Michael Bastasch on December 11, 2017
A top Republican senator is expanding an investigation into the Uranium One deal, demanding documents from the Energy Department and Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on the Uranium One deal.
Wyoming GOP Sen. John Barrasso wants to whether or not former President Barack Obama’s administration intentionally misled him about Uranium One being able to export its product out of the U.S. after it was acquired by Russia.
Barrasso wrote Monday in a letter to Energy Department officials:
On March 21, 2011, former NRC Chairman Greg Jaczko responded to my letter on behalf of then-President Obama stating: ‘At this time, neither Uranium One Inc. nor ARMZ holds a specific NRC export license. In order to export uranium from the United States, Uranium One, Inc. or ARMZ would need to apply for and obtain a specific NRC license authorizing the export of uranium for use in reactor fuel’ … Recent reporting by The Hill uncovered that Uranium One was able to export uranium without obtaining a specific export license. Beginning in 2012, Uranium One exported U.S. uranium by ‘piggy-backing’ as a supplier on an export license held by the shipping company, RSB Logistic Services Inc.
Reporting by the Casper Star Tribune shows that, upon receipt of my letter to President Obama, the White House forwarded the letter to the DOE which then referred this matter to the NRC stating: ‘Because the subject of the letter does not fall within the purview of the Department of Energy, we are forwarding the letter to your agency.’
“By stating DOE had no role in the matter, the DOE concealed the possibility of subsequent exports and their responsibility in reviewing them,” wrote Barrasso, chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.
Barrasso began investigating the Uranium One deal in October after it came to light the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) sat on evidence linking the deal to a Russian bribery scheme. That evidence included links to the Clinton Foundation.
The Republican asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions for records regarding the FBI’s investigation into bribery surrounding Uranium One deal.
Two House committees also have open investigations into the Uranium One deal, that The New York Times detailed before the 2016 presidential primaries.
The Obama administration approved the sale of Uranium One to Russia’s state-owned nuclear energy company, Rosatom, in 2010. The approval came after the deal was approved by a special committee representing federal agencies, including the State Department.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton headed the State Department at the time. The Hill reported the FBI also had an eyewitness account and documents showing Russian nuclear officials funneled millions of dollars into the U.S. to “benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation.”
The Clinton campaign denied donations to the Clinton Foundation ever played a role in policy. Campaign officials said Hillary Clinton herself played no role in the approval of Uranium One’s sale to Russian interests.
Republicans criticized the deal, that gave Russia control of about one-quarter of U.S. uranium production capacity. Barrasso and other lawmakers were particularly concerned over uranium being exported out of the U.S.
The Obama Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved no export licenses for the company, the commission told Barrasso in 2011. A few years later NYT reported Uranium One products had left the country, mostly to Canada, without a license.
“Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million” to the Clinton Foundation as Russia took control of the Canada-based company from 2009 to 2013, NYT also noted. Those donations were not disclosed.