informant collecting damning information, and had a prosecutable case against Mikerin by early 2010, the extortion racket against American energy companies was permitted to continue into the summer of 2014. It was only then that, finally, Mikerin and his confederates were arrested. 
Why then? 
This is not rocket science. In March 2014, Russia annexed Crimea. Putin also began massing forces on the Ukrainian border, coordinating and conducting attacks, ultimately taking control of territory. Clearly, the pie-in-the-sky Obama reset was dead. Furthermore, the prosecution of Mikerin’s racketeering scheme had been so delayed that the Justice Department risked losing the ability to charge the 2009 felonies because of the five-year statute of limitations on most federal crimes. Still, a lid needed to be kept on the case. It would have made for an epic Obama administration scandal, and a body blow to Hillary Clinton’s presidential hopes, if in the midst of Russia’s 2014 aggression, public attention had been drawn to the failure, four years earlier, to prosecute a national-security case in order to protect Russia’s takeover of U.S. nuclear assets. The Obama administration needed to make this case go away — without a public trial if at all possible. Think about this: The investigation of Russian racketeering in the American energy sector was the kind of spectacular success over which the FBI and Justice Department typically do a bells-n-whistles victory lap — the big self-congratulatory press conference followed by the media-intensive prosecutions . . . and, of course, more press conferences. Here . . . crickets. As the Hill reports, the Justice Department and FBI had little to say when Mikerin and his co-conspirators were arrested. They quietly negotiated guilty pleas that were announced with no fanfare just before Labor Day. It was arranged that Mikerin would be sentenced just before Christmas. All under the radar.  
How desperate was the Obama Justice Department to plead the case out? 
Here, Rosenstein and Holder will have some explaining to do. Mikerin was arrested on a complaint describing a racketeering scheme that stretched back to 2004 and included extortion, fraud, and money laundering. Yet he was permitted to plead guilty to a single count of money-laundering conspiracy. Except it was not really money-laundering conspiracy. Under federal law, that crime (at section 1956 of the penal code) carries a penalty of up to 20 years’ imprisonment — not only for conspiracy but for each act of money laundering. But Mikerin was not made to plead guilty to this charge. He was permitted to plead guilty to an offense charged under the catch-all federal conspiracy provision (section 371) that criminalizes agreements to commit any crime against the United States. Section 371 prescribes a sentence of zero to five years’ imprisonment. The Justice Department instructs prosecutors that when Congress has given a federal offense its own conspiracy provision with a heightened punishment (as it has for money laundering, racketeering, narcotics trafficking, and other serious crimes), they may not charge a section 371 conspiracy. Section 371 is for less serious conspiracy cases. Using it for money laundering — which caps the sentence way below Congress’s intent for that behavior — subverts federal law and signals to the court that the prosecutor does not regard the offense as major. Yet, that is exactly what Rosenstein’s office did, in a plea agreement his prosecutors co-signed with attorneys from the Justice Department’s Fraud Section. (See in the Hill’s report, the third document embedded at the bottom, titled “Mikerin Plea Deal.”) No RICO, no extortion, no fraud — and the plea agreement is careful not to mention any of the extortions in 2009 and 2010, before CFIUS approved Rosatom’s acquisition of U.S. uranium stock. Mikerin just had to plead guilty to a nominal “money laundering” conspiracy charge. This insulated him from a real money-laundering sentence. Thus, he got a term of just four years’ incarceration for a major national-security crime — which, of course, is why he took the plea deal and waived his right to appeal, sparing the Obama administration a full public airing of the facts. 
Interestingly, as the plea agreement shows, the Obama DOJ’s Fraud Section was then run by Andrew Weissmann, who is now one of the top prosecutors in Robert Mueller’s ongoing special-counsel investigation of suspected Trump collusion with Russia. There was still one other problem to tamp down. That was the informant — the lobbyist who alerted the FBI to the Russian racketeering enterprise back in 2009. He wanted to talk. Specifically, as his attorney, Ms. Toensing, explains, the informant wanted to tell Congress what he knows — about what the FBI and the Justice Department could already have proved in 2010 when CFIUS signed off on Russia’s acquisition of American nuclear material, and about what he’d learned of Russian efforts to curry favor with Bill and Hillary Clinton. But he was not allowed to talk. It turns out, the lawyer explains, that the FBI had induced him to sign a non-disclosure agreement. The Justice Department warned him that it was enforceable — even against disclosures to Congress. (Because, you know, the FBI is opposed to all leaks and disclosures of confidential investigative information . . . except those initiated by the FBI, of course.) In addition, when the informant was primed to file a federal civil lawsuit to recover his own losses from the scheme, he claims that the Justice Department threatened him with prosecution, warning that a lawsuit would violate the non-disclosure agreement. The Hill reports that it has obtained emails from a civil lawyer retained by the witness, which describe pressure exerted by the Justice Department to silence the informant. What a coincidence: That was in 2016, the stretch run of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Hillary Clinton, however, is a multi-tasking crook.  While all of that was going on, she had another money laundering scheme going on to enrich her with money and power from yet another direction.

