A new investigation has discovered evidence of Russian interference in a controversial nuclear deal that was crafted and executed during the Obama administration.
“The Russians were compromising American contractors in the nuclear industry with kickbacks and extortion threats, all of which raised legitimate national security concerns. And none of that evidence got aired before the Obama administration made those decisions,” said one person who worked on the case, speaking on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution by US or Russian officials, according to The Hill.
Before the Obama administration approved the infamous deal in 2010, granting Moscow control of a large portion of America’s uranium supply, the FBI had found evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were actively bribing, extorting and laundering money to grow Putin’s nuclear energy assets in the US.
The Bureau had gathered extensive financial records, secret recordings, and intercepted emails that showed the Kremlin had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks.
This scheme was operating “with the consent of higher level officials” in Russia, who “shared the proceeds” from the lavish kickbacks. However, instead of bringing immediate charges, the Department of Justice (DOJ) continued to investigate the case for four more years, keeping these important details secret from Congress and the American public.
The decision to withhold these important details of Russian corruption came at a time when the Obama administration made a number of significant decisions. Most notably was the Clinton State Department’s unanimously approved sale of the company, Uranium One, to the Russians, giving the Kremlin control of more than 20 percent of America’s uranium supply.
This decision was so controversial that it sparked conservative author Peter Schweitzer and The New York Times to investigate Bill Clinton’s Russian speaking arrangements, where he collected hundreds of thousands of dollars from sources that had vested interests in seeing the Uranium One deal go through.
The Obama administration and the Clintons defended their decision, saying there was no evidence of any Russian corruption. However, documents show that the FBI, Energy Department and other sources found significant evidence of corruption well before the final decision was made.
Vadim Mikerin, the main Russian official overseeing the Russian nuclear expansion within the United States, was approved for a work visa by the Obama administration. This same individual was found to be guilty of extortion between 2009 and 2012. Mikerin “did knowingly and willfully combine, conspire confederate and agree with other persons…to obstruct, delay and affect commerce and the movement of an article and commodity (enriched uranium) in commerce by extortion,” according to a November 2014 indictment.
One Energy Department agent assigned to help the FBI in their investigation testified that Mikerin supervised a “racketeering scheme” of significant complexity and scale. “Mikerin apparently then shared the proceeds with other co-conspirators associated with TENEX in Russia and elsewhere,” the agent said.
Despite the fact that uncovering a major Russian corruption scandal within the country seems like a praiseworthy achievement, and one that any agency would love to publicize, the entire investigation was met with very little fanfare. Assistant FBI Director Ronald Hosko told The Hill, “I had no idea this case was being conducted.”
Former US Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), who chaired the House Intelligence Committee during the investigation, also revealed that he was never told anything about this case.
New evidence reveals that Russia extorted American contractors during the Obama administration. Should an investigation be launched?
“Not providing information on a corruption scheme before the Russian uranium deal was approved by US regulators and engage in appropriate congressional committees has served to undermine US national security interested by the very people charged with protecting them,” he stated.
This case, notable enough for the sheer scale and complexity, is especially concerning since so little action was taken to stop this corruption and criminal activity under the Obama administration. As for those responsible for this deal, such as Hillary Clinton, they have refused to comment in light of these new revelations.