New Documents Show Corporate and Foreign Interests Seek to Influence U.S. Nuclear Policy
Washington, D.C. (July 29, 2019)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, issued a second interim staff report in the Committee’s investigation into efforts to transfer U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia.
Chairman Cummings issued the following statement:
“Today’s report reveals new and extensive evidence that corroborates Committee whistleblowers and exposes how corporate and foreign interests are using their unique access to advocate for the transfer of U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia. The American people deserve to know the facts about whether the White House is willing to place the potential profits of the President’s personal friends above the national security of the American people and the universal objective of preventing the spread of nuclear weapons.”
The Committee’s second interim report is based on more than 60,000 pages of new documents produced to the Committee in response to requests that Chairman Cummings made to a host of outside companies about their involvement with plans to transfer U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia. The report states:
New documents and communications show that IP3, the private company lobbying the White House to transfer U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia, repeatedly sought a $120 million investment from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. It is unclear if the company ultimately received the investment.
Documents show that IP3 is currently pushing the Trump Administration not to require Saudi Arabia to agree to the “Gold Standard,” which is a commitment not to use U.S. nuclear technology to make nuclear weapons. Documents show that IP3 officials repeatedly urged White House and Trump Administration officials to abandon the “Gold Standard” in any future 123 Agreement with Saudi Arabia, complaining that it would lock them out of lucrative nuclear contracts with the Saudis.
New documents show that IP3 officials have had unprecedented access to the highest levels of the Trump Administration, including meeting directly with President Trump, Jared Kushner, Gary Cohn, KT McFarland, and Cabinet Secretaries Rick Perry, Steven Mnuchin, Mike Pompeo, Rex Tillerson, James Mattis, and Wilbur Ross. IP3 described the Trump Administration as “an extended team member.”
New documents show that Thomas J. Barrack, Jr.—a longtime personal friend, campaign donor, and inaugural chairman—negotiated directly with President Trump and other White House officials to seek powerful positions within the Administration—including Special Envoy to the Middle East and Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates—at the same time he was (1) promoting the interests of U.S. corporations seeking to profit from the transfer of nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia; (2) advocating on behalf of foreign interests seeking to obtain this U.S. nuclear technology; and (3) taking steps for his own company, Colony NorthStar, to profit from the same proposals he was advancing with the Administration.
Officials from other companies in the nuclear industry have serious concerns about IP3 and its financial motive in pressing for the transfer of U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia, calling it a “boondoggle,” warning that “IP3 has a questionable reputation,” and observing, “This whole IP3 effort is still a bit strange and mysterious.” One industry executive called IP3 the “Theranos of the nuclear industry.”
The White House has completely refused to cooperate with the Committee’s investigation and has not produced a single document in response to the Committee’s requests. For the most part, the federal agencies involved have followed suit. As a result of the White House’s actions, it may be necessary for the Committee to seek compulsory process to obtain information from the White House, federal agencies, and individual Trump Administration officials.
Click here to read the second interim staff report.
Click here to read the documents released with the second interim staff report.
Click here to read the first interim staff report.