Archive for the ‘Uranium for Russia’ category

FBI tries to claw back credibility – and maybe get on Trump’s good side

January 5, 2018

FBI tries to claw back credibility – and maybe get on Trump’s good side, American ThinkerMonica Showalter, January 5, 2017

(The Department of Justice Inspector General probably has more to do with getting the Clinton Foundation investigation on track than any staff desires to make nice with President Trump. — DM)

Suddenly, suddenly, the FBI isn’t so blase about the doings of the Clinton Foundation, launching a new investigation into its apparently corrupt activities. Might it really be a quest for its lost credibility?

According to a report from John Solomon of The Hill:

The Justice Department has launched a new inquiry into whether the Clinton Foundation engaged in any pay-to-play politics or other illegal activities while Hillary Clinton served as Secretary of State, law enforcement officials and a witness tells The Hill.

FBI agents from Little Rock, Ark., where the Foundation was started, have taken the lead in the investigation and have interviewed at least one witness in the last month, and law enforcement officials said additional activities are expected in coming weeks.

The officials, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, said the probe is examining whether the Clintons promised or performed any policy favors in return for largesse to their charitable efforts or whether donors made commitments of donations in hopes of securing government outcomes.

The probe may also examine whether any tax-exempt assets were converted for personal or political use and whether the Foundation complied with applicable tax laws, the officials said.

More than a year ago, author Peter Schweizer and the New York Times did a sort of joint investigation showing just how bad things were with money flowing into the Clinton Foundation and favors flowing out of Hillary Clinton’s State Department, notably in the case of the Uranium One giveaway to the Russians. The Times and Schweizer are hardly ideological coevals, so the fact that the two could work together and come to the same conclusion says something. The Times utilized a preview of Schweizer’s upcoming blockbuster, Clinton Cash, and then augmented the research with its own reporting. The Times’ editorial page didn’t like it, but seemed to accept that facts are facts and no corrections were issued on the story.

Pay for play was hardly confined to Russians and uranium. A Swiss company called Firmenich reportedly was experiencing a lime shortage for its fragrance industry and somehow got Bill Clinton to get some lime trees (as opposed to other things) planted in Haiti via the Clinton Foundation. After that, a $260,000 check was waiting for him for a brief speech in Switzerland, so the reports say.

There were countless instances of funds rolling in to the Clinton Foundation as favors rolled out, either from State or the foundation leaning on foreign governments.

The Hill reported  that the FBI’s Little Rock office found all sorts of problems in its local investigation but were rebuffed in their findings by headquarters and the highly politicized Obama Department of Justice. The investigation apparently died.

Until, well, now. Which raises questions about just how the FBI does business. Far from fear or favor, it let itself be rolled by positively Chavista-level politicizers from Team Obama. It was so bad the private sector with its far feebler investigative resources was able to show them up. Now they are scrambling to recover some lost credibility, as a law enforcement agency, not an Obama enforcer.

They may also be trying to restore credibility with President Trump, who has berated them for their politicization on Twitter. After all, they are going to have to work with him for the next three or seven years, and there will be resources and prerogatives they will want.

Well, glad they got on it.  Better late than never.

Uranium One Noose is Tightening

November 21, 2017

Uranium One Noose is Tightening, American ThinkerThomas Lifson, November 21, 2017

This official reticence, whatever its origin, will be overcome as Sullivan’s cache of 50,000 documents leaks out bit by bit.  Attorney Toensing [counsel to the informant] knows exactly what she is doing here, and how outside pressure can affect the grinding of the gears of justice.

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Now that the FBI’s informant on the Uranium One deal has been outed and the nondisclosure agreement formerly muzzling him abrogated, it is possible to see the outlines of the devastating case to be made against not just Hillary Clinton, but the entire Obama administration. Two intrepid reports, John Solomon of The Hill and Sara Carter of Circa News and Sinclair Broadcasting, are gaining access to some of the reported 50,000 documents in the possession of William Campbell, the whistleblower who went to the FBI with the scary details of what appeared to him to be an illegal attempt by Russian entities to take over the world uranium market, including even the uranium resources in our ground.

Reporting in The Hill, Solomon calls our attention to what could be a key to understanding the magnitude of the scandal:

Campbell, who was paid $50,000 a month to consult for the firm, was solicited by Rosatom colleagues to help overcome political opposition to the Uranium One purchase while collecting FBI evidence that the sale was part of a larger effort by Moscow to make the U.S. more dependent on Russian uranium, contemporaneous emails and memos show.

“The attached article is of interest as I believe it highlights the ongoing resolve in Russia to gradually and systematically acquire and control global energy resources,” Rod Fisk, an American contractor working for the Russians, wrote in a June 24, 2010 email to Campbell.

The Russian plot to “control global energy resources” was reported by Campbell to the FBI a year prior to approval of the acquisition. There is every reason to expect – and the proof would be available to congressional investigators or (cough) a special counsel or US attorney – that this information was passed up the chain to AG Eric Holder and even President Obama. Yet, CFIUS – the group of agency head that must approve such transactions on which Holder and Hillary sat – went ahead and approved this sale that the US knew was part of a Russian plot to control the world uranium and energy markets.

Justice Department officials confirmed the emails and documents gathered by Campbell, saying they were in the possession of the FBI, the department’s national security division and its criminal division at various times over the last decade. They added that Campbell’s work was valuable enough that the FBI paid him nearly $200,000, mostly for reimbursements over six years, but that the money also included a check for more than $51,000 in compensation after the final convictions were secured.

