Patterico's Pontifications


Andrew C. McCarthy On The Clinton (And Obama!) Uranium Scandal

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:01 am

Over the weekend, Andrew C. McCarthy published an important piece on the Clinton uranium scandal. If you haven’t read it yet, it’s worth your time. Here are the key paragraphs:

Here’s the kicker: The Uranium One scandal is not only, or even principally, a Clinton scandal. It is an Obama-administration scandal.

The Clintons were just doing what the Clintons do: cashing in on their “public service.” The Obama administration, with Secretary Clinton at the forefront but hardly alone, was knowingly compromising American national-security interests. The administration green-lighted the transfer of control over one-fifth of American uranium-mining capacity to Russia, a hostile regime — and specifically to Russia’s state-controlled nuclear-energy conglomerate, Rosatom. Worse, at the time the administration approved the transfer, it knew that Rosatom’s American subsidiary was engaged in a lucrative racketeering enterprise that had already committed felony extortion, fraud, and money-laundering offenses.

McCarthy’s time as a federal prosecutor provides key context for the late and lenient slap on the wrist the key player received — something at odds with normal DoJ policy, but which (if revealed in a timely and normal fashion) would have imperiled Obama’s desired pie-in-the-sky “reset” with Russia. Meanwhile, Congress was kept in the dark, and the original whistleblower was threatened with prosecution if he opened his damn mouth. And always, in the background, is the spectre of the dirty Clintons, raking in the cash in their normal disgusting corrupt fashion.

Lock her up She’s suffered enough, folks. Can’t we all stop talking about this, because of the magnanimity and the thing?

Read it all.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

69 Responses to “Andrew C. McCarthy On The Clinton (And Obama!) Uranium Scandal”

  1. I read it earlier today, so that what SWC posted might make sense. It’s truly amazing that such obvious dots cannot be connected. The Clinton Foundation got $145 million!!! out of this scheme — after Bill met with Putin himself — and here we are talking about whether Trump’s son may have talked to someone who knew someone who knew someone who once was involved with Putin.

    Not to mention the detailed timeline of the coverup and silencing of witnesses.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  2. but which (if revealed in a timely and normal fashion) would have imperiled Obama’s desired pie-in-the-sky “reset” with Russia.

    Not to mention put the kibosh on the whole Uranium One deal which the Clintons greased through the system. The committee that had to approve the deal was kept in the dark, as was the state department under Hillary. Congressmen who tried to stop the deal were lied to, and misinformed by people who were lied to.

    It wasn’t until the whole Russia thing blew up in Obama’s face that they closed down the original scam, well after the Clintons had their beaks drenched.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  3. Then again there is this, from The Hill, which muddies the waters considerably.

    As Hillary Clinton was beginning her job as President Obama’s chief diplomat, federal agents observed as multiple arms of Vladimir Putin’s machine unleashed an influence campaign designed to win access to the new secretary of State, her husband Bill Clinton and members of their inner circle, according to interviews and once-sealed FBI records.

    Some of the activities FBI agents gathered evidence about in 2009 and 2010 were covert and illegal.

    A female Russian spy posing as an American accountant, for instance, used a false identity to burrow her way into the employ of a major Democratic donor in hopes of gaining intelligence on Hillary Clinton’s department, records show. The spy was arrested and deported as she moved closer to getting inside the secretary’s department, agents said.

    Other activities were perfectly legal and sitting in plain view, such as when a subsidiary of Russia’s state-controlled nuclear energy company hired a Washington firm to lobby the Obama administration. At the time it was hired, the firm was providing hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in pro bono support to Bill Clinton’s global charitable initiative, and it legally helped the Russian company secure federal decisions that led to billions in new U.S. commercial nuclear business, records show.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  4. poor sad feeble and corrupt jeffy sessions is the epitome of useless

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  5. This is what happens when a precious natural resource — vital, indispensable, to our natural security, to the survival of our nation — is allowed to be in private hands. Never mind the Russians. Never mind the Canadians (Uranium One was a Canadian company). What business do profit-motive enterprises, of any nationality, whose loyalty is to their wallets, have owning the uranium of the United States? Why don’t we let them own the weapons made from it, too?

    nk (dbc370)

  6. this is actually a pretty good indication of the kind of sleazy corruption you see when the failmerican government owns natural resources

    for example imagine an entire dome made out of teapots

    true story

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  7. Where did you come up with that? That the U.S. government owned and sold the uranium? What the Russians pierced was the thinner-than-nail-polish gloss of government control of the uranium industry.

    nk (dbc370)

  8. And the Teapot Dome does not exemplify what you say it exemplifies. It exemplifies what I’m saying. What happens when politically connected businesspigs are allowed to dip their money-grubbing cloven hooves into our natural resources.

    nk (dbc370)

  9. seems to me there’s a lot more corruption when the government gets involved than when real americans own and develop resources

    we’ve produced many many timber and coal and petroleums (wealth creation) and it’s very rare for it to be all too scandalous except for when (for example) the piggy-fascist state department gets involved

    in the uranium example all the corruption was on the part of the sleazy department of justice!

    well also the corrupt fbi and of course hillary (criminal stinkypig)

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  10. I’m not sure about the way McCarthy describes the conspiracy charges and the statute of limitations. If, in 2014, the conspiracy was still ongoing, the statute of limitations had not yet begun to run. On the other hand, it may have run on the choate no longer inchoate completed crimes from 2009.

