President Donald Trump said Wednesday that an Obama-era uranium deal that Hillary Clinton had a hand in approving is the biggest political scandal in modern history.
‘Well I think the uranium sale to Russia, and the way it was done, so underhanded with tremendous amounts of money being passed, I actually think that’s Watergate modern age,’ Trump told reporters as he prepared to board Marine One.
Watergate brought down Richard Nixon’s presidency. The Republican leader resigned in disgrace before his second term in office was over.
Clinton was secretary of state to Democrat Barack Obama when the uranium deal went through that Trump was referring to. She sat on the federal committee that provided authorization.
Three committees with investigatory power have said in the last week that they are probing the sale along with claims that it came alongside a kickback to the Clinton Foundation. Hillary Clinton has called the charge ‘baloney.’
President Donald Trump said Wednesday that an Obama-era uranium deal that Hillary Clinton had a hand in approving is the biggest political scandal in modern history
Two House committees announced a probe Tuesday of the uranium deal that the Obama administration green-lit while an entity at the center of the charges was reportedly under federal investigation. The Senate Judiciary Committee also has a probe going.
Devin Nunes, the Republican who heads the House Intelligence Committee, said his investigation will seek to determine whether there was an FBI probe in progress at the time of the deal, and, if so, why Congress was not notified.
‘We’re not going to jump to any conclusions at this time,’ he said in a Capitol Hill press conference.
That investigation will be jointly conducted by the House Intel and Oversight Committees.
A separate investigation in the House that was announced this week will look at the Department of Justice’s handling of Hillary Clinton’s email probe. It will be operated by the Oversight Committee and the Judiciary Committee.
The White House said Tuesday afternoon that the probes were a ‘move in the right direction.’
Press secretary Sarah Sanders noted at her daily briefing that the White House has said many times ‘that if there’s any collusion whatsoever during the campaigns of any point, or any collusion at any point with another country, that they should look at the Clintons.’
‘And so I think that’s the right thing,’ she commented.
Two House committees announced a probe Tuesday of a uranium deal that the Obama administration approved while company at the center of the charges was reportedly under investigation by the Department of Justice, Devin Nunes, the Republican who heads the House Intelligence Committee, said on Tuesday
Both chambers of Congress are sniffing around the uranium deal that President Donald Trump has tried to handcuff to Clinton.
A separate investigation in the House lead by Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy will look at the Department of Justice’s handling of Hillary Clinton ‘s email probe. It will be operated by the Oversight Committee and the Judiciary Committee
The Senate Judiciary Committee raised the issue with the Justice Department last week.
That panel is also making inquiries into former FBI Director James Comey’s move to draft a statement on Clinton’s email case before she was interviewed by investigators.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy and Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte said Tuesday that they, too, would formally investigate the case that ended without prosecution.
‘The law is the most equalizing force in this country. No entity or individual is exempt from oversight,’ the Republican lawmakers said in a statement.
Democrat Adam Schiff, the ranking member on House Intel, argued Tuesday that the probes were completely partisan and totally unhelpful.
‘Acting on the urging of the President who has repeatedly denied the intelligence agencies’ conclusions regarding Russian involvement in our election, they are designed to distract attention and pursue the President’s preferred goal – attacking Clinton and Obama,’ the California Democrat said.
‘This may be good politics, but it is a disservice to the far more important cause of investigating Russian interference in our democracy and protecting our elections in 2018 and beyond from outside influence,’ Schiff said.,
The House investigation into the Uranium One deal will spearheaded by New York Republican Peter King, chairman of a subcommittee on emerging threats, and Florida Republican Ron DeSantis, chairman of a subcommittee on national security.
King was the ranking member on the House Homeland Security Committee when the Obama administration green-lit the deal. He questioned it then, and he still does now.
He said at a press conference announcing House probe that he wrote to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner at the time and was told that the deal was receiving ‘full scrutiny.’
‘It’s important that we find out why that deal went through and certainly in view of recent allegations that have been made or recent questions that have been raised, it’s essential that this investigation, this inquiry, move forward,’ King stated, referring to Clinton in the abstract.
Ron DeSantis said, ‘We do have a witness who is a confidential informant who wants to talk about his role in this, and we’re in contact with the Justice Department to release him from a nondisclosure agreement.
‘If that doesn’t work out in a timely fashion, then we obviously would be able to subpoena him.’
Hillary Clinton was secretary of state the time of the deal. She has been accused by President Trump and others of turning it into a quid pro quo opportunity for her family foundation. She said Monday that the charge is ‘baloney’ during an interview
Nunes said the House Intel Committee has been looking into the issue for some times now.
‘I think, as Mr. DeSantis stated, there is a concern over the nondisclosure agreement,’ Nunes said. ‘We don’t think that is a concern. We think that any American, if they have information, even if it’s top secret, at the top secret level, they can come to the House Intelligence Committee and provide that information as a whistleblower if they would like.’
DeSantis chimed in to say that ‘last Congress, this really was not investigated, but I’m happy to report that the House leadership is fully behind this current investigation.
‘And so I would have liked to have done this a little sooner,’ the Republican lawmaker assessed, ‘but we are where we are, and we’re going to get the facts now with their support.’
The Hill newspaper had previously reported that a key FBI informant, an American businessman with knowledge of the Russian nuclear industry’s efforts to woo the Clintons and the Obama administration, was blocked by Obama’s Justice Department last year from telling Congress what he knew.
