The Uranium One Scandal, Episode 51

Paul Manafort was a lobbyist known around Washington for operating on the shady fringes of an often sleazy business. As far back as 1992, his client list was filled with foreign authoritarians. This was before Manafort hooked up with Victor Yanukovych, Ukraine’s corrupt strongman and Putin’s puppet.

Mueller’s indictment seeks to nail Manafort on a multitude of counts ranging from money laundering to neglecting to register as an agent of foreign governments as far back as 2006. In eight years, nobody in Obama’s Justice Department ever happened to notice that Manafort had neglected to fill out paperwork required by federal law? The indictment says as far back as 2008, Manafort dodged millions of dollars in taxes through various schemes which were somehow undetectable until now.

The Manafort indictment says nothing about any Trump-Putin election collusion. It does, however, implicate Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign manager, and lobbyist, John Podesta.

According to the indictment, Manafort hired the Podesta Group to help him advocate for Ukrainian oligarch Victor Yanukovych. It also states that for helping Manafort do dirty work for Yanukovych, Podesta shared a $2 million fee with another firm, Mercury Public Affairs. One partner there is GOP strategist Mike DuHaime. He was chief political strategist for Gov. Chris Christie’s two successful campaigns. The Podesta Group and Mercury Public Affairs, like Manafort, neglected to register as agents for foreign entities. But, unlike Manafort, they haven’t been indicted. The Podesta firm’s client list includes the Business Roundtable, GE, Lockheed Martin, Oracle, Wal-Mart, Wells Fargo, and Uranium One.

Uranium One is a Canadian mining firm with mines in America. The firm was acquired by the giant Russian agency Rosatom in 2010, thereby giving Russia ownership of a significant share of America’s limited uranium supplies. The takeover of Uranium One by the Russia’s Rosatom drew little attention in the United States. But the Russian newspaper Pravda heralded it as a Russian coup. (Pravda headline: “Russian Nuclear Energy Conquers the World.”)

The Russia uranium deal couldn’t have gone forward without the nod of a multi-agency panel, then chaired by an underling of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The panel’s signoff was required because the federal government lists uranium as a critical national security asset in short supply. The panel approved the deal even though there was an ongoing corruption probe linked to it. They handed Rosatom control of 20 percent of U.S. uranium supply.

Tens of millions of dollars from parties with a financial stake in U.S. approval of the deal flowed into the Clinton Foundation. Also, Bill Clinton was paid $500,000 for a single speech by Moscow-based Renaissance Capital, a Putin-linked investment bank with ties to the Uranium One deal.

The FBI investigated two shadowy figures involved in the deal. One Vadim Mikerin and one Boris Rubizhensky were prosecuted on money-laundering and other charges.They drew prison terms of four years and one year, respectively.

One of the members of the panel that signed off on the uranium deal was then the nation’s top law enforcement official, Obama’s Attorney General, Eric Holder. This was Robert Mueller’s boss at the time, since Mueller was head of the FBI. Under President Clinton, Holder had attended to the legal paperwork regarding Bill Clinton’s pardon of fugitive commodities mogul Marc Rich, who had fled the country to dodge prosecution in a $48 million tax-evasion case.The Rich pardon later came back to haunt Holder when he was nominated by President Obama to be Attorney General. Who stepped forward at the time to publicly defend Holder? None other than James Comey, later appointed FBI Director by Obama. Comey had been the federal lawman assigned to the Marc Rich tax-evasion case and to the investigation of the pardon Bill Clinton and Eric Holder had cooked up for the fugitive multi-millionaire. And, yes, of course, Comey was the G-man who recommended not to pursue charges against Hillary Clinton in the email investigation after outlining a criminal case against her.

William Douglas Campbell worked for Vadim Mikerin who was in charge of the U.S. operations for Tenex, a part of Rosatom. As an informant, Campbell aided federal authorities investigating the Russian official taking bribes from a shipping company in exchange for contracts to transport Russian uranium into the United States.

The Justice Department had also initially charged Vadim Mikerin with extorting kickbacks from Campbell after hiring him as a $50,000-a-month lobbyist. Prosecutors said Mikerin had demanded Campbell pay one-third to a half of that money back to him each month under threat of losing the contract and warnings of violence from the Russians.

