Uranium One is back in the news thanks to Shepard Smith, who laid out his version of events relating to Uranium One. From Smith’s monologue:
Here’s the accusation. Nine people involved in the deal made donations to the Clinton Foundation totaling more than $140 million. In exchange, Secretary of State [Hillary] Clinton approved the sale to the Russians, a quid-pro-quo.
That statement is inaccurate in a number of ways.
The nine department heads all approved the sale of Uranium One. It was unanimous, not a Hillary Clinton approval.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the sale on November the 24th of 2010 and in doing so, stipulated that no uranium produced may be exported.
Most of those donations were from one man, Frank Giustra, the founder of the company in Canada. He gave $131 million to the Clinton Foundation. But Giustra says he sold his stake in the company back in 2007. That is three years before the uranium/Russia deal and a year and a half before Hillary Clinton became secretary of state.
You can find the full transcript here. The video:
— Shepard Smith (@ShepNewsTeam) November 14, 2017
This monologue was swiftly and roundly circulated – being touted as a “demolishing” of the Uranium One Scandal.
There’s just one problem.
Shepard completely ignored some very relevant details.
You left out quite a lot.
$31.5mm from Giustra after UrAsia/Kazatomprom closing.
Giustra’s ties w/Ian Telfor – U1’s Chairman.
U1 Uranium shipped to Europe via Canada.
Russia wanted U1 for U1’s Kazakhstan uranium assets.
Giustra’s involvement in Columbia post U1 – w/Clintons
— Jeff Carlson, CFA (@themarketswork) November 15, 2017
Here are the quick facts:
Frank Giustra donated $145 million to the Clinton Foundation.
$31.3 million came directly after the closing of the UrAsia/Kazatomprom transaction in early 2006.
Giustra pledged another $100 million in June 2007.
UrAsia was Giustra’s small uranium company that was seeking to purchase lucrative uranium reserves in Kazakhstan which has about one-fifth of the world’s uranium reserves.
Giustra and Bill Clinton flew on Giustra’s jet to meet with Kazakhstan President Nazarbayev on September 6, 2005. It was a one day visit.
Clinton publicly praised President Nazarbayev at this meeting, conferring respectability on a regime with a shaky human rights record.
Giustra discussed his interest in acquiring Kazakhstan uranium assets with President Nazarbayev during the one day visit. Giustra initially denied this but was later forced to admit discussions had taken place.
UrAsia (Giustra’s company) signed two memorandums of understanding with Kazatomprom (Khazahkstan’s national atomic company – which controls all uranium mining in the country) to become partners in three mines on September 8, 2005 – two days after Clinton’s visit.
UrAsia paid $450 million to Kazatomprom to enter into the partnership.
The agreement transformed UrAsia from a small unknown shell company into one of the world’s largest uranium producers overnight.
Four months later, in January 2006, Giustra made the $31.3 million donation to the Clinton Foundation.
This donation was kept secret until it was discovered in December 2007.
For weeks, Clinton Foundation officials had suggested that the $31.3 million contribution listed on its tax return did not come from a single donor. They then said it came from a single source, but declined to identify it. Wednesday afternoon, a representative of Mr. Giustra contacted The Times and acknowledged the contribution.
In September 2006, Giustra co-hosted Bill Clinton’s 60th birthday – an event that raised $21 million for the Clinton Foundation.
In February of 2007, Uranium One, a South African mining company, agreed to buy UrAsia for a staggering $3.1 billion. Uranium One paid $7.05 per share for Giustra’s UrAsia. Two years earlier UrAsia was trading at 10 cents per share.
Giustra says he divested himself of his stake in Uranium One in 2007, but there is no way to confirm if this is accurate. Giustra has lied about several important events as noted above and below. What is known is that Giustra remained financially tied to Uranium One through one of his other companies, Endeavor Financial, as a financial advisor to Uranium One – through at least June 2008.
Also in February 2007, the head of Kazatomprom, Moukhtar Dzhakishev, traveled to the U.S. to meet with Bill Clinton and Frank Giustra at Clinton’s home. Mr. Dzhakishev said “he wanted to discuss Kazakhstan’s intention — not publicly known at the time — to buy a 10 percent stake in Westinghouse, a United States supplier of nuclear technology”.
Both Clinton and Giustra repeatedly denied this meeting took place – until they were confronted with evidence from the New York Times.
Both Mr. Clinton and Mr. Giustra at first denied that any such meeting occurred. Mr. Giustra also denied ever arranging for Kazakh officials to meet with Mr. Clinton. Wednesday, after The Times told them that others said a meeting, in Mr. Clinton’s home, had in fact taken place, both men acknowledged it.
