(National Sentinel)Â Corruption: A businessman-turned-FBI informant who reportedly witnessed criminal activities by Russian and U.S. operatives involved in the sale of a Canadian uranium mining company with holdings in the United States will now be permitted to tell Congress what he knows about the deal,Â Fox News reported.
The witness had been placed under a gag order and threatened with prosecution by the Obama Justice Department after he attempted to tell lawmakers what he knew about the Uranium One sale to a Russian state-owned nuclear firm Rosatom. But the Trump Justice Department has now lifted that order, freeing the still-unidentified witness to speak to Congress about the controversial deal.
Fox News reported further:
In a statement, the department said it had authorized the informant to speak to the leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee, House Oversight Committee, and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, in addition to select staffers.
The department said the informant could provide â€œany information or documents he has concerning alleged corruption or bribery involving transactions in the uranium market,â€ including Russian company Rosatom, subsidiary Tenex, Uranium One and the Clinton Foundation. …
Uranium One refers to the name of a Canada-based company with mines in the U.S. that was bought by Rosatom, a company backed by the Russian state. The State Department, then led by Hillary Clinton, was one of nine U.S. government agencies that had to approve the deal back in 2010.
All three congressional committees launched investigations after The Hill reported that the FBI had evidence that Russian nuclear officials were involved in fraudulent dealings â€“ including extortion, bribery and kickbacks â€“ as far back as 2009 in a case involving Rosatomâ€™s subsidiary, Tenex. Congressional Republicans have since questioned how the Uranium One deal was approved the following year by an inter-agency committee, and sought to gain access to the informant.
Reports have said that as the deal progressed, tens of millions of dollars flowed to Bill and Hillary Clinton’s foundation, as well as the former president himself in the form of exhorbitant speaking fees.
Hillary Clinton was President Obama’s secretary of state at the time of the sale, which gave Russia control over one-fifth of all strategic U.S. uranium, which is a vital component for nuclear weapons and nuclear fuel for power plants. She also sat on a governmental panel that approved the sale.
The FBI, who was under the leadership of then-Director Robert Muller — now a special counsel investigating alleged “collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia — was aware of the criminal activity but failed to notify lawmakers, reports said earlier this week.
Meanwhile, the Justice Department, under then-Attorney General Eric Holder, also failed to notify Congress or the governmental body charged with approving the sale. Instead, the department continued its investigation for four more years beginning in 2010, then quietly disposed of the case.
The witness can reportedly document the criminal activity he relayed to the FBI during his time as an undercover informant. Republicans say they want to talk to him about what the Obama administration knew regarding the criminal activity and when officials knew it. They also likely want to know why the Obama administration approved the sale if officials knew that the Russian government was behind it.
As for the witness being cleared to testify before Congress, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley praised the Trump administration’s decision.
â€œWe ought to know about [what he knows], because transparency brings accountability,â€ he toldÂ Fox News‘ “Fox & Friends” program Thursday morning.
Fox: “The informant’s attorney, Victoria Toensing, told Fox Business Network Monday that her client can ‘tell what all the Russians were talking about during the time that all these bribery payments were made.’ The informant earlier was prevented from testifying by former attorneys general Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, according to Toensing, after having signed a non-disclosure agreement.”
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