A current investigation by the Federal Election Commission indicates that the Hillary Victory Fund orchestrated an alleged $84 million money laundering scheme.  The scheme was a part of a $500 million joint fundraising committee between the Clinton campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and Democratic state parties.

This one emerged thanks to another Democrat, former DNC Chairwoman Donna Brazile, as a result of her public comments, and a memo by former Clinton campaign manager Robbie Mook.  The Committee to Defend the President has filed an FEC complaint accusing the Democratic establishment of using state chapters as straw men to circumvent campaign donation limits and launder money to Clinton’s campaign. The Hillary Victory Fund solicited six-figure donations from major donors, including Calvin Klein and “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane, “papered” them through state parties en route to the DNC and then the Clinton campaign.

Crooked Hillary, indeed.

The thing is, despite what it says on paper, the Hillary Victory Fund never transferred $84 million to state parties, but instead sent it straight to the DNC, or it made the transfers without state parties having actual control of the money.  In either case, the fund violated campaign finance laws in precisely the way the Supreme Court deemed illegal in its 2014 McCutcheon v. FEC ruling.

If this scandal reaches the light of day, and I am sure the liberal left media will fight it tooth and nail,  it could be the single largest campaign finance scandal in U.S. history.

Washington Post’s Dave Weigel, the only mainstream reporter to cover the scandal, acknowledged “most coverage of the FEC complaint had appeared in conservative media” before he covered it.

If the tables were turned, and this was a GOP scandal, they'd be all over it.

However, is justice prevails, and the Trump administration continues to slowly peal back the layers of the onion to expose the sins of the Democrat Party, it could be earth shattering.  The Democrat Base may largely turn against the Democrats.  It could end up causing people to lose their jobs, and put some of them behind bars.

Hillary Clinton may wind up in an orange jumpsuit, yet.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary


Golden Boy said...

give me a break. The Russian are in Abkhazia and South Ossetia as a counter to USA aggression. The US was trying to get Georgia to join NATO. Same idea in Ukraine. USA overthrew a democratically elected pro-Moscow Ukrainian government and replaced it with a pro-USA Ukrainian government. Russia countered by annexing Crimea and starting a low grade war in Eastern Ukraine. All of these conflicts instigated by the USA.

Douglas V. Gibbs said...

I didn't know the KGB (Kommunist Golden Boy) read Political Pistachio!!! Blame America First crowd ... The Russian moves are reconquista of the old Soviet Union for reasons that drip of tyranny and empire. American presence at all has been in the interest of defending the sovereignty of these entities under the threat of Russian aggression ... which was instigated by Russia long before the Golden Boy was likely even walking the Earth, yet. This is an age-old conflict, initiated by Russian imperialism and defended by American Forces seeking to secure liberty, and keep one of the world's worst and dangerous actors at bay. Nice try, Golden Boy, but your communist leanings betray you.