    nk (dbc370)

  11. Really? Did you read the article? The millions and millions of contract padding, kickbacks, skim and bribes went to the Department of Justice, not to the uranium companies and contractors?

    nk (dbc370)

  12. the scandal the article’s most concerned with is how the sleazy Department of Justice covered for Hillary’s stinky scheme

    Mr. shipwreck also elaborated on this

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  13. That’s an interesting insight into Antonin Scalia, BTW. He did not like neologisms, even if they were in (more or less) common use. A Harvard thing, you think?

    nk (dbc370)

  14. Ok. Bad, bad scandal. Bad, bad Hillary. Bad, bad Bill. Bad, bad Mueller. Bad, bad Weissman. How do you propose we undo the damage?

    nk (dbc370)

  15. hrm maybe it’s a textualism thing

    How do you propose we undo the damage?

    we’ve yet to assay all the damage Mr. nk

    for example

    did this scandal dictate the selection of corrupt dirty Mueller as Russia investigation boy?

    and is dirty FBI turdboy Mueller using the special counsel’s office to ensconce and protect sleazy Andrew Weissman and perhaps others?

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  16. and how could useless limp-wristed Jeffy Sessions have been deemed too conflicted by out appallingly corrupt and deceitful harvardtrash attorney general Rod Rosenstein

    yet we’re to believe sleazy all-up-in-it Mueller is conflict-free here?

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  17. oops

    too conflicted by *our* appallingly corrupt and deceitful harvardtrash attorney general Rod Rosenstein

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  18. Part One:

    Andy McCarthy’s article on the Uranium One deal touched on some oddities in the prosecution of a Russian named Mikerin. If you haven’t read the article, and don’t understand the relationship of the players to Russian and Uranium One, let give you a Cliff Notes Version. I probably don’t have the exact sequence of this in order, but its just an overview – corrections to the timeline are welcome.

    A company called Uranium One, based on South Africa, acquired a Canadian company owned by a big benefactor of the Clinton Foundation. The Canadian company held about 20% of the US domestic uranium reserves in land it owned. What made the Canadian company attractive was that in 2005 it had acquired – with the assistance of Bill Clinton – substantial uranium mining rights in Kazakstan. After purchasing the Canadian company, Uranium One also acquired the Kazak uranium rights. This created a huge issue in Russia, as Russia wanted control of that uranium, so Putin put the squeeze on the Kazak Gov’t, and they arrested all the folks who had approved the Kazak deal with the Canadian company, and threatened to nationalize the mines. This would have crippled the value of Uranium One, with Clinton’s Canadian friends having taken huge amounts of Uranium One stock in exchange for their company. Before too long there was a deal in place for the Russian Gov’t owned Rosatom, which controlled all nuclear energy in Russia, to purchase controlling interest in Uranium One, which would pay off the Clinton backers, secure the rights to the Kazak uranium for the Russian Govt’, AND give them control over 20% of uranium reserves in the US.

    Rosatom was not unknown to the US because going back to 1993, the US Govt had signed a deal with the Yeltsin Govt to acquire Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) from dismantled Russian nuclear weapons, process it down to “Low Enriched Uranium” (LEU), and send it to US uranium users. After it was spent, the LEU would be sent back to Russia to be combined with HEU, until it was back to LEU, and then sent back to the US again. So this was a well-established US-Russian arrangement.

    To run this arrangement, Rosatom had a Russian subsidiary named Tenex. Tenex was the Russian company that entered into all the contract arrangements with US companies under the bilateral agreement to use Russian HEU in US industry. The deal for Rosatom to purchase Uranium One came about in 2009. But because of Uranium One’s holdings of domestic uranium rights in the US, the deal had to be approved by the Gov’t. This approval was pending in 2010, when Hillary flew off the Russia to meet with Putin and Medvedev with here famous “Reset” button. It was in this same time frame that Billy got a $500,000 fee for a 90 minute speech in Russia, sponsored by Renaissance Capital. It was also on this trip that Billy asked for State Dept. permission to meet with certain Russian energy sector officials. Renaissance Capital has been called in various reporting a Kremlin controlled firm, and was a big backer of the acquisition of Uranium One.

    The Uranium One purchase by Rosatom is eventually approved by the Obama Admin. So Tenex sets up a US subsidiary called Tenam. US Export laws would not allow Rosatom to export uranium mined in the US outside the US, so Rosatom in setting up the US subsidiary was probably anticipating business activity that would all take place in the US, and it would be easier to manage that activity with a domestic US company as a subsidiary for regulatory reasons.

    The person they put in charge with the Russian named Mikerin. Mikerim had been the US based point man for Tenex for the import/export of Russian HEU/LEU since 2001 (so far as I can tell), and he lived in Maryland. So when Tenam was established, Mikerin was made director of Tenam.

    But what the US DOJ and DOE knew already at this time – and it looks like they knew about it starting sometime in 2009 – is that Mikerin was involved in a variety of kickback and fraud schemes as part of his work with Tenex which had been ongoing for several years. In 2009, a lobbyist had approached the FBI and said he was being solicited by a new Russian client to pay a kickback in exchange for the lobbying contract they wanted to enter with him. Because if was a foreign company that was soliciting him, this was a violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The FBI and DOJ authorized him to participate in the kickback scheme as a confidential informant, and he supplied them with documents, emails, and recordings that allowed DOJ to track the corrupt activities of the Mikerin and others with whom he was involved – both in the US and Russia.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  19. Part Two:

    The key here is that Mikerin was the guy Russia was going to put in charge of Tenam, which was being created as a result of the Uranium One deal. Both DOJ and DOE knew this, as they were investigating Mikerin together. And both DOJ and DOE had to sign off on the Uranium One deal before it could go forward to benefit Putin and Clinton’s benefactors.