The information he gathered on Uranium One was more significant to the counterintelligence aspect of the case that started in 2008 than the eventual criminal prosecutions that began in 2013, they added.

Solomon and Carter were interviewed last night on Hannity, along with Sullivan’s lawyer Victoria Toensing, and under questioning let us know that the money trail from Russia all the way to American political figures via cutouts will be exposed by documented evidence.

Now, contemplate the magnitude of a scandal that could demonstrate foreign money leading to the approval of a sale that harms national security and aids a hostile power (about whose danger the Democrats have been hyperventilating for the past year).  Here is a poor quality bootleg video of the segment, that may or may not last on YouTube. If a better copy becomes available, we will post that.

 

But only if the Sessions Justice Department is willing to press the case, or is forced to approve a special counsel:

The memos, reviewed by The Hill, conflict with statements made by Justice Department officials in recent days that informant William Campbell’s prior work won’t shed much light on the U.S. government’s controversial decision in 2010 to approve Russia’s purchase of the Uranium One mining company and its substantial U.S. assets.

Campbell documented for his FBI handlers the first illegal activity by Russians nuclear industry officials in fall 2009, nearly a entire year before the Russian state-owned Rosatom nuclear firm won Obama administration approval for the Uranium One deal, the memos show.

This official reticence, whatever its origin, will be overcome as Sullivan’s cache of 50,000 documents leaks out bit by bit.  Attorney Toensing knows exactly what she is doing here, and how outside pressure can affect the grinding of the gears of justice.

Turkey’s Nuclear Ambitions

November 6, 2017

Turkey’s Nuclear Ambitions, Gatestone Institute, Debalina Ghoshal, November 6, 2017

(Wouldn’t it be easier to buy nukes and missiles from North Korea? — DM)

Russia’s ROSATOM already has nuclear cooperation deals with Iran, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, among others. Turkey is just the latest to benefit — possibly along with Iran and North Korea, both of which have been openly threatening to destroy America — from Moscow’s play for power in the Middle East and the Mediterranean.

The West would also do well not to feel secure in the knowledge that Turkey is a party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Nuclear reactors in the hands of a repressive Islamist authoritarian such as Erdogan could be turned into weapons factories with little effort.

Turkey’s announcement over the summer that it had signed a deal with Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation (ROSATOM) — of Hillary Clinton’s Uranium One stardom — to begin building three nuclear power plants in the near future is cause for concern. The $20 billion deal, which has been in the works since 2010, involves the construction in Mersin of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant — Turkey’s first-ever such plant — will be operational in 2023.

ROSATOM already has nuclear cooperation deals with Iran, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, among others. Turkey is just the latest to benefit — possibly along with Iran and North Korea, both of which have been openly threatening to destroy America — from Moscow’s play for power in the Middle East and the Mediterranean. It is also a source of desperately-needed revenue for Russia, hurt by sanctions imposed on Moscow following its invasion of Ukraine.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (then Prime Minister) meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 18, 2012. Their meeting focused on nuclear cooperation, among other things. (Image source: kremlin.ru)

Like Iran, Turkey claims that its budding nuclear program is for civilian purposes only. Ankara’s interest in nuclear energy dates back to the 1960s, when it conducted a study on the feasibility of building a 300-400 megawatt nuclear power plant, three decades before the rise of President (formerly Prime Minister) Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his AKP party.

Although it is true is that Ankara is currently incapable of meeting the country’s electricity demands, and relies heavily on imported natural gas even to manage that, it would be wishful thinking to assume this is Turkey’s only goal. Even though its state-controlled conventional power plants are dilapidated, since 2001, no public companies in Turkey have been allowed to invest in them.

Before international sanctions were imposed on Iran — prior to the 2015 neversigned Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — Tehran and Moscow were Turkey’s main suppliers of fossil fuels for the operation of the conventional plants. Ironically, it was the hindrance to commerce with Iran that led Turkey to consider nuclear energy a viable option to supplement the natural gas imports on which it relies heavily.

Russia is not the only country to strive to profit from Turkey’s nuclear energy ambitions. China, too, evidently wants a share. Last year, Beijing ratified the nuclear agreement it reached with Turkey in 2012. In 2015, China’s arch-rival, Japan, also signed a deal with Turkey: $20 billion for the construction of four nuclear power plants at Sinop, along the Black Sea.

In 2008, Turkey reached an “Agreement for Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation” with the United States. Two years later, it signed a memorandum of understanding on nuclear cooperation with South Korea.

Let us not be lulled by Ankara’s touting of the need to accommodate what it claims is the “highest rate of growing energy demand among OECD countries over the last 15 years.” The West would also do well not to feel secure in the knowledge that Turkey is a party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The ever-radicalizing Erdogan regime, which exploited the opportunity created by the failed coup in 2016 to imprison thousands of judges, journalists, academic, generals and anyone else suspected of being critical of the ruling party and its policies, has made no secret of its hegemonic ambitions in an already volatile and war-torn region. Nuclear reactors in the hands of a repressive Islamist authoritarian such as Erdogan could be turned into weapons factories with little effort. This potential for disaster must be taken into account and monitored.

Debalina Ghoshal, based in India, is an independent consultant specializing in nuclear and missile and missile defense related issues.