“You are correct that I asked the president to meet with the head of Kazatomprom,” Mr. Giustra said. “Mr. Dzhakishev asked me in February 2007 to set up a meeting with former President Clinton to discuss the future of the nuclear energy industry.” Mr. Giustra said the meeting “escaped my memory until you raised it.”
Wednesday, Mr. Clinton’s spokesman, Ben Yarrow, issued what he called a “correction,” saying: “Today, Mr. Giustra told our office that in February 2007, he brought Mr. Dzhakishev from Kazatomprom to meet with President Clinton to discuss the future of nuclear energy.”
Dzhakishev would later be arrested, in May 2009, for arranging corrupt uranium transactions with foreign companies.
For a more in-depth review of these various events see, After Mining Deal, Financier Donated to Clinton.
At this point, I will continue with a timeline put together by John Sexton. From John’s work:
2009: Ian Telfer, Chairman of Uranium One, donates $1 million to the Clinton Foundation through his family charity. [Telfor and Giustra are long-time friends and colleagues]
June 2009: Moukhtar Dzhakishev, the head of Kazatomprom, is arrested for illegally selling mining rights to foreign companies, including some given to Frank Giustra’s UrAsia (which are now owned by Uranium One). The NY Times reports “American diplomatic cables made public by WikiLeaks…reflect concerns that Mr. Dzhakishev’s arrest was part of a Russian power play for control of Kazakh uranium assets.”
June 10-11, 2009: Uranium One pressures the U.S. Embassy in Kazakhstan to clarify the situation regarding its mining rights and US officials meet with Kazakh officials on these two days to discuss it.
June 14, 2009: A subsidiary of the Russian atomic energy agency Rosatom gains a 17 percent ownership share in Uranium One.
November 2009: With the permission of the FBI, an American businessman begins making kickback payments at the direction of Vadim Mikerin, “the main Russian overseeing Putin’s nuclear expansion inside the United States.” Between 2009 and 2012, with the approval of Rosatom, Mikerin would use bribes and extortion to compromise “American contractors in the nuclear industry.”
You can read more about this in Russian Collusion – Bribes, Coverups, Clinton & Uranium One and Russian Collusion – Part II – Corruption, Clinton & Obama.
June 2010: Rosatom seeks a majority ownership share in Uranium One. Because Uranium One owns mining interests in several states within the US, the deal must be approved by the Committee on Foreign Investment. One agency that has to sign off on the deal is the State Department, where Hillary Clinton is Secretary of State.
2010: Ian Telfer, Chairman of Uranium One, donates $250,000 to the Clinton Foundation through his family charity. Between 2009-2012 Telfer’s charity would donate more than $2.3 million to the Clinton Foundation.
In addition to Telfer’s donations, between $1.3 million and $5.6 million in contributions came from multiple people with ties to Uranium One and/or UrAsia.
June 29,2010: The New York Times timeline notes, “Bill Clinton is paid $500,000 for a speech in Moscow by a Russian investment bank with ties to the Kremlin that assigned a buy rating to Uranium One stock.” President Putin reportedly thanked Clinton for giving the speech.
October 2010: Rosatom’s majority ownership of Uranium One is approved by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. The company’s most valuable assets are the mining rights originally owned by UrAsia Energy Ltd., thanks to the deal reached just one day after former President Clinton left Kazakhstan.
2011: “the administration gave approval for Rosatom’s Tenex subsidiary to sell commercial uranium to U.S. nuclear power plants in a partnership with the United States Enrichment Corp. Before then, Tenex had been limited to selling U.S. nuclear power plants reprocessed uranium recovered from dismantled Soviet nuclear weapons under the 1990s Megatons to Megawatts peace program.”
January 2013: Rosatom takes 100% control of Uranium One and takes the company private.
A common rebuttal to criticisms of the Uranium One transaction is that no uranium was actually allowed to leave the U.S. – something the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) supposedly assured Congress at the time of the transaction.
Shepard Smith repeated this claim.
It turns out the NRC quietly granted export licenses to RSB Logistics. Licenses that added Uranium One to the list of RSB clients for whom RSB could move uranium. As noted in a November 2, 2017 article titled, Uranium One Deal Led to Some Exports to Europe.
NRC memos reviewed by The Hill show that it did approve the shipment of yellowcake uranium — the raw material used to make nuclear fuel and weapons — from the Russian-owned mines in the United States to Canada in 2012 through a third party. Later, the Obama administration approved some of that uranium going all the way to Europe, government documents show.
