Attorney General Jeff Sessions has ordered prosecutors at the Department of Justice to begin interviewing FBI agents about evidence they uncovered in a criminal investigation into a highly-controversial uranium deal that involves Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Multiple law enforcement officials confirmed Sessions’ orders to prosecutors, NBC News reported exclusively in the early morning hours on Thursday.
At the heart of the issue is the 2010 Uranium One deal which Hillary Clinton signed off on while she was Secretary of State at the U.S. State Department.
NBC News adds:
A senior law enforcement official who was briefed on the initial FBI investigation told NBC News there were allegations of corruption surrounding the process under which the U.S. government approved the sale. But no charges were filed.
While Clinton has vehemently denied that she did anything wrong, a fresh round of reports in recent months from The Hill and Circa News suggests that there is more to this case than meets the eye.
An October report revealed that the FBI started gathering evidence in 2009 of Russian officials engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion, and money laundering that were involved in the Uranium One deal:
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, FBI and court documents show.
They also obtained an eyewitness account — backed by documents — indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow, sources told The Hill.
Rather than bring immediate charges in 2010, however, the Department of Justice (DOJ) continued investigating the matter for nearly four more years, essentially leaving the American public and Congress in the dark about Russian nuclear corruption on U.S. soil during a period when the Obama administration made two major decisions benefiting Putin’s commercial nuclear ambitions.
Current Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating alleged and unproven claims of "collusion" between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, was the acting FBI director at the time of the investigation into the Russian officials who were engaged “in a bribery scheme aimed at growing their atomic energy business inside the United States.”
The Hill reported in October:
The investigation was ultimately supervised by then-U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, an Obama appointee who now serves as President Trump’s deputy attorney general, and then-Assistant FBI Director Andrew McCabe, now the deputy FBI director under Trump, Justice Department documents show.
Both men now play a key role in the current investigation into possible, but still unproven, collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s campaign during the 2016 election cycle. McCabe is under congressional and Justice Department inspector general investigation in connection with money his wife’s Virginia state Senate campaign accepted in 2015 from now-Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe at a time when McAuliffe was reportedly under investigation by the FBI.
The connections to the current Russia case are many. The Mikerin probe began in 2009 when Robert Mueller, now the special counsel in charge of the Trump case, was still FBI director. And it ended in late 2015 under the direction of then-FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump fired earlier this year.
In November, Mother Jones interviewed Clinton, who claimed that she could not be investigated by the Trump administration because it would constitute an “abuse of power.”
“If they send a signal that we’re going to be like some dictatorship, like some authoritarian regime, where political opponents are going to be unfairly, fraudulently investigated, that rips at the fabric of the contract we have, that we can trust our justice system,” Clinton said.