    The FBI/DOJ/DOE let the Mikerin fraud/extortion/bribery scheme continue on into at least 2013 without moving to arrest anyone and put an end to it. The lobbyist who was a CI signed numerous contracts with either Tenex or Tenam – it’s unclear which one – for which he was directed to kickback hundreds of thousands of dollars to shell companies in various off-shore banks, or in the form of cash directly to Mikerin. Whenever he balked in anyway, Mikerin suggested to him that people with whom he was working in Russia would not react well if the lobbyist upset the arrangements that had been working so well.

    In Nov. 2014, Mikerin was indicted under seal. The charges in the indictment mirror what I’ve outlined above – they all involve the contracts entered into with the lobbyist, the kickbacks, and the threats against him if he quit cooperating. This was charged BY THE GRAND JURY as a conspiracy to interfere with commerce by extortion.

    The treasure trove of information I’ve found is in a clearinghouse run by Stanford Law School and the law firm Cromwell & Sullivan that houses materials on all reported FCPA prosecutions.

    What I found that was new, was that the Mikerin case had two companion cases with it, where the defendants were named Boris Rubizhevsky (Rubiz for short) and Daren Condrey.

    Rubiz was a US citizen with a business in New Jersey. He owned NexGen Security, with is a security consulting business having him as the only employee, and a business address the same as his residence. He was a “consultant” for Mikerin and Tenam.

    Condrey was the co-owner, along with his wife I believe, of Transport Logistics International (TLI), a Maryland company in the business of transporting hazardous materials such as uranium. TLI performed work involving Russian LEU for Tenex, under contracts entered into by Mikerin.

    On October 29, 2014, a criminal complaint was filed naming Mikerin, Condrey, Condrey’s wife, and Rubiz. This is only 2 weeks before the grand jury returns an indictment of Mikerin charging the entirely separate conspiracy involving the lobbyist.

    The criminal complaint naming Condrey and Rubiz, along with Mikerin, is pretty much the same kind of scheme as the one involving the lobbyist. But Condrey and his wife didn’t report it to the FBI, so they are guilty of a crime along with Mikerin. They paid the kickbacks in exchange for getting the contracts, they priced the cost of the kickbacks into the contracts and submitted grossly inflated invoices, and the contracts paid them nicely for their transportation services.

    The Condrey/Mikerin criminal complaint sets forth the specifics of 27 specific transfers of money as kickbacks by the Condrey to Mikerin and his Russian cohorts – starting on April 15, 2009, and ending on May 30, 2014 – more than 5 years in all. The total amount in just those specified payments was well over $1 million.

    So now the Feds had filed charges against Mikerin who is also running the Tenam business that grew out of the Uranium One deal, they knew about Mikerin way back when the Uranium One deal was pending, and that Mikerin was likely paying the kickback money to Russian government officials back in Moscow who were his confederates.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  20. Part Three:

    In Feb-Mar. 2014, Russian had moved on the Crimea, and was actively supporting Russian-backed rebels who were fighting against the newly elected gov’t in the Ukraine. The era of “Reset” with the Obama Admin. was pretty much over. So a few months later, DOJ takes down the Mikerin case because it no longer matters that it will likely expose Russian gov’t complicity in the criminal enterprise. But that doesn’t mean DOJ wants it to be very well publicized because questions are likely to be asked about why it was allowed to go on for so long after it was uncovered – and the Uranium One controversy hit the front page of the NYT in April 2015, as well as being prominently featured in the book “Clinton Cash” about the use of the Clinton Foundation to monetize Hillary Clinton’s role as Secretary of State, and have the Foundation support the Clinton family lifestyle in the manner to which they had become accustomed.

    So they needed to make the case go away quietly – without the fanfare of a trial.

    Plea offers were extended to all the defendants in the summer of 2015. It looks like the charges against Condrey’s wife were dismissed – likely in exchange for his willingness to plead guilty. The Feds now do this by way of a letter which lays out the terms of a plea offer, which is sent to the defendant’s attorney, and the defendant and his attorney sign the letter indicating their acceptance of the terms. Then a separate document which is a “Plea Agreement” is prepared and filed with the Court.

    The Plea Offer letters for each of the 3 defendants are part of the electronic file at the Stanford Clearinghouse.

    On June 15, 2015, Rubiz is given an offer to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to launder money under 18 USC Sec. 1956(h). This is a crime that has a potential maximum penalty of up to 20 years. But the length of the recommended sentence under the Sentencing Guidelines is determined mostly by the amount of money involved. Here the Gov’t agreed that it would recommend that as to Rubiz, only an amount between $70,000 and $120,000 was involved. With other sentencing variables that would apply to his case, the gov’t represented that the Adjusted Offense Level would be either 16 or 18. With no prior criminal history, Rubiz was facing an advisory guideline range of 21-33 months.