DOJ Sources: Sessions Has Not Recused Himself from Potential Uranium One Probe

November 4, 2017

DOJ Sources: Sessions Has Not Recused Himself from Potential Uranium One Probe, Washington Free Beacon, November 3, 2017

Attorney General Jeff Sessions / Getty Images

Department of Justice (DOJ) sources disputed reports late Friday that Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from decisions involving potential investigations into alleged corruption surrounding a deal that gave Russia control of a large portion of U.S. uranium-mining capacity.

DOJ officials told the Free Beacon that Sessions has not recused himself from deciding how the Justice Department should respond to recent reports raising questions about the Obama administration’s approval of a 2010 purchase of Uranium One, which controlled 20 percent of U.S. uranium, by Russian energy company Rosatam.

Sessions, in his role as attorney general, could recommend an internal DOJ investigation into the matter or appoint an outside special counsel to handle it.

For months, President Donald Trump has blasted Sessions for recusing himself from the probe into Russian meddling in the election and Moscow’s alleged ties to the Trump campaign. Sessions’ recusal led to the appointment of former Robert Mueller as special counsel in charge of the Russia probe.

Following Mueller’s first round of indictments in the Russia probe this week, Trump expressed frustration over his inability to get involved in Justice Department decisions and what investigations it launches.

On Friday morning he tweeted: “Everybody is asking why the Justice Department (and FBI) isn’t looking into all of the dishonesty going on with Crooked Hillary & the Dems…”

By week’s end, conservatives who support Sessions became increasingly concerned that Trump would decide to fire Sessions if the attorney general did not provide clarity about his recusal and whether he would be involved in decisions regarding former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and any improper role she might have played in the Uranium One deal.

Sessions’ defenders point to his decision last week to lift a gag order on an FBI informant with detailed knowledge of a Russian bribery scheme linked to the Uranium One deal as evidence that is has not recused himself from the issue. The Obama-era DOJ had imposed the non-disclosure agreement and reportedly threatened the informant with litigation if he broke it.

Rick Manning, the president of Americans for Limited Government, a conservative nonprofit, on Friday issued a statement, saying that Sessions “is in the game” on Uranium One and knocking down reports claiming otherwise.

Manning, citing what he called an “unimpeachable source,” said Sessions is on the Uranium One case.

“The fact that the attorney general ended the non-disclosure agreement for the Uranium One whistleblower provides the proof that Sessions is actively involved in the Uranium One case,” he said. “Unfortunately, the attorney general cannot conduct any investigations through press releases and sound bites allowing the rest of us to receive a blow-by-blow description of every action that might be under way.”

GOP lawmakers have launched their own investigations into the matter after the Hill and Circa News reported new details of an extensive Russian bribery scheme aimed at expanding Moscow’s control of U.S. nuclear energy supplies. Three congressional committees are now looking into the bribery scheme and whether it influenced then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s decision to sign off on the acquisition.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, was the first lawmaker to press the Justice Department and other federal agencies for information about the Uranium One deal, asking Sessions during an Oct. 19 hearing whether the agency was investigating the deal and the surrounding Russian bribes.

At the time, Sessions responded that it would be inappropriate to disclose whether Justice is looking into to the matter but tried to assure Grassley that his concerns would be addressed.

He also said he doubted Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein would be the right person to look into the matter because he had handled the prosecution of those implicated in the Russian bribery scheme while he was serving as a U.S. attorney in Maryland before he became a top DOJ official.

Last week, Grassley appeared exasperated by the lack of clarity about whether Sessions could launch an investigation into Uranium One.

“Whoever in DOJ is capable w authority to appoint a special counsel shld do so to investigate Uranium One ‘whoever’ means if u aren’t recused,” he tweeted.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R., Fla.) said earlier this week that Sessions met with House Judiciary Committee Republicans in late September and told them that his recusal prevented any involvement in potential investigations into Uranium One or anything that involved the 2016 campaign, the candidates, or Russia.

According to a Breitbart report, when Gaetz asked Sessions to appoint a special counsel to look into the Uranium One deal, the attorney general abruptly stood up and said he couldn’t discuss the matter because of the recusal and left the room.

That left the House Judiciary Republicans with a group of aides to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who Gaetz said showed “no interest” in discussing a potential Uranium One Justice Department investigation.

Gaetz said Sessions’ “broad” interpretation of the recusal puts Rosenstein in charge, which he called “troubling.”

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.), who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, as well as Reps. Ron DeSantis, (R., Fla.), Louis Gohmert, (R., Texas), and Jim Jordan, (R., Ohio), all members of the panel, also were at the late September meeting with Sessions.

Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores earlier this week said she did not believe that others remembered Sessions making the statements about his recusal that Gaetz claimed but would not comment directly or not about whether Sessions was recused from the Uranium One issue.

Sessions, an early Trump supporter and frequent campaign surrogate, in early March recused himself from any Department of Justice investigations into President Trump’s campaign and any alleged ties to Russia. It is unclear, however, how far the recusal extended.

The recusal came after a storm of criticism over Sessions’ failure to disclose two instances in which he met Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, during his Senate confirmation hearings.

Trump and other Republicans pushed back, pointing to numerous contacts Kislyak had with high-profile Democrats, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and several Democratic senators.

The Hill newspaper and Circa News reported new details of a sweeping multimillion dollar racketeering scheme by Russian nuclear officials on U.S. soil that involved “bribery, kickbacks, money laundering and extortion.”

The report indicated that an FBI informant had information that FBI agents suggested that political pressure was exerted during the Justice Department probe of the bribery scheme and that there was specific evidence that could have scuttled approval of the Uranium One deal.

