The Uranium-to-Russia Uproar Lacked Hillary’s Fingerprints

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Hillary Clinton at the Benghazi hearing. She is once again being used as a punching bag, this time to divert attention away from the Russian collusion investigation. Source: Politico.

There’s no ‘there’ there. Republicans have abandoned any allegiance to the truth.

Spin Cycle

Senate Judiciary chairman Grassley (R-IA) is conducting one investigation. The House version is being led by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA).

With the Fox News-driven Republican echo chamber shifting to high gear, here’s what a thoroughly debunked and recycled Hillary Clinton “scandal” has wrought:

  • As if two Congressional investigations (at taxpayers’ expense) weren’t enough, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is considering appointing a special counsel to probe a 2010 transaction that has been painstakingly vetted over its lifetime. Using an independent judiciary for political payback is the stuff of third-world banana republics. “To have the winning side exploring the possibilities of prosecuting the losing side in an election–it’s un-American and it’s grotesque,” asserted John Danforth, a former special counsel to the Waco stand-off.
  • Former White House adviser Sebastian Gorka compared Hillary Clinton’s actions as “equivalent to” the Julius and Ethel Rosenberg espionage case in the 1950s.
  • Donald Trump’s tweets (which I’ll never publish) made the ridiculous claims that Hillary Clinton “allowed big Uranium to go to Russia” and her “praise of Russia.” This babble is coming from  our president who takes the word of a murderous foreign adversary (Putin) over our country’s intelligence agencies.
Big Lies

I can scarcely believe that I’m giving space on this website to scuttlebutt that has long since been repudiated, but this story isn’t going away anytime soon. Not with Mueller’s Russian collusion investigation in full-swing. Republicans are desperate to find ways to distract the American public from Trump’s Russia problem.

A gaggle of conservative media and Congressional Republicans claim that Hillary Clinton, while secretary of state, sent 20 percent of American’s uranium stockpile to Russia through a Canadian-owned company called Uranium One. In return, her Clinton Foundation received a $145 million donation from Uranium One through its principal investor, Frank Giustra.

These details were contrived in the book Clinton Cash, written by Peter Schweizer. The author is connected to the White House through Steve Bannon, who was chief adviser to Donald Trump until being ousted last summer. Bannon and Schweizer both worked for Breitbart News and are closely linked to uber-conservative donor Robert Mercer. Facts don’t get in the way of these guys.

The Truth

There is no–zero–evidence that Hillary Rodham Clinton sold 20 percent of America’s uranium to Russia and got paid for it. Where to begin?

  • The sale in question involved the Canadian company Uranium One, which had mining interests in the US, to Rosatom, Russia’s nuclear energy agency. The mines, mills and land the company owned amounted to 20 percent of the America’s production capacity, not the uranium itself.
  • Because of national security considerations, the State Department was one of nine US federal agencies and regulatory bodies to sign off on the deal. Unanimous consent was mandatory.
  • Jose Fernandez represented the State Department on the panel. Fernandez told the New York Times that Clinton “never intervened with me” on the panel’s decision. There is no evidence–audio, email, whatever–that the deal ever crossed Clinton’s desk.
  • The book claimed that Frank Giustra covered the bulk of the $145 million offering to the Clinton Foundation. There’s a problem with this: Frank Giustra sold his shares in Uranium One three years before the Russian deal. Mother Jones: “Giustra said he never mentioned the deal to Clinton, who he met at charity events. Andy why would he? He had no stake in it.”

Source: MSNBC

National Security

Like most Americans, it gives me pause to learn that my country is in this dirty business with Russia, our most detestable adversary that honestly makes ISIS look like F Troop. Uranium is a heavy metal (no, not Metallica) that can be enriched to fuel nuclear power plants and weapons.

But as Politifact notes, “The United States and Russia had for years cooperated on that front, with Russia sending enriched fuel from decommissioned warheads to be used in American nuclear power plants in return for raw uranium.”

Most important, lets not forget that the US and Russia hardly need any more enriched uranium for nuclear weapons. Each country has more than 4,000 stockpiled nuclear warheads.

Enough weapons that, if deployed, would end all discussions of US-Russia foreign policy.

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Andrew Goutman

Andrew Goutman is the editor of Enter, Stage Left.

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