Tuesday, January 16, 2018
How Far Does the Uranium One Scandal Reach into the Obama Administration?
THE REAL NEWS TODAY IS THAT URANIUM ONE PROSECUTIONS HAVE BEGUN. And not a minute too soon. • • • TRANSPORT COMPANY EXECUTIVE CHARGED. Reuters reported on Saturday that : "US authorities have charged a Maryland businessman with bribing a Russian official in an effort to win contracts to ship uranium to the United States. US prosecutors unsealed money laundering, foreign bribery and wire fraud charges against Mark Lambert, 54, in federal court in Greenbelt, Maryland, on Friday. Lambert denies the allegations and plans to fight them in court, his attorney William Sullivan said during a pre-trial hearing. Prosecutors allege Lambert, former co-president of a Maryland-based shipping company Transport Logistics International (TLI), bribed a Russian energy official through a series of shell companies in Cyprus, Latvia and Switzerland in exchange for contracts to ship nuclear fuel to US utilities." • Lambert is being charged underthe the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act that makes it a crime for businesses to bribe overseas officials to win business. • The charges are the latest news in a long federal investigation into corruption involved in Russia’s sale of uranium into the United States; that, says Reuters "drew increased public attention last year after an informant involved in the probe claimed to have evidence tying the former Obama Administration to Russian influence peddling, a charge former administration officials have denied. Lambert’s former co-president Daren Condrey pleaded guilty to bribery and wire fraud charges in 2015 and is awaiting sentencing. • The 11-count indictment that was handed out on Friday is connected to the alleged Russian bribery scheme involving former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Obama administration, and Uranium One. The charges against Mark Lambert call him the "former co-president of a Maryland-based transportation company that provides services for the transportation of nuclear materials to customers in the United States and abroad." Lambert is charged 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 DOJ said in a statement. • In 2015, a Maryland judge sentenced the Russian official named in the case, Vadim Mikerin, a former director at state-owned Rosatom, to four years for laundering money connected to the bribes. The alleged bribery scheme outlined in the Lambert case involves : "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." TENEX is the commercial sales arm for Russia's Rosatom, which took full control of Uranium One in 2013. An October report revealed that federal agents began collecting evidence in 2009 about Russian officials engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion, and money laundering connected to the Uranium One deal, according to Dailywire : "Federal agents used a confidential US witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather extensive financial records, make secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009 that showed Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FBI and court documents show. They also obtained an eyewitness account -- backed by documents -- indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the US designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable Foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow, sources told The Hill. Rather than bring immediate charges in 2010, however, the Department of Justice continued investigating the matter for nearly four more years, essentially leaving the American public and Congress in the dark about Russian nuclear corruption on US soil during a period when the Obama administration made two major decisions benefiting Putin’s commercial nuclear ambitions. In December, Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered that prosecutors at the DOJ start "interviewing FBI agents about evidence they uncovered in a criminal investigation into a highly-controversial uranium deal that involves Bill and Hillary Clinton." • You can read detailed accounts of the Uranium One deal in my November 6 and November 21 blogs. Suffice it to say that the unravelling of the Uranium One scandal must make Hillary and Bill Clinton and Barack Obama sleep a little less soundly at night. • • • IS THE URANIUM ONE CABAL STILL ALIVE AND STALKING TRUMP? American Thinker said "Yes" on Tuesday. Thomas Lifson wrote : "The sale of a substantial portion of US uranium reserves to a Russian company controlled by Vladimir Putin – who openly desires to control the world uranium market – never could have been approved by the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS), including then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then-AG Eric Holder, if the dimensions of the scandal being investigated by the FBI and Justice Department had been known. That the scandal was hidden from the public is itself scandalous. Last Friday, an 11-count indictment was unsealed, naming : ...a former DoD intelligence analyst-turned uranium transportation executive [Mark Lambert] who stands accused of a bribery and money laundering scheme involving a Russian nuclear official connected to the Uranium One deal....The details of the case against Lambert are much less important than the cast of characters that kept the scandal under wraps while our uranium reserves were sold to Russia. Zero Hedge explains in a long and complicated post. The gist : Robert Mueller's FBI had been investigating the scheme since at least 2008 -- with retiring Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe assigned to the ongoing investigation which was hidden from the Committee on Foreign Investments in the Untid States (CFIUS). Had they known, the committee never would have approved the Uranium One deal with TENEX's parent company, Rosatom. Four individuals were eventually prosecuted and given plea agreements after the Uranium One deal was approved. The prosecuting DOJ attorneys? Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and top Mueller investigator in the Trump-Russia probe, Andrew Weissman -- who praised former acting Attorney General Sally Yates for defying Trump. Unsurprisingly, all four indicted individuals were handed extremely light sentences, none of which made headlines. The judge? Theodore Chuang -- an Obama appointee who went to Harvard Law at the same time as Obama, advised Hillary Clinton as "Counselor on detail to the United States Department of State," and just so happened to strike down Trump's "Travel Ban" Executive Order. Chuang's wife, Jacinta Ma served as a senior policy advisor to Michelle Obama." As Lifson so rightly points out : "It is striking how the same cast of characters who minimized the scandal are now going after President Trump." • • • WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT URANIUM ONE AND A 'CABAL'? Imperator_Rex has produced a series of tweets that follow the Uranium One deal that sold 20% of Ameriuca's uranium resources to a Russian state-owned company. Here are the highlights -- "From at least 2008, Robert Mueller's FBI were investigating Tenam, the US based subsidiary of Tenex, a subsidiary of Rosatom, the Kremlin's (Putin's) energy company. The same Rosatom that purchased Uranium One. Tenam was importing Russian uranium into the US. Between 2004-2014, the local manager, Mikerin, engaged with US companies Transport Logistics (TL) & NexGen Security in a racketeering, wire fraud, bribery & money laundering scheme. When a TL insider, William Campbell, blew the whistle on what he was seeing, Mueller's FBI started an investigation that led to at least 4 indictments by Holder's DOJ. Remember - the Tenam investigation is related to the Uranium One (U1) sale. Thats because the Tenam investigation was hidden from Congress & CFIUS, who approved the U1 sale in Oct 2010. If either had known about it, it's highly unlikely the U1 sale would have been approved. And the more you analyze the Tenam investigation, the more it appears that the Obama administration and/or Clintons deliberately wanted it hidden." Imperator_Rex then sets out the Uranium One cabal that William Campbell -- the whistleblower gagged by Obama AGs Holder and Lynch, who finally was released from the gag order so he could testify to Congress and share his evidence about Tenam involving the Clintons. As for the 4 indictments, Imperator_Rex says "None of the 4 indictments ever saw the light of day. Every one was either quietly settled under plea agreements, or dropped entirely, as follows : Mikerin, the Tenam manager, was sentenced to 48 months under a plea deal, for crimes that had 20+ year sentences (United States of America v. Vadim Mikerin)....Darren Condrey - plea agreement : Anti-Bribery, Conspiracy (18 U.S.C. 371) ....Carol Condrey -- under a plea agreement , her case was dropped....Rubizhevsky (NexGen) case settled with plea agreement...the charges : Conspiracy to Launder Money (18 U.S.C. § 371; 18 U.S.C. §§ 1956, 1957) ; Criminal Forfeiture (28 U.S.C. § 2461; 18 U.S.C. § 981) ; Criminal Forfeiture (18 U.S.C. § 982). Imperatum_Rex asks : "Notice something about these cases? None ever saw the light of day, where testimony would be made public. They were all 'disappeared'. Now with that in mind, consider the following bombshell facts : ALL of these cases were prosecuted by the same duo, or combination thereof -- Rod Rosenstein & Andrew Weissman....The FBI officer assigned to each case? Why, one Andrew McCabe....they were ALL assigned to the same judge -- one Judge Theodore Chuang, an Obama appointee....Chuang attended Harvard at the same time as one Barack Obama...both were editors of the Harvard Law Review. They would have known each other....That's the SAME Judge Theodore Chuang who refused Trump's EO travel ban in October 2017." • AND, the bombshell is that the SAME Judge Theodore Chuang has just been assigned to the Mark Lambert case. As Imperatum_Rex said : "Maybe I'm wrong, but this looks a lot like an ongoing conspiracy to protect the Clinton crime family -- and the Obama administration, via its partisans at DOJ and also in the judiciary....Other questions: Was the indictment of Mikerin and the others done so that ROSATOM/Russian Government / Putin wouldn't be upset? OR was it to put Clinton stooges in charge of the import AND export of US uranium following the U1 sale? Was it because it was a lucrative deal they wanted their friends to take advantage of, OR to cover what was going on with uranium export here? We know that with the U1 sale concluded, US uranium WAS exported from U1 mines. Did Eric Holder shut down Robert Mueller's investigation, or was he running Mueller the entire time with Andrew McCabe? Is he still doing so? So many questions....WE DESERVE ANSWERS. What you criminals have done -- what's being uncovered daily -- is a massive crimes against the USA." • • • IS MUELLER PART OF THE 'CABAL' OR IS HE GETTING EVEN WITH HOLDER, CLINTON AND OBAMA? To follow on with Imperatum_Rex : "Are Mueller, Rosenstein & Weissman using the cover of the 'muh Russia' SC to try and continue the cover up, or to covertly continue the investigation that Holder spiked? My belief is that this indictment strongly indicates the latter. Disclaimer : I have always thought Mueller's SC was a useful vehicle to investigate the Clinton & Obama links to U1, among other things. Mueller IS a compromised swamp critter, but I do think he was shut down by Holder and deeply resented it. Time will tell." • If Mueller is not part of the cabal, he is nevertheless finding many ways to do its work with attacks on President Trump by going after any Trump advisor or contact who can be compromised. If I were putting my eggs in any basket, it would be in Attorney General Jeff Session's. We learned in late December that Sessions told reporters Friday he was ordering a review of the charges against former President Obama in relation to Hezbollah and the Iran Deal. Sessions has ordered a review of the claims in an explosive Politico report that said former President Obama dropped prosecutions of the terrorist group Hezbollah in order to strengthen the chance that his nuclear deal with Iran would be successful. Fox News reported on the new investigation : "What are the accusations against Obama? The Politico report claimed that numerous prosecutorial actions against Hezbollah were abandoned by the Obama administration in order to secure the success of the Iran Deal. Former Obama administration officials have denied the accusations vehemently. What did Sessions say about the claims? Sessions released a statement to reporters Friday evening explaining why he ordered the review. 