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) approved the controversial Uranium One deal in 2010. Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then-Attorney General Eric Holder served on CFIUS at the time the agency approved the deal. She has said she knew nothing about the Russian racketeering.

Grassley and other GOP lawmakers have questioned the propriety of millions of dollars the Clinton Foundation received from “interested parties” in the uranium deal and have highlighted a $500,000 payment Bill Clinton received for a speech in Moscow before a Russian-government aligned bank. That speech took place the same month the Russians began the process of acquiring Uranium One.

The nuclear blast of Russian collusion

October 29, 2017

The nuclear blast of Russian collusion, Israel National News, Barry Shaw, October 27, 2017

Democrats unleashed a nuclear storm when they went after Trump on trumped up charges of Russian collusion.  Now they are about to reap the storm they created. It is likely to burn and destroy several Establishment figures.  

Watch out for the names Comey, Rosenstein, Wiseman, Mueller, Lynch, maybe Holder, two Clintons, and Obama.

If this is part of draining the swamp, so be it. 

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When President Donald Trump tweeted “Firm involved with discredited and Fake Dossier takes the 5th. Who paid for it, Russia, FBI, the Dems, or all?” people assumed it was one of Trump’s midnight rants. But, he exposed what looks likely to become the greatest political scandal in America’s history.

For a year, the Democrats, aided and abetted by a Hillary Clinton supporting media and a Deep State Establishment which includes Obama hangovers in the new Trump Administration as well as ‘Never Trump’ Republicans, have been searching under every rock and stone for evidence of a Trump collusion with the Russians.

Before leaving office, FBI head, James Comey contrived to appoint his friend, Robert Mueller, to be the Special Counsel to investigate links between the incoming president and the Russians, portrayed as the greatest evil on the face of the planet.

Now, it seems, the nuclear storm they unleashed of Russian collusion has suddenly changed direction and is blasting the Democrats and the Establishment fully in their own faces. In a two-pronged attack their demons have turned against them in what Trump calls “the Washington swamp.”

Christopher Steele, a British intelligence agent, offered the anti-Trump opposition information that could sink the Trump Campaign. The information came out of the Kremlin. This fake Russian intel was offered through a Russian-infected NGO named Fusion GPS. It was designed to help the Clinton Campaign defeat Donald Trump.

There was a price to be paid for this dossier. James Comey, the head of the FBI considered paying for it but, despite recent denials, it was revealed that the price was paid to Fusion GPS by the Hillary Clinton Campaign and the DNC. Millions of dollars were paid in several payments to Fusion GPS through law firms as cut-outs to cloak where the money was ending up. The dossier was shared with the FBI who sat on it rather than bringing it, as they should, to the attention of Congress.

An FBI informer wanted to bring the details of the dossier and name those involved in the scandal to Congress, but he was threatened by the FBI and by Loretta Lynch’s Depart of Justice with criminal, not civil, charges including serving jail time. The whistle-blower’s lawyer has been campaigning that it was the FBI and the Attorney-General’s duty to bring this matter to Congress, and that they had no jurisdiction to threaten this employee with criminal charges and incarceration.

Congress Oversight and Government Reform Committee member, Ron DeSantis, pressed the current Attorney-General, Jeff Sessions, to release this FBI agent and allow him to testify before Congress. The Attorney-General has now authorized this agent to speak with Congress. DeSantis said on the Lou Dobbs Show on Fox News TV that he is confident that the agent will not only give them details and names, but also offer supporting documents.

The affair is likely to include the breaking news of a huge multi-million-dollar scandal involving the Obama Administration, the FBI, the Department of Justice under the Obama presidency, Hillary and Bill Clinton and their Clinton Foundation.

Democrat Adam Schiff once said of a fake Trump collusion, without one iota of evidence, that it was “one of the most shocking betrayals in history.” Now he is going to witness what will truly be the most shocking betrayals in American history but, to his dismay, it will be Democrat-induced betrayals.

Under Obama and the Clintons, the United States sold 20% of its vital uranium reserves to America’s most evil enemy, Putin in the Kremlin.  Uranium is the prime ingredient for a nuclear bomb. Today, the United States has to import uranium to power its nuclear power plants – from Russia.  Part of the agreement stated that none of this uranium could leave the United States but there is evidence that much of it has left America for Europe and, almost certainly to Russia. Russia also supplies Iran with much of their uranium for their nuclear projects. That is why this issue has important security connotations for Israel.

And, in a pay to play quid pro quo, $145 million made its way from the Russian actors in this deal (acting for the Kremlin) into the coffers of the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton was acting Secretary of State. Her husband, Bill, travelled to Moscow to give a $500,000 speech before having a private chat with Putin himself in his Moscow mansion. This, after Obama was recorded on an open mic in 2012 telling Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, “tell Vladimir that after my election I have more flexibility.”  This was matched by Hillary Clinton pantomiming with Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, that they could press a plastic ‘Reset’ button.

This was the jovial atmosphere that accompanied the Obama Administration’s collusion with Russia which is now being revealed to have sold off one of America’s most vital strategic and security assets to “the greatest threat to any nation” according to FBI’s James Comey, or “Russia is at the top of America’s threat list,” according to Obama’s Defense secretary, Ash Carter, in 2016, or to a country that “engages in hostile acts,” according to Hillary Clinton.

