The Justice Department has lifted a gag order on a former FBI informant who can now give testimony to Congress about an Obama-era uranium deal with Russia.
The department said in a statement Wednesday that the informant is now clear to disclose “any information or documents he has ” related to the deal that gave a Russian-owned company ownership of uranium mining in the U.S., Fox News reported.
“As of tonight, the Department of Justice has authorized the informant to disclose to the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, as well as one member of each of their staffs, any information or documents he has concerning alleged corruption or bribery involving transactions in the uranium market,” Justice spokesman Ian Prior said in the statement.
Those “transactions” would include any by Russian company Rosatom, a subsidiary Tenex, Uranium One and the Clinton Foundation.
Hillary Clinton was secretary of state at the time the State Department approved the 2010 deal that allowed Rosatom to purchase Uranium One, the Canada-based company with mines in the U.S.
According to Fox News:
All three congressional committees launched investigations after The Hill reported that the FBI had evidence that Russian nuclear officials were involved in fraudulent dealings – including extortion, bribery and kickbacks – as far back as 2009 in a case involving Rosatom’s subsidiary, Tenex. Congressional Republicans have since questioned how the Uranium One deal was approved the following year by an inter-agency committee, and sought to gain access to the informant.
Republicans also have raised concerns about efforts by interested parties to influence the Clintons – citing donations to the Clinton Foundation as well as a $500,000 speaking fee received in Russia by former President Bill Clinton, who reportedly met with Vladimir Putin around the time of the deal.
The Justice Department’s actions came one day after Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, California Rep. Devin Nunes, announced an investigation into the Uranium One deal and any connection Clinton had with it.
President Trump and some Republican lawmakers have repeatedly pressed the issue, alleging that Russian donations were made to the Clinton Foundation, which the Clintons have consistently denied.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley demanded that the Justice Department appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the matter in a tweet on Tuesday.
Whoever in DOJ is capable w authority to appoint a special counsel shld do so to investigate Uranium One “whoever” means if u aren’t recused
— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) October 25, 2017
The informant had been unable to testify previously because he was allegedly threatened by former attorneys general Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, according to his attorney, Victoria Toensing.
Toensing revealed that her client saw “a lot of bribery going on around the U.S.,” but was forced to sign a nondisclosure agreement and told the Justice Department “would bring a criminal case against him” if he went public with Russian corruption information during the 2016 election campaign.
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