'Operations designed to investigate and prosecute terrorist organizations that are also fueling that drug crisis must be paramount in this administration,' Sessions said. 'While I am hopeful that there were no barriers constructed by the last administration to allowing DEA agents to fully bring all appropriate cases under Project Cassandra, this is a significant issue for the protection of Americans,' he added. 'We will review these matters and give full support to investigations of violent drug trafficking organizations,' he concluded. Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) praised the action, saying, 'I’m encouraged that the Justice Department recognizes that this is important and I hope that they will swiftly provide answers. Terrorists don’t get a pass to exploit drug addiction here at home and use American dollars to fund their global violence.' ” • At almost the same time in late December, Sessions ordered DOJ prosecutors to interview the FBI agents who investigated possible corruption in the Uranium One deal and its players’ links to the Clinton Foundation. Here's the NBC News release : "On the orders of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Justice Department prosecutors have begun asking FBI agents to explain the evidence they found in a now dormant criminal investigation into a controversial uranium deal that critics have linked to Bill and Hillary Clinton, multiple law enforcement officials told NBC News. The interviews with FBI agents are part of the Justice Department’s effort to fulfill a promise an assistant attorney general made to Congress last month to examine whether a special counsel was warranted to look into what has become known as the Uranium One deal, a senior Justice Department official said. At issue is a 2010 transaction in which the Obama Administration allowed the sale of US uranium mining facilities to Russia’s state atomic energy company. Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State at the time, and the State Department was one of nine agencies that agreed to approve the deal after finding no threat to U.S. national security." NBC said a senior law enforcement official who was briefed on the initial FBI investigation told it that there were "allegations of corruption surrounding the process under which the US government approved the sale. But no charges were filed." NBC mentioned the Clinton Foundation's role : "As the New York Times reported in April 2015, some of the people associated with the deal contributed millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation. And Bill Clinton was paid $500,000 for a Moscow speech by a Russian investment bank with links to the transaction. Hillary Clinton has denied playing any role in the decision by the State Department to approve the sale, and the State Department official who approved it has said Clinton did not intervene in the matter. That hasn't stopped some Republicans, including President Trump, from calling the arrangement corrupt -- and urging that Clinton be investigated." It was Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Stephen Boyd who wrote to Representative Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, to say that Justice Department lawyers would make recommendations to Sessions about whether an investigation should be opened or expanded, or whether a special counsel should be appointed to probe a number of issues of concern to Republicans. NBC noted : "In recent weeks, FBI agents who investigated the case have been asked by Justice Department prosecutors to describe the results of their probe. The agents also have been asked if there was any improper effort to squash a prosecution, the law enforcement sources say. The senior Justice Department official said the questions were part of an effort by the Sessions team to get up to speed on the controversial case, in the face of allegations from Congressional Republicans that it was mishandled." • The Sessions Department of Justice has also reportedly reopened the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. According to the Daily Beast, there is a new effort in the DOJ to get new details on how Clinton and her aides -- including former top aide Huma Abedin -- handled classified material. The effort will look at how much classified information was on her private email server, and how that information got there. The Obam era FBI investigation resulted in no criminal prosecution of Hillary Clinton for her use of the email server. And, in the first quarter of 2018, the Justice Department Inspector General is expected to release initial findings in what has become a wide-ranging probe into the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email case as well as whether agents and supervisors had political connections, ethical conflicts or biases that affected their work. • AND, the FBI is investigating whether the Clinton Foundation accepted donations in exchange for political favors while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State -- the infamous pay-for-play allegations. Sources told the Associated Press it has been ongoing for several months, with prosecutors and FBI agents taking the lead from their offices in Little Rock, Arkansas, where the Foundation has offices. Accusations have swirled for years about the Clinton family using the Foundation to enrich themselves and give donors special access to the State Department when Hillary Clinton was its head. But public corruption prosecutors in Washington expressed disinterest in working with the FBI on a Clinton Foundation-related investigation in 2016 -- while Obama was President -- saying they had concerns about the strength of the FBI's evidence. AG Sessions obviously feels there is something to investigate. • • • DEAR READERS, while the Uranium One scandal slowly perks through the federal courst, Attorney General Sessions has his DOJ and FBI investigators busy looking at the other aspects of the Obama-Clinton cabal. Special counsel Robert Mueller is part of the Sessions team, whether or not he wants to be. Sooner or later, AG Sessions will turn an investigative spotlight on the work of the special counsel, some of whose staff are already under congressional investigation for corruption and political motivation in what should be have been an objectively nonpartisan Mueller effort to get to the bottom of Russian efforts to rattle the US political system. Stay tuned, because there is a long road ahead.