Either way, the Democrats unleashed a nuclear storm when they went after Trump on trumped up charges of Russian collusion.  Now they are about to reap the storm they created. It is likely to burn and destroy several Establishment figures.

Watch out for the names Comey, Rosenstein, Wiseman, Mueller, Lynch, maybe Holder, two Clintons, and Obama.

If this is part of draining the swamp, so be it.

Barry Shaw is a Senior Associate at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies. 

Hillary’s very own Russian collusion connection

October 28, 2017

Hillary’s very own Russian collusion connection, Washington TimesWesley Pruden, October 26, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The Clinton can is as full of worms as her harshest critics ever imagined it was, and now the worms are turning. Washington is agog, liberal and conservative alike, as the details of the spreading story of confusion, chicanery and crime in Hillary’s campaign for president emerge from the dark and fetid places so abundant in the capital.

Hillary thought she had the presidency in the can, as her friends in Hollywood might have put it, but it turns out that there was no room in the can for a mere presidency. There were too many interesting worms.

It’s turning out that there was in fact Russian meddling in the election last year, and it was not meddling in behalf of Donald Trump, as Hillary and the Democrats have been so loudly decrying for months, but meddling in behalf of the little lady late of Little Rock.

Two tales of chicanery are hotly pursuing Hillary and prominent figures in her campaign. The first is the uranium scam, the purchase of certain assets, arranged and managed by Canadian “facilitators” who greased the path of these assets to the Russians with enormous donations (the grease) to the Clinton Foundation, and even a speech for Bubba in Moscow. He pocketed a cool half-million dollars for reworking an oldie and not even necessarily a goodie. This was a transaction that had to be approved by the State Department, and who better to approve it than a secretary of State.

The FBI discovered this grease moving back and forth in a vast bribery scheme — bigger even than the vast right-wing media that could make up sleazy stuff about a president and a White House intern. The existence of this vast bribery scheme was not disclosed to the agencies of the government examining the details of a transfer in 2010 of American commercial nuclear assets to Russia.

There was no attempt by the FBI to break up the bribery scheme, and five years later, Atty. Gen. Eric Holder and President Obama’s Justice Department disclosed a plea bargain to settle the case with the Russian managing the bribes on a convenient Friday afternoon when the story could be put quietly to sleep, where it slumbered until the Hill, a daily newspaper on Capitol Hill, shook it awake last week.

Conveniences, if not conspiracies, had to be served. Mr. Obama and his secretary of State were hard at work “resetting” U.S.-Russian relations, and the FBI, then under direction of Robert Mueller, was going easy on the investigation. Hillary and her campaign were saved from exposure lest national interests be compromised. What was good for Hillary was good for America. It’s a continuing source of amazement how coincidences like this work in a swamp.

Not that Mr. Mueller, a rampart of rectitude in the nation’s capital, famous as the lawyer who never emasculates an ethic, would suffer anything questionable, but as Holman Jenkins Jr. observes in The Wall Street Journal, “Mr. Mueller has the means, motive and opportunity to obfuscate and distract from matters embarrassing to the FBI, while pleasing a large part of the political spectrum. He need only confine his focus to the flimsy, disingenuous but popular (with the media) accusation that the shambolic Trump campaign colluded with the Russians.” And so it came to pass.

The uranium scam, which requires concentration to follow all the twists and turns, leads inexorably to “the dirty dossier,” which, being about sex, does not require such concentration, because sex is never about technicalities.

This is the dossier retailing lurid tales about naked ladies cavorting with the Donald without interruption even when nature called. Just as Bubba educated inquiring minds about the mechanics of oral sex, so Hillary now educates a later generation about golden showers that require no plumbing.

Hillary’s campaign had a high old time with the tales, spinning them along to eager media just before the inauguration of President Trump. Hillary and the Democrats were outraged, of course, aghast at details of the Russian romp, with endless tut-tuts at Donald Trump for so defiling traditional values with such untraditional behavior. Distraught Democrats hardly knew what to say, but said it anyway.

But such stories rarely survive the light of day, and it turns out that Hillary’s campaign lawyer, one Marc Elias, brokered a deal between the Hillary campaign and the Democratic National Committee and Fusion GPS, a Washington dealer in campaign dirt, to make up the smarmy stuff. Now a lot of reporters, some at The Washington Post and some at The New York Times, are complaining that Hillary’s lawyer lied to them. Heaven forfend!

Did somebody say collusion with Russians?

• Wesley Pruden is editor in chief emeritus of The Times.

Conway to CNN: We Can’t Get You to Cover Russia ‘Now That the Shoe Is on the Other Foot’

October 27, 2017

Conway to CNN: We Can’t Get You to Cover Russia ‘Now That the Shoe Is on the Other Foot’, Washington Free Beacon , October 27, 2017

(Thought experiment: If it were revealed that Melania Trump had promised Putin that President Trump would let Russia get 20% of America’s Uranium in exchange for a $500,000 campaign contribution, what would the reaction of CNN et al have been? — DM)

 

Camerota asked Conway whether Trump wants the former FBI informant to testify, noting, “Clearly he has some interest.”

The Justice Department has given the informant the green light to testify before Congress, CNN reported.

“Shouldn’t you?” Conway responded. “Shouldn’t we all? CNN is so vested in Russia, Russia, Russia, don’t you want to hear from everybody now? Or are we just going to drop the word Russia forever morning because it gets a little too close to the woman who ran last time?”