NRC officials said they could not disclose the total amount of uranium that Uranium One exported because the information is proprietary. They did, however, say that the shipments only lasted from 2012 to 2014 and that they are unaware of any exports since then.
NRC officials told The Hill that Uranium One exports flowed from Wyoming to Canada and on to Europe between 2012 and 2014, and the approval involved a process with multiple agencies.
You can read more about the shipments, along with the process surrounding the U.S. governmental approval of the Uranium One sale in, FOIA Documents, FBI Preservation Requests, the CFIUS & Uranium One.
And Giustra’s ties to the Clintons do not end with Uranium One.
In 2015, it was discovered that a Canadian charity affiliated with the Clinton Foundation had failed to reveal the identities of its 1,100 donors. The charity, the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership, was founded by Frank Giustra:
The Canadian group has received attention in recent days as a potential avenue for anonymous Clinton Foundation donations from foreign business executives, including some who had interests before the U.S. government while Hillary Rodham Clinton was secretary of state.
The partnership, named in part for Bill Clinton, sends much of its money to the New York-based Clinton Foundation. Two of the partnership’s known donors — Giustra and another mining executive, Ian Telfer — are featured in the soon-to-be-released book “Clinton Cash” for their roles in a series of deals that resulted in Russia controlling many uranium deposits around the world and in the United States.
The large number of undisclosed supporters of a Clinton-affiliated charity raises new questions about the foundation’s adherence to the 2008 ethics agreement it struck with the Obama administration, which was designed to avoid conflicts of interest during Hillary Clinton’s tenure at the State Department.
In The Clintons, a Luxury Jet and Their $100 Million Donor from Canada, the Washington Post lays out further ties between Giustra and the Clintons:
For Frank Giustra, who had never met the former president, this was an opportunity. The Canadian mining magnate and onetime Hollywood studio owner stepped up to let the former president borrow his luxurious passenger jet. There was just one condition: Giustra would come along for the ride.
That 2005 trip was the start of an intense, mutually beneficial friendship — one that has helped propel the Clinton Foundation into a global giant and established Giustra’s reputation as an international philanthropist while helping him build connections in countries where his business was expanding.
Clinton has also gained regular transportation, borrowing Giustra’s plane 26 times for foundation business since 2005, including 13 trips in which the two men traveled together.
Giustra continued to expand his business empire, closing some of the biggest deals of his career in the same countries where he traveled with Clinton.
Giustra’s business involvements with the Clintons extended beyond Kazakhstan:
A few weeks after returning from Kazakhstan in 2005, Giustra attended his first meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative in New York.
There, he was introduced to the leader of another country where he had business interests: Álvaro Uribe of Colombia.
Giustra’s interests in Colombia included gold mines, port construction, timber and, more recently, oil production.
Giustra’s Colombian Holding Company “received valuable drilling rights in deals involving a state-owned oil company that went through a few years after he met the Colombian president through the Clinton Foundation”.
In 2007, Giustra played a key role in forming a fast-growing oil company operating in Colombia, Pacific Rubiales Energy. It burst onto the scene that year by purchasing control of an oil production firm that worked closely with the Colombian state oil company, which Uribe had recently privatized. It also signed a pipeline deal with that firm and then won the right to explore for oil in environmentally sensitive areas along the Colombian coast.
The same pattern emerged in 2013, with Blue Pacific – another Giustra Colombian company that benefited from an association with Bill Clinton:
Pacific Infrastructure [owned by Blue Pacific], a company connected to Clinton Foundation mega-donor Frank Giustra, needed $150 million to build a port and pipeline along the northern Colombian coast, it went to the International Finance Corporation for funding.
There was one major obstacle. The project, according to a review by the International Finance Corporation, was deemed “Category A.” That meant it would likely have “significant adverse social and/or environmental impacts that are diverse, irreversible, or unprecedented” on the local community.
Within the next few months, two for-profit companies were created in Cartagena. One was a job-training center to teach locals how to work at the port. The other was a food supplier that helped support fishers and farmers by selling their products to hotels and supermarkets.
Bill Clinton and Frank Giustra launched both companies using funding from the Clinton Foundation’s Colombia-based private investment fund, Fondo Acceso.
There are numerous such examples. Giustra’s operations are intertwined with historical ties to the Clinton Foundation.
Which brings me full circle to this point.
The $31.3 million donation by Giustra in early 2006 was clearly tied to the UrAsia/Kazatomprom transaction.
