As the investigation into the Obama-era Russian Uranium One deal continues to pick up steam, the President personally made a move that will ensure the investigations continuation.
John Roberts, Fox News Chief White House Correspondent, said in a tweet that “@realDonaldTrump himself gave the order to the DOJ to lift the gag order on Uranium One confidential informant.”
The Justice Department lifted a gag order that will permit a former FBI informant to speak to congressional panels regarding the infamous Obama-era deal, which saw a Russian-backed company acquire at least 20 percent of America’s uranium supply.
According to a report first published by The Hill, the deal was rampant with corruption and backroom dealing, but when the FBI brought these concerns to the DOJ at the time, they did little to stop the sale from going through. Now, Congress is looking to launch a probe into the matter.
One DOJ spokesman said the way was cleared for the informant to disclose to the committees “any information or documents he has concerning alleged corruption or bribery involving transactions in the uranium market, including but not limited to anything related to Vadim Mikerin, Rosatom, Tenex, Uranium One, or the Clinton Foundation,” as reported by The New York Post.
The key informant said that he couldn’t testify because of a pre-existing confidentiality agreement with the DOJ back during the Obama administration. He implied that he was “threatened with reprisal” by then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch when he first tried to come forward in 2016.
One member of the Oversight Committee, Ron DeSantis (R-FL) said, “I’ve spoken with the confidential informant that helped the FBI uncover this bribery scheme. Clearly, it’s in the public’s interest that this individual be able to tell his story to Congress,” according to Fox News.
When asked whether or not a criminal investigation is pending, DeSantis responded by saying that “it could be criminal.”
Various news outlets back in 2015 revealed that former President Bill Clinton was paid $500,000 from a Kremlin-linked bank for a speech he made in 2010 — the same year the Uranium One deal took place. Hillary Clinton, who was Secretary of State at the time and one of those who approved the agreement, was receiving millions in charitable donations to her foundation.
President Trump called the Uranium One deal Obama’s “Watergate” and added that the mainstream media wasn’t giving enough coverage to the scandal. “The uranium sale to Russia and the way it was done was so underhanded. With tremendous amounts of money being passed, I actually think that’s Watergate: modern age,” he told reporters.
President Trump lifted the gag order on an FBI informant. Is this the right move?
Despite the evidence, some Democrat officials still insist that the President is using this investigation as a way to draw attention away from the Russian-Trump narrative. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) claimed that President Trump was doing “everything he can” to distract Americans from what he feels is a more valid and relevant scandal to investigate.
Both House and Senate Committees are now heading up investigations into the Uranium One scandal. Thanks to Mr. Trump’s decision to lift the gag order on the informant, it’s an investigation that will be all the more fruitful.