Republican members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence announced Tuesday that they, along with the House judiciary and oversight committees, were launching new probes into the Obama administration’s approval of the sale of a Canadian company, Uranium One, to Russia’s state-owned nuclear giant, Rosatom’s Tenex subsidiary.
“So what we’re here today to announce is an inquiry into Russia’s involvement into the Uranium Deal that was done several years ago,” said House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA). “This is just the beginning of this probe, we are not going to jump to any conclusions at this time; but one of the things, as you know we are concerned about, is whether or not there was an FBI investigation, was there a DOJ investigation, and if so, why was Congress not informed about this matter.”
Last week in a formal letter, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) asked the Victoria Toensing, the lawyer representing a former FBI informant who had worked on behalf of the FBI with the Russian uranium companies, to allow her client to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the Russian subsidiary and other connected players.
In the press conference with Nunes, speaking for House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC), Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) said, “We do have a witness who is a confidential informant who wants to talk about his role in this and we’re in contact with the Justice Department to release him from a nondisclosure agreement.”
As Circa reported last week — citing evidence from court documents, FBI officials and the informant himself — the Uranium One deal, which was completed in 2010, gave Russian companies control of 20 percent of the United States’ uranium supply. The deal was controversial at the time it was passed and required the approval of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS), which included members of President Obama’s Cabinet including then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
CFIUS’ role in approving Uranium One was to act as an “inter-agency committee of the United States government that reviews financial transactions to determine if they will result in a foreign person controlling a U.S. business.” During the time that the Uranium One deal was being reviewed by CFIUS, there had been a months-long investigation by the FBI and Department of Justice into Rosatom-connected officials to prove that they were engaged in a global bribery scheme that included kickbacks and money laundering.
FBI documents and officials say the investigation could have prevented the sale of Uranium One to protect U.S. national security interests.