The $100 million donation pledge by Giustra came in June 2007. It, too, was likely tied to the UrAsia transaction.
It may also have been a promise of future payments for the many transactions yet to come.
CFIUS (Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States) was the entity that approved the Uranium One transaction.
CFIUS is comprised of the heads of almost every single major department under the Obama Administration.
Fifteen months before the 13 members of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, known as CFIUS, approved the sale of the Canadian company Uranium One to Russia’s nuclear arm giant Rosatom, the FBI began investigating persons who were connected to the Russian state corporation.
The FBI said in court documents and in interviews that by 2010 they had gathered enough evidence to prove that Rosatom-connected officials were engaged in a global bribery schedule that included kickbacks and money laundering. FBI officials said the investigation could have prevented the sale of Uranium One, which controlled 20 percent of U.S. uranium supply under U.S. law.
The Justice Department didn’t move forward an indictment with prosecution of bribery by people tied to Rosatom, through subsidies and other entities, until 2014 after CFIUS approved the sale of Uranium One.
An American businessman who worked for years undercover as an FBI confidential witness was blocked by the Obama Justice Department from telling Congress about conversations and transactions he witnessed related to the Russian nuclear industry’s efforts to win favor with Bill and Hillary Clinton and influence Obama administration decisions.
Some, if not all, of these issues had to have been known by at least some members of CFIUS.
Which brings me to this.
— Katica 🇺🇸 #MAGA 🇺🇸 #AmericaFirst (@GOPPollAnalyst) November 3, 2017
In late August 2015, the FBI sent Preservation and Records Requests to the following agencies:
- Nuclear Regulatory Commission
- The U.S. Dept. of Treasury
- The Office of Director of National Intelligence (ODNI James Clapper)
- The National Counter Terrorism Center
- The U.S. Department of Energy (DoE)
- The National Security Agency (NSA – Admiral Mike Rogers)
- The United States Secret Service (USSS)
- The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
- The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)
- The Department of Defense.
Equally important is the one agency left off the list.
Hillary Clinton’s State Department.
For those who notice another omission, reminder: The FBI is a subset of the Department of Justice.
Which has led to some intriguing speculation.
From Conservative Treehouse’s article, Uranium One: Previously Undiscovered FOIA Documents Could Be Game-Changer in Investigation:
What is interesting about the preservation request(s) are the recipients, their attachment to CFIUS (Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States), and the timeline of events surrounding the agent’s notification.
Sometime around August 3rd, 2015, we discovered the FBI inquiry was actually a “criminal probe“. [USA Today August 4th] – [Washington Post August 3rd] – [New York Post, August 5th, 2015]. The dates here are important.
The discovery by Katica shows that on August 28th, 2015, an FBI special agent sent a notification to preserve records to: •Nuclear Regulatory Commission; •The U.S. Dept. of Treasury; •Office of Director of National Intelligence (ODNI James Clapper); •The National Counter Terrorism Center; and the •U.S. Department of Energy (DoE).
Each of these agencies was intricately involved in the 2010 approval of the Uranium One deal. Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State at the time.
Five Days later, on September 2nd, 2015, the FBI special agent sent another notification for preservation of records to the same agencies – and adding: the National Security Agency (NSA – Admiral Mike Rogers) and the United States Secret Service (USSS).
The following day, on September 3rd, 2015, the FBI special agent submitted a supplemental notification for preservation of records to: •The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), •Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and •The Department of Defense.
Taken in their totality those FBI special agent notifications now encompassed every member of the CFIUS group who “signed off” on approval of the Uranium One deal.
It would be intellectually dishonest not to see the very likely attachment of the special agent’s action. That is to say an FBI probe originating as an outcome of information retrieved in parallel to the timing of the “criminal probe” of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email use.
The sequence of events highlights a criminal probe starting [early August 2015], followed by notifications to the “Uranium One” CFIUS participants [late August 2015].
Congress can get, and see, those FBI preservation notification documents without redaction. Congress could then interview the FBI special agent who was obviously in charge of key elements within the 2015 probe. Put the FBI special agent together with the unnamed FBI informant, question them, and discover what they know about the entire Uranium One deal – and there’s the road-map to tear this thing wide open.
No matter what certain “pundits” may say, the Uranium One transaction was not some innocent affair, unfairly portrayed by the Right.
It was an ongoing part of a larger scandal.
A scandal that investigators might already be looking into…
For those interested, the New York Times wrote an excellent 2015 article, Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal., which provides additional salient details.
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