    Also on June 1, 2015, Condrey was made an offer to plead guilty to a conspiracy to violate FCPA and commit Wire Fraud. By using the general federal conspiracy statute – 18 USC Sec. 351 – they knew that Condrey would receive no more than the maximum sentence authorized under that statute, no more than 5 YEARS (60 months). Condrey had paid well over $1 million in bribes. If he was made to plead to a substantive crime under either statute he was alleged to conspire to violate, the amount of money involved would have had the biggest influence on his sentencing guidelines. With the offense involving more than $1 million, he would have had an adjusted offense level of between 30 and 38 under the guidelines. The guidelines would have recommended a sentence between 97 and 327 months, depending on factual determinations made by the judge at sentencing. By allowing Condrey to plead to a 371 conspiracy, they made it so he could get no more than 60 months. In other words, it was a sweetheart deal in order to get him to plead guilty.

    Mikerin was first named in a criminal complaint in July 2014. The allegations against him in that complaint involved his extortion of the lobbyist. That complaint sets forth 11 kickback payments made by the lobbyist, beginning Nov. 27, 2009, and the last one on Jan 23, 2012. The total of the 11 payments was $460,000. The information also lists some limited information about TLI and the kickbacks paid there too, but not with as much detail. The complaint alleges that he has violated the Interference With Interstate Commerce by Extortion (Sec. 1951) and the Money Laundering (Sec. 1956) statutes.

    As noted above, on November 11, 2014, a grand jury indictment of Mikerin was returned charging him in connection with the extortion of the lobbyist, but nothing about Condrey and TLI. But the plea agreement he ultimately enters in to has nothing to do with the lobbyist – the plea agreement all revolves around the episode involving Condrey and TLI. This was true even though a grand jury had indicted him in connection with the lobbyist extortion.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  21. There is no doubt in my mind, since finding out that it was Comey who sidled up to Trump with the fake [rhymes with door]piss Fusion GPS dossier last December, that these guys are using fake Russia dirt against Trump to distract, blackmail and cover up their own dirt under Obama. So?

    nk (dbc370)

  22. Part Four:

    What Andy McCarthy wrote about is that the terms of the plea agreement – not its subject matter – violated DOJ policy. The only way that plea agreement got approved was with the written authorization of the US Attorney in Maryland where the case was filed, and the Assistant Attorney General of the Fraud Section of the Criminal Division of DOJ, which also prosecuted the case.

    DOJ Policy for the entire 23 years I was an AUSA was that you could only offer a plea agreement to the most serious charge that could readily be proven at trial given evidentiary issues in the case. That meant that if you wanted to plead someone out to a lesser offense than the one charged in the indictment, you had to set forth in writing problems with the evidence on the more serious charge which could cause you to lose the case if you went to trial on that more serious charge. If your supervisor and the US Attorney agreed, then you were authorized to make a plea offer to a lesser charge.

    As McCarthy noted, Mikerin’s plea offer was for him to plead guilty to conspiracy to launder money, but it was to be charged under the general criminal conspiracy statute, Sec. 371, rather than the more serious 1956(h) money laundering conspiracy statute. The biggest benefit to the offer to them was that Mikerin would know that he would be sentenced to no more than 5 years, which was the maximum under the 371 statute, rather than the potential 20 years that he could get under the money laundering statute.

    The problem is that allowing the plea to the less serious charge COULD NOT be justified on evidentiary grounds. The evidence to prove a conspiracy to launder money under Sec. 371 is the SAME as to prove a conspiracy to launder money under Sec. 1956(h). The same case presented to a jury would result in a conviction under either statute. So, justifying a plea to the statute with the shorter maximum term had to be made on grounds other than the evidence.

    And, whatever that justification was, it had to be signed off in writing by the US Attorney and Assistant AG of the Fraud Section.

    So, in August 2015, who were those two people?

    Ron Rosenstein, the current Dep. Attorney General who appointed Robert Mueller to investigate the Russian/Trump Campaign collusion allegations was the US Attorney for Maryland.

    Andrew Weissman was the Assistant Attorney General for the Fraud Section. Weissman was previously Mueller’s General Counsel at the FBI when Mueller was Director, and Weissman is now a senior member of Mueller’s Russia investigation team.

    One other note about Mikerin’s prosecution.

    Rubiz was represented by an attorney named Eugene Gorokov, of a small 2 man law firm in Washington DC, which promotes that its attorneys speak fluent Russian.

    Condrey was represented by an attorney named Robert Bonsib, who looks like a highly regarded white collar criminal defense attorney with 40 years experience, and a small firm of only 6 attorneys in suburban Maryland.

    Mikerin was represented by William B. Jacobson (NOT Legal Insurrection’s author of the same name), and Jonathan Lopez, of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, Wash. DC.

    Jacobsen was for 2 years the head of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement unit in the Fraud Section of DOJ, and was a Trial Attorney in the Fraud Section for 11 years before that.

    Lopez was also an 11 year veteran of the Fraud Section, and had been picked by Andrew Weissman to be part of Weissman’s Enron Task Force in 2005. At one point he was the Dep. Chief of the Money Laundering and Bank Integrity unit of the Fraud Section of DOJ.

    Those two are guys who get in the $1000 an hour range to defend cases like this.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  23. Part Five:

    McCarthy’s article raises huge questions about why DOJ and DOE didn’t inform any of the committees needing to approve the Uranium One deal – including committees within DOJ and DOE – about the corruption and racketeering activity of Mikerin, the guy Russia was going to have in charge of the US subsidiary of the Russian company making the acquisition. Nor was anyone from Congress made aware of the investigation.