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White House counselor Kellyanne Conway on Friday rebuked the media for not covering a controversial deal that gave Russia control of more than 20 percent of America’s uranium supply when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, arguing the press was “obsessed” with Moscow when the main story concerned potential Russian ties to President Donald Trump.

Conway sparred with CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota about U.S. relations with Russia, focusing on the sale of a Canadian uranium mining company, Uranium One, to Russia’s Atomic Energy Agency, Rosatom, that was approved by the Obama administration in 2010.

The White House counselor first said that she wanted to talk about the current opioid epidemic in the United States, which Trump declared a public health crisis on Thursday, before addressing the Uranium One deal.

“Well, first of all, the president is not worried about Uranium One. The people who should be worries about Uranium One are the people who benefited from it,” Conway said. “His spouse didn’t go make a half-a-million-dollar speech in Russia while he was secretary of state, then turn around and be part of the decision-making process for them to get 20 percent of our rights. He wasn’t secretary of state or president at the time when Russian folks were trying to infiltrate the State Department and get an advantage for this particular deal.”

Conway was referencing how former President Bill Clinton collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in Russian speaking fees and the Clinton Foundation received millions in donations from parties interested in the uranium deal while Hillary Clinton presided on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, a government body that approved the agreement.

Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit the Clinton Foundation, the Hill reported last week, adding that, according to FBI and court documents, “federal agents used a confidential U.S. 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.”

Camerota asked Conway whether Trump wants the former FBI informant to testify, noting, “Clearly he has some interest.”

The Justice Department has given the informant the green light to testify before Congress, CNN reported.

“Shouldn’t you?” Conway responded. “Shouldn’t we all? CNN is so vested in Russia, Russia, Russia, don’t you want to hear from everybody now? Or are we just going to drop the word Russia forever morning because it gets a little too close to the woman who ran last time?”

“We have talked about this for the last year so let’s at least close the loop, can’t we?” Conway added. “And look at what the Clinton campaign and the Democrats did.”

Camerota pressed Conway on what about the uranium deal bothered her if the deal should have been struck.

Zero,” Conway said. “What bothers me it is that we can’t get all of you who have been obsessed about Russia, Russia, Russia to cover it now that the shoe is on the other foot.”

“I think it’s exactly what people hate about corruption and politicians and the swamp,” she added. “I think they look at that and it’s not difficult for them to connect the dots that you have one spouse giving a half-a-million-dollar speech, [and] you have another one that’s the secretary of state.

“Whole 20 percent of the US. uranium rights go to a Russian interest. That’s not difficult for people to understand,” she added.

The Roots of the Dem’s Russia Obsession

October 27, 2017

The Roots of the Dem’s Russia Obsession, FrontPage Magazine, Daniel Greenfield, October 27, 2017

If Hillary had won, the Russia-Trump narrative would have been quickly disposed of. Even most Dems had trouble taking the allegations seriously. And they weren’t aimed at Russia, so much as at Trump.

But once Hillary lost, everything changed.

The narrative was no longer about tying Trump to a corrupt foreign government. It was about a vast conspiracy that had hijacked the election. Trump had been reinvented as the Manchurian Candidate.

The Russians were trying to influence American politics for their own benefit. And they were frankly apolitical about it. The Russia trail has led to the Clintons and Uranium One, to Tony Podesta, the brother of Hillary’s campaign chair, and, ironically enough, to Fusion GPS.

The very organization that helped birth the Trump-Russia meme was in bed with the Russians.

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Five years ago, Mitt Romney was hammering Barack Obama for being soft on Russia. And Obama was ridiculing him as a Cold War fossil. The Russia exchanges may seem confusing today, but back then they were a natural outgrowth of the respective Democrat and Republican foreign policy positions.

The Dems had accused President Bush of alienating Russia with the Iraq War. The McCain-Obama debates echoed the Romney-Obama debates with McCain taking a harder line on Russia. In ’08, Vladimir Putin even suggested that relations would improve once Obama took office. By ’12, Obama was caught on a hot mic promising more flexibility for Russia after the election was over.

Until the end of the Obama era, foreign policy fell along these predictable lines. Republicans focused on the old Cold War need to maintain NATO against Russian expansionism. Democrats had their own Cold War reflex. Whenever they heard Russia, they began to talk about nuclear disarmament.

And that was exactly what Obama did.

It’s hard to overestimate how much of our foreign policy consisted of unthinking virtue signaling.

For example, no one is quite sure why Obama decided to launch his disastrous Afghanistan surge with its accompanying horrifying death toll. But a debate exchange with Mitt Romney offers one possibility.

“Governor Romney,” Obama said. “I’m glad that you recognize that Al-Qaeda is a threat, because a few months ago when you were asked what’s the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia, not Al-Qaeda.”

Obama’s obsession with Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, long after the group had ceased to matter there, was initially based on a claim that his administration knew was a lie. But the simplest explanation may be that the Dems had spent so much time accusing President Bush of neglecting Osama bin Laden to fight Saddam Hussein that pulling out of Iraq and going to Afghanistan became another reflexive response.

Even as ISIS took over a sizable piece of the Middle East, Obama didn’t want to hear about Iraq.

Thousands of Americans died and were maimed in Afghanistan while Iraq nearly became the center of a new terror state because some Dem strategist had decided that his party should counter Bush by emphasizing Afghanistan over Iraq. And so a cynical slogan eventually became a disastrous policy.