Lawyer Victoria Toensing, who worked in the Reagan Justice Department and was the former chief counsel of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told the paper last Tuesday she is working with lawmakers to push the Trump Justice Department or the FBI in freeing up her client to speak with members of Congress.
Trump made the controversy national news when he used it to deflect from allegations of Russian collusion against his presidential campaign in comments to reporters last Thursday.
‘I think that’s your Russia story. That’s your real Russia story. Not a story where they talk about collusion, which there was none. It was hoax,’ Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.
The Senate Judiciary Committee was the first of the Capitol Hill probes of the Uranium One deal, which gave 20 percent of the country’s uranium to Russia.
Federal investigators are said to have been reviewing the Russian nuclear industry’s business practices at the time of the sale.
Trump told reporters last week that it was the story of ‘the decade’ and slammed the mainstream media for not reporting it.
‘Frankly it’s a disgrace,’ Trump said. ‘It’s a disgrace, and it’s a disgrace that the fake news won’t cover it. It’s so sad.’
Trump also smacked Clinton on Twitter as he called it the ‘biggest story that fake media doesn’t want to follow.’
President Trump spoke about the questionable Uranium One deal in the Oval Office last Thursday, calling it ‘your real Russia story,’ as it hit political rival Hillary Clinton
The deal that took place while Clinton was secretary of state has attracted the attention of the Senate
Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said last Wednesday that he is looking into potential ‘conflicts of interest’ that Hillary Clinton may have had when she sat on the committee that approved the Uranium One transaction
She fired back in a book talk with C-SPAN on Monday.
‘I would say it’s the same baloney they’ve been peddling for years, and there’s been no credible evidence by anyone. In fact, it’s been debunked repeatedly and will continue to be debunked,’ she said.
Clinton said the allegations are a distraction and a diversion cooked up by President Trump and Fox News.
‘I’m their favorite target. Me and President Obama, we are the ones they like to put in the crosshairs,’ she said.
A number of outlets reported last week that Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley sent letters to federal agencies asking about potential ‘conflicts of interest’ that Clinton may have had when the State Department approved the Uranium One transaction.
State was just one of nine departments that approved the deal, a Politifact article explaining the dispute says.
As a party to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, CFIUS, the secretary of state – Clinton – would have had a role in the decision. But so did the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Politifact says, the nuclear regulator in Utah, where some of the uranium fields were located and everyone else on CFIUS.
Grassley said his investigation will center on Obama administration approval of he deal despite the ongoing FBI investigation of the company concerned. He also made reference Clinton’s family foundation.
‘It turns out during the transaction, the Justice Department had an ongoing criminal investigation for bribery, extortion and money laundering into officials for the Russian company making that purchase,’ Grassley said during a Capitol Hill hearing. ‘While all of this was going on, the Clinton Foundation reportedly received millions of dollars from interested parties in the transaction.’
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, is trying to get to the bottom of the Russian uranium deal. He finds it suspicious that involved parties had donated to the Clinton Foundation
Trump picked up on the story this morning, tagging Fox & Friends in one of the messages – an indication that he’d been watching author Peter Schweizer’s appearance on the program
Peter Schweizer is the author of the book Clinton Cash. He hopped on Fox this morning to comment on Sen. Chuck Grassley’s announcement
In 2010, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States approved a deal that allowed Russia’s Rosatom nuclear company to buy Canadian mining company Uranium One, which controlled about 20 percent of the U.S.’s uranium deposits, which was why the multi-agency committee was involved.
Sitting on that committee were former Attorney General Eric Holder and former Secretary of State Clinton, whose husband, ex-President Bill Clinton, had collected speaking fees and Clinton Foundation donations by parties associated with the deal.
Details about the donations were previously revealed in author Peter Schweizer’s book, Clinton Cash.
Schweizer appeared last Thursday morning on Fox & Friends, with President Trump tweeting ‘Russia sent millions to Clinton Foundation’ and tagging the morning show, indicating that he had tuned in.
Trump also tweeted, ‘Uranium deal to Russia, with Clinton help and Obama Administration knowledge, is the biggest story that Fake Media doesn’t want to follow!’
Former President Bill Clinton was given Clinton Foundation dollars and speaking fees by parties associated with the Russian uranium deal – while his wife, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, had to approve of it for it to go through
However, the New York Times had investigated the deal as Schweizer’s book was coming out and agreed with many of the authors findings: that interested parties had indeed flowed money to the Clinton Foundation as Secretary of State Clinton made her determination.
‘Whether the donations played any role in the approval of the uranium deal is unknown,’ the Times report said.
‘But the episode underscores the special ethical challenges presented by the Clinton Foundation, headed by a former president who relied heavily on foreign cash to accumulate $250 million in assets even as his wife helped steer American foreign policy as secretary of state, presiding over decisions with the potential to benefit the foundation’s donors,’ it continued.
Adding a new layer to the story, the Hill reported that the FBI had uncovered a Russian bribery plot in 2009 and 2010, before the committee approved the deal.
The Justice Department also waited until 2014 to bring any charges.
Grassley wants to find out why.
The Department of Justice has not responded to multiple inquiries from DailyMail.com on the matter, including the gag order and whether DOJ would remove it.