    The Director of the FBI was Mueller. I would be willing to bet $100 that this was deemed a “Tier I” investigation inside the FBI because of the target and the connection to Rosatom and the Russian Gov’t. That means Mueller would have been briefed on the investigation every 30 days. No way he can claim ignorance of it.

    Rosenstein signed off on the plea deal as did Weissman. Did they do so in order to make the case go away with the least possible amount of attention?? If so, what were they trying to avoid? Remember, this is only a few months before the start of the 2016 election primary season, and at that point Hillary Clinton was widely regarded to be the presumptive Dem nominee, although Bernie Sander’s momentum was building. No one took Donald Trump seriously until late in the fall of 2015, and maybe not even until the early primaries in 2016. Weissman has been a contributor to Clinton and other Dem politicians. Rosenstein was nominated by Obama, though his history in DOJ has been pretty non-partisan. But Maryland is an overwhelmingly democrat state.

    Not letting the agencies passing judgment on the Uranium One acquisition know about the issues with Mikerin IMO is a dereliction of duty. They absolutely knew and make a deliberate decision to disclose what they knew.

    If I were Sessions and Trump, I would publicly announce that Rosenstein and Weissman’s positions in DOJ are both under review, and they are both suspended with pay for now – solely as a result of their actions in connection with the Mikerin case which warrants internal review. Rosenstein is the Dep. AG, and Weissman was the AAG of the Fraud Unit before joining Mueller. But while on Mueller’s staff he’s considered a DOJ attorney, and is subject to DOJ discipline for misconduct. Suspending him from DOJ would take him off Mueller’s task force.

    Sessions should also initiate an investigation of Mueller’s role in the way the Mikerin investigation was handled, and should suggest that Mueller need to determine whether Mueller can continue on in his current capacity given the questions and an open investigation by OIG and OPR. If Mueller won’t step aside, then DOJ should suspend the budget for his investigation until the probe of his conduct is complete.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  24. So?

    they’re also doing it with a complicit CNN Jake Tapper fake news propaganda slut media

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  25. shipwrecked,

    “Part One:”

    It’s the “Call me Ishmael.” of Clinton corruption stories.

    Xmas (3a75bb)

  26. For that aspect, shipwrecked pretty gives the answer in Part Five (Comment 23) of his astonishingly superior analysis. I read it last night on the other thread.

    Kudos, shipwreckedcrew.

    nk (dbc370)

  27. It is pretty, too. 😉

    nk (dbc370)

  28. Excellent shipwrecjpked, and there is this snippet a well:

    When these folk speak of honor one counts the spoons. But the times went with the war and piece o’reilly piece that involved nothing of significance.

    narciso (d1f714)

  29. The peregruska served ideological as well as financial interests, remember this was the generation who either believed soviet agitprop whole hog like Obama and Biden. And/Or actually had fellow rraveller ties like panetta. Who ridiculed Reagan and Casey and pipes and Perle.

    narciso (d1f714)

  30. I know its not David cay Johnson or Wayne barrett

    No you ask why would gates go along, caseys fair haired boy found a solid stand didn’t win him points

    narciso (d1f714)

  31. Kevin M (752a26) — 10/23/2017 @ 12:34 am

    nd here we are talking about whether Trump’s son may have talked to someone who knew someone who knew someone who once was involved with Putin.

    And the Democrats don’t want any kind of investigation at all by Congress of any other related subject – and if the Republicans find some kind of indication of any sort of criminal activity, they should just turn it over to Mueller, and Republicans on all committees have basically agreed.

    That’s not what Donald Trump thinks or wants:

    Donald J. Trump‏ Verified account @realDonaldTrump Oct 21

    Officials behind the now discredited “Dossier” plead the Fifth. Justice Department and/or FBI should immediately release who paid for it.

    At a minimum, there’s probably a violation of campaign finance laws here – co-ordination, which is illegal no matter with whom.

    You find out who paid for it, and then the next question is why, and did they discuss this with anyone affiliated with any campaign, and by the way what other things has Fusion GPS done?

    They didn’t let the Russians know it was Americans who were behind Steele’s inquiries which could explain why they leaked disinformation that was damaging to Trump since they thought it was going to the U.K. Some of it is more credible than other parts of it, and not all of Christopher Steele’s work product has become public. He kept on updating it.

    Sammy Finkelman (de36da)

  32. So how does Mccarthy square this behavior of the men who he vouched for, well he really soesnt as it was with the blame mess which involved some of the same players

    narciso (d1f714)

  33. What of Ali, where else has their he shipments. Mind you this is like investigating ft knox after the gildfinger heist.

    narciso (d1f714)

  34. Back in the 1990s, when Boris Yeltsin ruled Russia, The Clinton administration negotiated a deal where the United States would buy uranium – enriched uranium – from Russia. This came from decommissioned nuclear bombs, and Bill Clinton sold it as a good deal for the United States – otherwise maybe the uranium would go to third countries or terrorists he said. Loose nukes and so on like that.

    Putin has let that deal expire.