Similarly, Obama’s relationship to Russia was based around nuclear arms reduction because that had been the Dem line for generations. Obama and Hillary’s appeasement of Putin was a legacy of the Cold War. The major reset that turned the Dems from appeasers into antagonists also remains a mystery.

And the explanation for it may be every bit as disastrous as Obama’s pivot to Afghanistan. The origins of the Trump-Russia narrative appear to have come from the infamous Fusion GPS dossier. And that dossier was funded in part by a Clintonworld figure. But Fusion GPS had also been doing work for the Russians. Why did Fusion GPS choose to link Trump to Russia? It might have been a stray mouse click.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the DNC hired Fusion GPS to do opposition research on President Trump. Fusion GPS hired Christopher Steele whose specialty was Russia. Why was Fusion GPS interested in Russia?

The answer appeared to be a Washington Post hit piece titled, “Inside Trump’s financial ties to Russia and his unusual flattery of Putin.”

The article was one of a flurry of disposable hit pieces aimed at Trump. But the timing was crucial. It was June 2016. A month earlier, Trump had become the presumptive nominee. Fusion GPS’ old GOP client was no longer paying for anti-Trump material and the smear firm was casting around for Dem clients. It needed something juicy to offer them. And Russia just happened to be the flavor of the week.

After generations, the Dem position on Russia flipped drastically due to a smear firm’s need for money.

If Hillary had won, the Russia-Trump narrative would have been quickly disposed of. Even most Dems had trouble taking the allegations seriously. And they weren’t aimed at Russia, so much as at Trump.

But once Hillary lost, everything changed.

The narrative was no longer about tying Trump to a corrupt foreign government. It was about a vast conspiracy that had hijacked the election. Trump had been reinvented as the Manchurian Candidate.

But the Russian influence operation that was uncovered looked like an update of the Cold War with social media thrown into the mix. The initial rush to find connections to Russia on the right exposed troll farms that just as eagerly posed as Black Lives Matter, Standing Rock and militant feminists.

The old KGB had built networks of leftist front groups in the same way. The only difference was that with the internet and social media, Russian troll farms could recruit black nationalists online. Or pretend to be them on Twitter and Facebook. The best way to put forward their own agenda on issues like Crimea or Syria that most Americans didn’t care about was to set up fake identity politics front groups.

The Russians were trying to influence American politics for their own benefit. And they were frankly apolitical about it. The Russia trail has led to the Clintons and Uranium One, to Tony Podesta, the brother of Hillary’s campaign chair, and, ironically enough, to Fusion GPS.

The very organization that helped birth the Trump-Russia meme was in bed with the Russians.

Did the Russians help create the Trump-Russia meme? The now infamous meeting in Trump Tower took place the same month as Fusion GPS’ pivot to the Russian narrative. When Trump Jr. shot down the Russians, the dossier may have been payback. The fatally flawed material in the dossier would hurt Trump, discredit anyone who used it and build the illusion of Russian influence. Just as Fusion GPS handfed stories to reporters, the Russians may have handfed the story to their pet researcher.

But they wouldn’t have anticipated the avalanche that it would set off.

Hillary’s campaign funded a dossier accusing Trump of Russian ties that might itself have been a Russian influence operation. But the Clintons and their associates, not to mention Fusion GPS, were no strangers to those. And as the Russian narrative stings the Dems, it will be as quickly forgotten as Obama’s mockery of Mitt Romney. The Reset Button will be pushed one more time.

The Dems loved Russia before they hated it. And they will learn to love it again.

Beyond the breaking news and the trending headlines, the real story is the unseriousness of Dem foreign policy. After two terms in the White House, the world is a mess. And the decisions responsible for that mess have haphazard ideological roots. ObamaCare was born because Obama needed a selling point. It was poorly thought out, poorly implemented and yet the Dems will die to defend it.

The Afghanistan surge remains one of the great scandals that no one will discuss. And even fewer will discuss the illegal Libyan invasion which emails revealed had a good deal to do with Hillary’s election bid. The Dems had spent generations appeasing Russia, before deciding that they really needed a good anti-Trump hit piece. And so they did what they weren’t willing to do in the face of nuclear annihilation, mass murder, assorted acts of terrorism and, more recently, an invasion or two, because Hillary lost.

Hillary and the Dems have argued that they are the responsible adults in the room. This is their idea of responsibility and what they are responsible for.

Carlson Exposes Russia Story the Rest of Mainstream Media Missed

October 26, 2017

Carlson Exposes Russia Story the Rest of Mainstream Media Missed, Accuracy in Media, Brian McNicoll, October 25, 2017

(Please see also, DOJ lifts gag order; former FBI informant can tell Congress about 2010 uranium deal. — DM)

 

Carlson’s source said he had also been interviewed by Mueller, whom the source said is now more interested in those who facilitated Russian involvement in our political system as opposed to electoral collusion.

“Manafort was crystal clear Russia wanted to cultivate Hillary,” Carlson quoted the source as saying. Manafort, Tony and John Podesta, who went on to manage Clinton’s campaign, were “operatives on behalf of Russian business interests.”

“And now it turns out two people very close to Hillary Clinton were working for them. Obama administration in its effort to seek a closer relationship with Russia acquiescing in the sale of materials that are strategic and place American security interests at some risk.”

The last remark referred to other reporting this week that President Obama worked with Clinton during her time at the State Department to sell a fifth of the U.S. uranium supply to the Russians – another event that has received almost no coverage.

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Nowhere in the New York Times or Washington Post will you find it, but Tucker Carlson might have pulled off the scoop of the year on his show on Fox.