The demands and threats of violence prompted Campbell to turn to the FBI for help in 2010, who then asked him to remain part of the scheme and be an informant. Federal prosecutors were ready to use Campbell as a star witness against Mikerin, but they backed away after defense attorneys raised questions about Campbell’s credibility and whether he was a victim or had “entered into a business arrangement with eyes wide open,” according to court records.

“This is a smear job,” said Victoria Toensing, Campbell’s lawyer. “That was not the reason” prosecutors removed him as a witness against Mikerin, she said. Instead, it was because “the Obama administration didn’t want to bring a big extortion case against Russia” and risk testimony from Campbell that would have undermined the Uranium One sale and undercut the president’s efforts to “reset” relations with Russia. So instead, “they covered it up.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions last year directed federal prosecutors to look into the sale of Uranium One to a Russian company – a transaction that President Trump has called the “real Russia story.”

In January 2018, Mark Lambert, 54, of Mount Airy, Maryland, was charged in an 11-count indictment 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 charges stem from an alleged scheme to bribe 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.

In June 2015, Lambert’s former co-president, Daren Condrey, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the FCPA and commit wire fraud, and Vadim Mikerin pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering involving violations of the FCPA.  Mikerin is currently serving a sentence of 48 months in prison and Condrey is awaiting sentencing.  The indictment includes allegations against Lambert based on his role in effectuating the criminal scheme with Condrey, Mikerin, and others.

Campbell says that he has “already survived one attempt on my life since it was made public by the Sessions DOJ that I intend to testify.” Campbell claims that if it wasn’t for the fact he was carrying a gun, he would have been killed during a routine daily hike in the hills behind his home. He was surprised by an armed man in the woods, Campbell said he drew his weapon and held the man’s gaze until he disappeared.“I was prepared for any eventuality,” Campbell said, explaining that “the stakes are very high, I understand that. Was this man connected to anybody I plan to testify against? I have no proof. But I can’t take risks, which is why I have gone into hiding until I testify.”

On February 7th, 2018, Campbell testified before a congressional committee about the 2010 sale of Uranium One, where a Russian-backed company bought a uranium firm with mines in the U.S. Campbell gave information to the FBI about what he saw while undercover as an informant including video of briefcases full of money used to bribe US officials.

Congressional committees had previously tried to interview Campbell, as he was undercover for roughly five years, working to get information on Russia’s efforts to grow its atomic energy business in the U.S. They failed to do so because of a gag order placed on Campbell by Loretta Lynch, while she was Obama’s AG.

Campbell alleged that Moscow paid millions of dollars to a lobbying firm APCO to give Bill Clinton’s charities assi$tance in order to influence Hillary Clinton, who was then former President Barack Obama’s secretary of state.

Campbell said Russian nuclear officials “told me at various times that they expected APCO to apply a portion of the $3 million annual lobbying fee it was receiving from the Russians to provide support for the Clinton’s Global Initiative.”

“The contract called for four payments of $750,000 over twelve months,” Campbell said in the statement. “APCO was expected to give assistance to the Clinton Global Initiative as part of their effort to create a favorable environment to ensure the Obama administration made affirmative decisions on everything from Uranium One to the US-Russia Civilian Nuclear Cooperation agreement.”

Campbell’s attorney, Victoria, said the following: “Mr. Campbell testified for over four hours until he answered every question from three Congressional committees; the Senate Judiciary, House Oversight and House Intelligence committees. He recounted numerous times that the Russians bragged that the Clintons’ influence in the Obama administration would ensure CIFIUS approval for Uranium One. And he was right.”

Robert Mueller, the special counsel leading the probe into alleged Russian interference in the election, was the head of the FBI when it investigated Rosatom officials’ extortion and corruption. Mueller personally delivered a uranium sample to Russia in 2009. The investigation was led by then-Assistant FBI Director Andrew McCabe, then-U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein. The Investigation was put to an end in 2015 by James Comey.

There is no indication that any of these men ever told Congress of all the incriminating evidence they had discovered and the connection to Clinton. The entire matter was kept secret from the American public. If evidence of bribery, kickbacks, extortion, and money laundering in the Uranium One affair are not grounds for a special prosecutor assigned to investigate Hillary Clinton, what is? Rosenstein and Mueller, by their silence, are unindicted coconspirators in Hillary’s crimes and should be terminated immediately.