    Sammy Finkelman (de36da)

  35. Do you have the suspicion that these ginormous speech-fees ex-Presidents get are payoffs for favors granted while they were in office? Not exactly “honor among thieves” — if they, the “they”, stiff the ex-President, future Presidents will not do business with them, not to mention the loyalists of the ex-President who are still in government.

    nk (dbc370)

  36. Certainly in the last few administration to be bipartisan about it, bush Jr was on a speaking tour in Kuwait, with Ken lay in 1993, if memory serves. Much was made about Reagan’s speech before Sony in 1989.

    narciso (d1f714)

  37. SPQR:

    Q. Why was it important to Russia and Kazakhstan not to have Kazakhstan nationalize the Kazakh mines and instead buy off the owners of Uranium One, which included a lot of Friends of Bill? (And to do that they also had to buy off Bill and Hillary Clinton.) There must be more to this story.

    Q. In general, what sort of kickback and fraud schemes were Mikurin, as welll as Condrey, Condrey’s wife, and Rubiz, involved in?

    Q> Do you have any idea who in the government was directing or co-ordinating the cover-ups? This sounds like it is only a small part of something much bigger. It might involve law firms.

    A thought: We talk about regulatory capture, where whoever is being regulated manages to capture the agency regulating them, and officials quit and go to work for the firms being regulated, but we don’t talk about what could be much more serious: Capture of prosecutorial offces, where the people working as prosecutors later go to work for some of the law firms they are opposing in court.

    Sammy Finkelman (de36da)

  38. I think some countries pay off presidents in return for nothing, so that the next president could come to expect it, and maybe not to want to do something to lose that money.

    Sammy Finkelman (de36da)

  39. Have you guys heard of the Boy Who Cried Wolf?

    It’s a cautionary tale about Yellowcake credibility….

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)


    Still, the question of why Trump is so enthusiastic about these recent stories is hardly a mystery. The bigger picture is that he’s hoping to change the subject from questions about what he and his associates may have done, and to muddy the waters on the Russia issue by casting aspersions on his biggest critics.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  41. Obama’s agenda was maximum damage to US interests, he was the worst traitor in our nation’s history (compared to Obama, Benedict Arnold was a petty gossip).

    Bill and Hillary Clinton gladly took the lead facilitating Obama’s corrupt scams in exchange for all the dirty cash they could squeeze out of Uncle Sam’s back pocket.

    No matter how greedy the Clinton’s got, no matter how obvious their obsessive money grubbing became, no matter how much damage was inflicted on the nation, no matter how much innocent blood the Clinton’s spilled, no matter how hauty and arrogant they revealed themselves to be, the establishment media consistently refused to criticize them, refused to catalogue their decades long record of blatant corruption, money grubbing, outrageously transparent lies, and systemic law breaking.

    Obama’s skin color protected him from exposure, but the Clinton’s couldn’t count on race based immunity (Although Bill managed to get himself named as The First Black President) at least till Obama came along. So, what accounts for the Clinton’s enduring immunity from exposure anc prosecution?

    Many people think it’s blackmail: while in the White House Hillary collected FBI Director Hoover’s secret files after he was murdered.

    Others believe the corrupt couple are just too big to fail (in the sense their corruption has been so vast and reaches back over so many decades) that thousands of accomplices, enablers, defenders, government agencies, dozens of newspapers, and a few TV networks would be revealed as witting co-conspirators.

    Hoover is reported to have once said that if he ever revealed what he knew about Kennedy’s assassination it would destroy the nation. Similarly perhaps the truth about Obama and the Clintons might also seem threaten the stability of the nation, at least to those involved.

    ropelight (bbe920)

  42. SWC, thank you for your Cliffs Notes version of this scandal.

    In your opinion, what are the chances that Trump/Sessions would take your recommendation in Part Five?

    Lenny (5ea732)

  43. @37. Sorry. The questions should have been addressed to shipwreckedcrew (SWC)

    Sammy Finkelman (de36da)

  44. 37 —

    1) I would guess that with Uranium One being purchased by Rosatom, the control over the Kazak mines would be functionally within the control of the Kremlin. If the Kazak mines were simply nationalized, the Kremlin would not get the other assets of Uranium One, including the 20% of uranium reserves in the US. Also, the business activities of Rosatom in the US through its subsidiaries Tenex and Tenam, were a fruitful source of money in the form of the kickback schemes and other forms of corruption that is endemic in Russian Kleptocracy. Adding the US assets of Uranium One to the asset portfolio of Rosatom only increase the scope of the corruption that might be possible. Leaving the Kazak mines as part of Uranium One put money in everyone’s pockets.

    3) the kickback schemes were pretty garden variety given the descriptions. Typical Russian Organized Crime. TLI was given “no bid” contracts — meaning they could write the contract for whatever they wanted — and then grossly inflated their invoices far above their costs and typical margins. The extra money they received came with instructions on what they should do with it. The complaint and indictment describe how Condrey — the owner of TLI — was given instructions by Mikerin to wire large amounts of money to bank accounts in the name of shell corporations in places like the Seychelles Islands or Swiss Banks. The identified some of the shell corporations as being among thousands of such entities that were known to have been formed by two guys somewhere in Europe. Basically, for a fee, they let you have money moved into their protected bank accounts of their shell corporations, and they would then move your money wherever you wanted it to go. Condrey also delivered cash payoffs to Mikerin himself, and sometimes followed Mikerin’s instructions to divide up the cash into individual envelopes with specific amounts of money in each one. In exchange, Condrey’s business made handsome profits on the transportation services provided to Tenex and TEnam.