Paul Manafort has long been known to be at or near the center of the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

The FBI searched Manafort’s house, he was at the meeting with Donald Trump, Jr., and the Russian lawyer who offered dirt on Hillary Clinton and his past as a lobbyist for foreign governments means he likely knows the people might collude with.

But the assumption has been that Manafort, who served as Donald Trump’s campaign manager for a brief period in the summer of 2016, was a problem for Trump and perhaps a link from underground Russian dealings to the Oval Office itself.

Carlson said that a former senior employee at the Podesta Group with “direct personal knowledge” of the Mueller investigation contacted the show because he was “motivated … by the disgust he felt watching media coverage.”

Not only are the media getting it wrong, he said, they are getting it backwards. 

The man told Carlson the Russians were deeply involved in American politics, but the real story – perhaps now even the focus of the Mueller investigation – has “almost nothing to do with the 2016 presidential campaign.”

Instead, it is about Manafort working for years with the Podesta Group on behalf of Russian government interests, the source told Carlson. Manafort was a regular in the Podesta offices and sought to influence the Obama administration, Congress and the Hillary Clinton State Department on behalf of Russian government interests.

Tony Podesta, in turn, was a constant voice in Hillary Clinton’s ear when she was secretary of state, working through David Adams, whom he hired from the State Department to improve access.

The man said he knows of at least one meeting held to “determine how to help Uranium One, whose board members gave $100 million to the Clinton Foundation.”

Carlson’s source said he had also been interviewed by Mueller, whom the source said is now more interested in those who facilitated Russian involvement in our political system as opposed to electoral collusion.

“Manafort was crystal clear Russia wanted to cultivate Hillary,” Carlson quoted the source as saying. Manafort, Tony and John Podesta, who went on to manage Clinton’s campaign, were “operatives on behalf of Russian business interests.”

The Podestas “are in the crosshairs,” Carlson concluded.

He then brought on Brit Hume, who agreed this revelation changed the story completely by complicating everyone’s idea of Manafort’s place in it and by revealing that Mueller “is on this” and may now be involved in “a more broad-gauged effort to determine the extent and depth of Russian efforts to influence American politics going back several years.”

But then raised perhaps an even more significant question.

The story “suggests what collusion that have been was between Paul Manafort and the Podesta Group on behalf of Russian interests,” Hume said. “What you’re coming around and getting at this now … how could it be that all these journalists chasing this story for lo these many months and never ran across this thing? How can that be?”

“It’s pretty striking, and it suggests the work done on this story has not been of the best quality or this would have turned up. I’d also suggest you have a pack of journalists who are so determined to follow one storyline that they completely missed this.

“And now it turns out two people very close to Hillary Clinton were working for them. Obama administration in its effort to seek a closer relationship with Russia acquiescing in the sale of materials that are strategic and place American security interests at some risk.”

The last remark referred to other reporting this week that President Obama worked with Clinton during her time at the State Department to sell a fifth of the U.S. uranium supply to the Russians – another event that has received almost no coverage.

“The tide may be turning in political terms and hopefully in journalistic tones,” Hume said.

DOJ lifts gag order; former FBI informant can tell Congress about 2010 uranium deal

October 26, 2017

DOJ lifts gag order; former FBI informant can tell Congress about 2010 uranium deal, Washington Times,  October 26, 2017

Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, in Austin, Texas. (Ricardo B. Brazziell/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

The congressional investigations could also have implications for Hillary Clinton, who served as secretary of state at the time the deal was made.

The New York Times reported in 2015 that at least one individual involved in the transaction donated some $2.35 million to the Clinton Foundation. Those donations weren’t publicly disclosed by the Clintons despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had with the Obama White House to identify all donors to the foundation.

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The Justice Department has lifted a gag order on a former FBI informant who had been blocked from speaking to congressional investigators about a 2010 deal that allowed a Kremlin-backed company to gain control of a substantial amount of America’s uranium supply.

Two House committees opened investigations into the controversial deal this week, but said a key informant was unable to discuss the matter because he was bound by a confidentiality agreement with the Justice Department.

In a statement issued Wednesday evening, DOJ spokesman Ian Prior said the informant was authorized to disclose to the congressional leaders of three 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.”

The Republican chairmen and ranking Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and limited staff members were all cleared to speak with the informant.

Lawmakers have sought to learn more about the circumstances surrounding the U.S. approval of the partial sale of Canadian mining companyUranium One, which had some U.S. mining assets, to Russia’s atomic energy giant Rosatom.

The State Department and eight other U.S. agencies on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States unanimously approved the deal, but lawmakers have questioned to what end officials were informed at the time of the FBI’s investigation into bribery, kickbacks and money laundering within the Russian nuclear industry.

Four years after the deal was approved, the Justice Department criminally charged Mikerin, an executive for the Russian nuclear firm Tenex, a subsidiary of Rosatom. Mikerin pleaded guilty in money laundering in which U.S. authorities said he arranged for more than $2 million in bribes to be paid in exchange for lucrative no-bid uranium trucking contracts.

The Hill reported that the informant’s work helped secure Mikerin’s conviction.

The congressional investigations could also have implications for Hillary Clinton, who served as secretary of state at the time the deal was made.

The New York Times reported in 2015 that at least one individual involved in the transaction donated some $2.35 million to the Clinton Foundation. Those donations weren’t publicly disclosed by the Clintons despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had with the Obama White House to identify all donors to the foundation.