Justice Department Contradicts Republican Claims on Uranium One
Justice Department Contradicts
Republican Claims on Uranium One
Cummings and Schiff Request That Interview of
“Confidential Informant” Be Transcribed
Washington, D.C. (Feb. 6, 2018)—Today, Ranking Members Elijah E. Cummings and Adam Schiff of the House Oversight and Intelligence Committees sent a letter requesting that Chairmen Trey Gowdy and Devin Nunes transcribe an interview they have scheduled for later this week with a “confidential informant” in the Uranium One investigation—particularly after the Justice Department provided a key briefing to the Committees directly contradicting Republican claims against Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“Over the past several months, Republicans have been talking directly to this individual while refusing to grant Democratic Members access, despite multiple requests,” the Ranking Members wrote. “During this same time period, Republicans have been making wild and unsubstantiated allegations against Secretary Clinton on national television based on this individual’s information. In contrast, the Department of Justice has now provided us with a detailed briefing that directly contradicts these Republican allegations.”
On October 22, 2017—more than three months ago—Republican Oversight Committee Member Ron DeSantis appeared on Fox News to publicly announce that the Committees were launching a new investigation based on “explosive” new evidence from a confidential informant who would link together a “quid” and “quo” to demonstrate how Secretary Clinton orchestrated the unanimous decision in 2010 by all nine member agencies of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) regarding Uranium One.
On October 26, 2017, Chairman Nunes also went on Fox News and claimed that the Uranium One issue was “just another black eye, I think, for our intelligence agencies that, quite frankly, look like they had been weaponized at this point by the Democratic Party.”
DeSantis’ and Nunes’ statements came less than a week after a series of tweets from President Trump on these same allegations, stating: “Uranium deal to Russia, with Clinton help and Obama Administration knowledge, is the biggest story that Fake Media doesn’t want to follow!” He also tweeted: “@foxandfriends ‘Russia sent millions to Clinton Foundation.’”
In their letter today, the Democrats revealed that on December 15, 2017, senior officials from the Department of Justice conducted an unclassified briefing for Democratic and Republican staff on the Oversight and Intelligence Committees on the activities of the confidential informant during the investigation and prosecution of Vadim Mikerin. According to these senior Justice Department officials:
· Career attorneys initially planned to build their case against Mikerin based on evidence provided by this individual. However, they began to have “serious credibility concerns” because of “inconsistencies” between the individual’s statements and documents they obtained as part of the investigation.
· After interviewing the individual and reviewing the documents they had obtained, prosecutors determined that there was a “high chance” that he had begun engaging in illegal activity earlier than he initially disclosed—and that he had concealed those actions from the FBI.
· As a result, Justice Department officials working the case began to have “serious concerns” with using the individual as a witness. They “assessed” that the individual “would not present as a good witness” and “did not want to rely on him at trial.”
· Because Justice Department officials could not trust this individual, they decided instead to pursue alternate charges against Mikerin that would not rely on his testimony.
· Justice Department officials said it was a “godsend” that they had another avenue to charge Mikerin that relied on evidence other than this individual’s testimony. Mikerin ultimately was sentenced to 48 months in prison in 2015 for money laundering and violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
· Justice Department officials confirmed that they do not plan to use the testimony of this individual in any future prosecution.
· Most importantly, Justice Department officials explained that this individual never provided any evidence or made any allegations regarding Secretary Clinton or the Clinton Foundation in any of their interactions with him.
· They stated unequivocally: “at no point did [the individual] provide any allegation of corruption, illegality, or impropriety on Clinton, the Clinton Foundation, President Clinton, the Uranium One deal, or CFIUS.” They also confirmed that there were “no allegations of impropriety or illegality” regarding Secretary Clinton in any of the documents they reviewed.
“This key information from the Justice Department is directly at odds with the wild claims made by Republicans alleging that your informant would directly implicate Secretary Clinton by proving a Russian ‘quid pro quo’ for orchestrating the unanimous decision in 2010 by all nine member agencies of CFIUS regarding Uranium One,” Cummings and Schiff wrote. “For the reasons set forth above, we believe it is critical to have a transcript made of our interview with your confidential informant later this week.”
The Ranking Members also revealed that on December 11, 2017, senior officials from the FBI conducted a joint briefing in a classified setting for both Democratic and Republican staff on the Oversight and Intelligence Committees.
“Under separate cover, we have requested that the FBI conduct a classification review of our summary of that meeting, and we await the FBI’s response,” the Ranking Members wrote.
Click here to ready today’s letter.