    3) I’m sure the “cover-up” was all part of a well-orchestrated lobbying campaign that was likely organized around the simple principle “Don’t look too closely at that because some folks might be unhappy.” So when Clinton has someone like Jake Sullivan as her key staffer — and Sullivan has deep ties to folks at the Clinton Foundation — its not hard for the message to be sent around to not look too closely at the Uranium One deal, as its important to a lot of people that it go through. As for DOJ/DOE, again, you have political appointees in important positions in each agency who talk to each other. I doubt that anyone is going to come right out and acknowledge corruption and admit they were a part of it — again its one of those situations where the “guidance” is to give it a “once over”, check off the boxes, and move on to the next project on your plate.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  45. Why was it important to Russia and Kazakhstan not to have Kazakhstan nationalize the Kazakh mines and instead buy off the owners of Uranium One, which included a lot of Friends of Bill? (And to do that they also had to buy off Bill and Hillary Clinton.) There must be more to this story.

    In a vacuum, I’d suggest that Russia did not want to destroy any possibility of fooling working with Secretary Clinton at the outset of the Obama administration. It probably would have pissed off Canada, too, as those FoBs were probably also friends of Canadian bigwigs.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  46. Also, they had some consideration that Hillary would follow Obama as President, and wanted to have some dirt on her. Putin could confess to bribing here and it wouldn’t hurt Putin.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  47. Hoover is reported to have once said that if he ever revealed what he knew about Kennedy’s assassination it would destroy the nation.

    such as “LBJ was behind it.”

    The question comes up as to why OBAMA went along with Uranium One sale. How did so many people decide to sign off? I guess it’s possible they all were (and still are) creatures of the Clintons, but one would have to think that Obama got his beak wet somehow. Maybe the Russians bent some policy towards him, but you’d be at a loss to find it considering how bad all his deals were.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  48. Also as to Sammy’s question #1, if Rosatom had acquired those Kazakh assets after a nationalization, they would have poisoned their business efforts in the US, as the US government would regard the Kazakh assets as stolen. Uranium One might have recourse against them and Tenex/Tenem assets in US courts.

    Not to mention that all those kickback deals would come to light in the most explosive possible way.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  49. nk @13 Where is Scalia mentioned on this thread?

    Sammy Finkelman (20d02d)

  50. at #10, on the question of whether choate is a proper word

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  51. Obama’s agenda was maximum damage to US interests, he was the worst traitor in our nation’s history (compared to Obama, Benedict Arnold was a petty gossip).

    You’re ridiculous.

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  52. I pointed out the motivation of some of the players, geithner, a man not alien to fraud, shared a transnational outlook as well,,gates apparently went along, it want even a regret in his memoir.

    narciso (d1f714)

  53. But this time, with no explanation, the State Department revoked Browder’s U.S. visa, restricting his freedom of movement at exactly the same time that Russia is hunting for him.
    Such a move creates the impression that Trump administration officials are sympathetic to Putin’s crusade against a political foe.
    Browder, a U.S.-born British financier whose former lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, was tortured to death in a Russian prison after exposing the corruption of Putin’s inner circle, has been instrumental in pushing democratic nations to hold Russia to account for political murder. His activism has prompted four countries — the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Estonia — to adopt “Magnitsky Acts.”
    These laws, which block the Russian oligarchs who killed Magnitsky from using assets they looted from their country and stashed overseas, are the only significant consequence Putin has faced for his crimes. And Browder is at the top of the list of people he blames.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  54. Motive is universally money, power, more money, more power…

    Even the git DJT understands this..

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  55. For covington Berlin, for gates consulting group its possible.

    They trusted they had buried the whole sordid affair, note how neither the times, or the post have broached it, and the journal on the editorial side only

    narciso (d1f714)

  56. The Hill is regarded as a fairly accurate journalistic source, while The National Enquirer certainly is not. Yet the Enquirer showed the credentialed media their chops with the John Edwards investigation, forcing the credentialed media to take note.

    Yet, last I heard, CBS devoted something like 62 seconds to the story, which was 62 seconds more than NBC or ABC. Had this been about Donald Trump, Chris Cuomo would have had CNN’s New Day on the case for the full three hours, every morning since the story broke, and every other network would be jumping on it as well. Yet not only are the networks ignoring the story, they’re also not making any claims that the story is false. Best I can figure, they’re hoping to ignore it to death.

    The journalist Dana (0c82d7)

  57. Kind of like Charlie card, covering with a blanket, but they can’t even address the superficial chargem

    narciso (d1f714)

  58. Gregg Jarrett at Fox News went “all in” on the new revelations involving he Mikerin prosecution, including putting all the pieces together involving Mueller, Rosenstein, and Comey, question how it is they can be in the positions they are in with regard to investigating Trump and Russia given legitimate questions about a cover up of Clinton and Russia, where they must have played a role — either wittingly or unwittingly.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  59. Supposedly the informant has recordings to provide, in the 30s there as something similar with Dr opening diplomatic relations with slain, and a whole host of networks like the ware ring sprung up.

    narciso (d1f714)

  60. Stalin, I guess that was freudian.

    Mediate would probably not have it

    narciso (d1f714)

  61. Early yesterday evening, DOJ released the lobbyist who was the FBI informant from the “non-disclosure agreement” so that he may provide any and all information and evidence regarding corruption in the uranium industry to 4 specified congressional committees — the House and Senate Judiciary Comms, the House Oversight Comm, and the Joint Select Comm on Intelligence.

