The Infamous Case of Hillary Clinton and The Uranium One Scandal

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"Hillary Clinton walks on stage at AIPAC, Washington DC" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Lorie Shaull

The controversial story involving Hillary Clinton, Uranium One, the Clinton Foundation, and the Russian government continues to make noise years after it came out. 

This complex series of events involves a deal that Hillary Clinton made. She sold 20% of America’s Uranium supply to a company controlled by Russians in a reported exchange of 145 Million dollars worth of donation to the Clinton Foundation. 

The Uranium One Controversy

“Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at the 100th Anniversary of the Boundary Waters Treat” (public domain) by US Embassy Canada

This infamous story started in 2010 when Hillary Clinton, a secretary of state, played a crucial role in the Uranium One deal. As a secretary of state, Hillary Clinton served on a government board that approved the transfer of Uranium to the Company called Uranium One.

Although Uranium One was a company based in Toronto, it has a Russian stakeholder that owns at least 51% of its shares. This deal allowed a Russian to acquire a controlling stake in Uranium One that reportedly gives Russians 20% control of the U.S. uranium supply.

Due to Uranium being a component of nuclear weapons, this posed a serious threat to national security. Matters like this are required to be reviewed by the Committee of Foreign Investment. However, in this case, the process did not follow protocol. To make the situation worst, there was a reported exchange between Russia and the Clinton Foundation.

The Clinton Foundation

In return of the deal with Russia, Clinton’s Foundation received $145 Million worth of pledges and donations. 

These donations received by Clinton Foundation have ties to Uranium One. These donations were not publicly disclosed despite the promise that the Foundation would identify all donors and contributors. 

To make matters more suspicious, former President Bill Clinton also received $500,000 for Russia’s speaking engagement. Here he coincidentally met with Vladimir Putin. This very same meeting happened around the same time as the Uranium One deal. 

Investigation of the Alleged Corruption

Through the orders of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the prosecutors of the Justice Department begun asking FBI agents to explain the pieces of evidence they found in the controversial Uranium One deal that critics have linked to the Clintons.

FBI later looked into this deal and revealed that Russian nuclear industry officials were involved in bribery, kickbacks, extortion, and so on. The Hill, a top U.S. political website, reported that Russian officials were engaged in a “racketeering scheme” to advance its energy-related goals to the United States. 

Clinton’s Attempt to Debunk These Allegations

In an attempt to discredit the reports surrounding the Uranium One controversy, Hillary Clinton said that she played no role in the decisions, nor was she involved in the deliberations.

Nick Merill, the spokesman of Hillary Clinton, also did not answer questions on whether or not Clinton was ever briefed on the Uranium One deal. He stated that at every turn, this controversy was debunked. Merill further added that Trump’s statement saying, “Your real Russia story is Uranium” was his only way to distract everyone from his problems that involve Russia. 

Moreover, Hillary Clinton stated that Trump and his allies are redirecting the investigators’ attention. She said that the closer the investigators get into the real Russian ties that would involve Trump and his associates, the more they want to throw these controversies on her way.

She further stated that she and the former President, Barack Obama, are the Republicans’ favorite targets. 

A Confidential Informant Decided To Speak Out

In November 2017, the FBI informant, Willam Douglas Campbell, decided to speak out about the matter for the first time. At the time of the sale, Campbell was a confidential source for the FBI in a Maryland bribery and kickback investigation of the head of a U.S. unit of Rosatom, the Russian state-owned nuclear power company.

In an exclusive interview with Reuters, he stated that he worked with the Justice Department undercover for years. He added that the documents related to Uranium One and the political influence that it has do exist and that he has the documents to prove it. With his statement, Campbell had the potential of playing a more significant role in this Washington drama.

Whether the millions worth of donations to the Clinton Foundation played a role in the Uranium One deal’s approval is still unknown. However, these series of episodes highlight the special ethical challenges that are presented by the Clinton Foundation.