Former U.S. officials who helped frame the still-unproven narrative that President Trump colluded with Russia during the 2016 elections are themselves now in the spotlight for their ties to a Russian campaign of bribery, kickbacks, money laundering, and extortion.
Those caught in the new Russia controversy include Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Special Consul Robert Mueller, former FBI Director James Comey, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and others. All of the individuals have been pushing the Russia-Trump narrative, and Mueller is even leading the special counsel investigation.
The Hill broke the story on Oct. 17, and reported the FBI had evidence the Clintons were tied to the Uranium One purchase that gave Russia 20 percent of America’s uranium supply. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was serving on a government body that allowed the deal. In the same month that the deal was first approved, the Clinton Foundation was paid $500,000 by Russia for a speech by Bill Clinton. As the bids went forward, $2.35 million was paid to the Foundation between 2009 and 2013.
On Oct. 19, The Hill broke another story, showing that Bill Clinton sought to meet with Russian nuclear officials in 2010 while the deal was going through, and sought permission on this from the State Department, which his wife, Hillary Clinton, was leading at the time.
Citizens United published additional documents on Oct. 20 obtained from a State Department FOIA request, showing that at around the same time that her husband sought to meet Russian nuclear officials, Hillary Clinton discussed meeting with former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and current Russian President Vladimir Putin. A March 1, 2010, email asks whether she could skip a White House celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day to meet with the Russian leaders.
Citizens United Releases Clinton – Russia Related FOIA Documents From State Dept. https://t.co/80PW5pZs73.
— Citizens United (@Citizens_United) October 20, 2017
A witness to the Russian campaign of bribery and extortion surrounding the deals came forward to the FBI, but under former FBI Director James Comey, the witness was asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), and was threatened with criminal charges by the Justice Department—at the time, headed by Loretta Lynch—if he spoke with Congress.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) called for information on this witness, and asked that he to able to testify. He detailed his requests in a series of letters on Oct. 18, which he sent to 10 federal agencies.
“These restrictions appear to improperly prevent the individual from making critical, good faith disclosures to Congress of potential wrongdoing,” Grassley states in his letter. “They also purport to limit the Committee’s access to information it needs to fulfill its constitutional responsibility of oversight.”
Robert Mueller, who is now investigating the Trump team for ties to Russia, and who has close ties to Comey, flew to Moscow in 2009 to provide Russia with a sample of 10 grams of Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU).
According to government cables released by information-leaking website WikiLeaks, “Embassy Moscow is requested to alert at the highest appropriate level the Russian Federation that FBI Director Mueller plans to deliver the HEU sample once he arrives to Moscow on September 21.”
In an Oct. 18 hearing, Sen. Grassley also noted that current Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller to the Russia investigations, was also tied to the Russian uranium bribery campaign. Rosenstein was supervising the criminal investigation into the Russian campaign when he was U.S. Attorney in Maryland.
Grassley said during the hearing, “I don’t think it would be proper” for Rosenstein to oversee the Russia investigations, since he was also involved in the Russia uranium case.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was responding to Grassley during the Oct. 18 hearing, said that if Rosenstein “feels that he has an inability to proceed with any of this investigation, it would be his responsibility to make that determination.” Sessions pointed out that he recused himself of overseeing the Russia investigation, due to his being accused by those pushing the Russia-Trump narrative, and said it would be up to Rosenstein to similarly recuse himself.