    His attorney Victoria Toensing said last night that he will be able to describe things he was told by the Russians with whom he was involved for 5 years about their efforts to influence Bill and Hillary Clinton and the Clinton foundation, and what the FBI told him about who in the US Gov’t was being briefed on the investigation as it was going on.

    I have confirmed with former colleagues of mine in federal law enforcement that there is no question that the nature of this investigation would have been briefed to FBI Director Mueller on a weekly or monthly basis because it was both a corruption investigation but also an intelligence investigation that had penetrated a significant Russian government agency since Mikerin was a Russian government employee.

    Its quite possible — and maybe even likely — that the FBI had more than one operative on the inside, and used the investigation to recruit sources within the Russian operation. Its very surprising to that person that only one Russian was prosecuted given the allegations made in the indictment about numerous Russians being participants in the crime. If the FBI used it to plant moles in the Russian gov’t, that would explain why the operation went on for 5 years before arrests were made.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  62. what about the sleazy FBI moles in the Trump administration

    this is so third whirl

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  63. Lots of speculative rhetoric, wishful thinking for a reference-free comment.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  64. “If you have an open federal law enforcement investigation, how do 9 cabinet-level secretaries sign off on the Uranium 1 deal?” — Devin Nunes (R-CA)

    The investigation was secret, and also about unrelated matters, so the FBI decided there was no need to notify anyone.

    What do kickbacks have to do with ownership and control of uranium? They’re not stealing uranium.

    Sammy Finkelman (20d02d)

  65. Kevin M (752a26) — 10/23/2017 @ 12:06 pm

    Also as to Sammy’s question #1, [@ #37] if Rosatom had acquired those Kazakh assets after a nationalization, they would have poisoned their business efforts in the US, as the US government would regard the Kazakh assets as stolen. Uranium One might have recourse against them and Tenex/Tenem assets in US courts.

    Not to mention that all those kickback deals would come to light in the most explosive possible way.

    So the threated nationalization of the mines was a little bit of an empty threat – it just forced Uranium One to deal. (The folks in Kazakhstan who had approved the Kazakh deal with that Canadian company were left completely out in the cold, though, and arrested.)

    Now if it was nationalized it wouldn’t have to be Rosatom that acquired the Kazakh assets later, so the other reasons sound better: The Kremlin actually wanted the uranium reserves in their own right; more kickbacks would be possible; and they didn’t want to alienate Secretary Clinton or Canadian bigwigs.

    Sammy Finkelman (20d02d)

  66. Did you know intelligence agencies were gotten to write a report at the end of 2016 that said Kremlin hostility to Hillary Clinton went back to 2011, when in all probability it was 2014?

    One place this is mentioned is near the end of the book “Shattered.”

    See also:

    which links to the text of the report:

    This report is a declassified version of a highly classified assessment; its conclusions are identical to those in the highly classified assessment but this version does not include the full supporting information on key elements of the influence campaign.


    Putin most likely wanted to discredit Secretary Clinton because he has publicly blamed her since 2011 for inciting mass protests against his regime in late 2011 and early 2012, and because he holds a grudge for comments he almost certainly saw as disparaging him.

    Yeah, Sure. That was the reason. Ukraine had nothing to do with it. He hated her all the way back to 2011.

    Sammy Finkelman (20d02d)

  67. I’ll look for something better, because I tthink I even heard her saying thatt the hostility dates back to Russian parliamentary elections (which would undermine the idea she and Bill were briibed later)

    Cached Politico story from July, 2016 as to alleged reason Putin hates Hillary

    When mass protests against Russian President Vladimir Putin erupted in Moscow in December 2011, Putin made clear who he thought was really behind them: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

    With the protesters accusing Putin of having rigged recent elections, the Russian leader pointed an angry finger at Clinton, who had issued a statement sharply critical of the voting results. “She said they were dishonest and unfair,” Putin fumed in public remarks, saying that Clinton gave “a signal” to demonstrators working “with the support of the U.S. State Department” to undermine his power. “We need to safeguard ourselves from this interference in our internal affairs,” Putin declared.

    Five years later, Putin may be seeking revenge against Clinton. At least that’s the implication of the view among some cybersecurity experts that Russia was behind the recent hack of the Democratic National Committee’s email server, which has sowed confusion and dissent at the Democratic National Convention and undercut Clinton’s goal of party unity…

    Former U.S. officials who worked on Russia policy with Clinton say that Putin was personally stung by Clinton’s December 2011 condemnation of Russia’s parliamentary elections, and had his anger communicated directly to President Barack Obama. They say Putin and his advisers are also keenly aware that, even as she executed Obama’s “reset” policy with Russia, Clinton took a harder line toward Moscow than others in the administration. And they say Putin sees Clinton as a forceful proponent of “regime change” policies that the Russian leader considers a grave threat to his own survival.

    “He was very upset [with Clinton] and continued to be for the rest of the time that I was in government,” said Michael McFaul, who served as the top Russia official in Obama’s national security council from 2009 to December 2011 and then was U.S. ambassador to Moscow until early 2014. “One could speculate that this is his moment for payback.”

    Sammy Finkelman (20d02d)

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