Details keep surfacing about the massive Uranium One scandal that occurred under the Obama administration, and more people are revealed to have ties to it.
According to The Hill, Bill Clinton was potentially bribed by the Russians to promote the deal. Clinton sought a meeting with a top board director for Rosatom, a Russian nuclear energy firm that was seeking approval from the Obama administration on the uranium deal, after he was promised a $500,000 payment by a major Russian bank with ties to Rosatom.
The director Clinton wanted to meet was Arkady Dvorkovich, who sits on Rosatom’s board of supervisors and was a close aide to then-Russian President Dimitri Medvedev. He was one of 15 Russians former President Clinton was hoping to meet while he was in Moscow in 2010.
Amitabh Desai, a foreign policy advisor for the Clinton Foundation, wrote the request to the State Department: “In the context of a possible trip to Russia at the end of June, WJC [Clinton] is being asked to see the business/government folks below. Would State have concerns about WJC seeing any of these folks?”
It’s unclear if he received approval, but Clinton claims he did not meet with anyone on the list, including Dvorkovich.
What’s suspicious about Clinton wanting to meet with Dvorkovich is the timing. Clinton was slated to give a speech at Renaissance Capital, a Russian Bank that would pay him a whopping $500,000 for a 90-minute speech, a record for Clinton. Renaissance Capital was simultaneously promoting the Uranium One deal at the time and had connections to the Kremlin.
So, after being promised $500,000 by a bank interested in the Uranium One deal, Clinton suddenly wanted to meet with Rosatom director Dvorkovich. He sought permission from the State Department, where his wife Hillary Clinton happened to be working as Secretary of State at the time, and would later have a role in approving the Uranium One deal.
Even more concerning is that after Clinton came up with the list of Russians he wanted to meet after learning of the upcoming payment, a source says one of the goals of Clinton’s trip to Moscow was to assist a Clinton family relative to “grow investments in their business with Russian oligarchs and other businesses.”
According to the source, “It was one of the untold stories of the Russia trip. People have focused on Uranium One and the speaking fees, but opening up a business spigot for the family business was one only us insiders knew about.”
Peter Schweizer, a conservative author who had an early interest in the suspicious activity behind the Uranium One deal, said these types of coincidences and questionable behavior by the Clintons require investigating. “We knew of some sort of transactions in which the Clintons received funds and Russia received approvals, and the question has always been how and if those two events are connected. I think this provides further evidence the two may be connected,” Schweizer said.
Democrats have swiftly decried the latest flood of information about the potential corruption involved in the Uranium One deal as nothing more than a distraction from what they believe is the most important issue, Trump’s connections to Russia.
Nick Merrill, a spokesman for Hillary Clinton, dismissed the scrutiny saying, “At every turn, this storyline has been debunked on the merits. Its roots are with a project shepherded by Steve Bannon, which should tell you all you need to know. This latest iteration is simply more of the right doing Trump’s bidding for him to distract from his own Russia problems, which are real and a grave threat to our national security.”
New revelations about the Uranium One deal implicate the Clintons in a shadowy way. Is this deal mired in corruption?
Yet the continued surfacing of evidence pointing to bribery, corruption and major scandal warrants at least some questions about one of the more controversial deals made during Obama’s time as president.
The Clintons’ questionable behavior throughout the time leading up to the Uranium One deal and the seeming appearance of accepting bribes to push the deal through also brings to mind the phrase; if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.