Leading House Republicans are beginning an investigation of the Obama administration’s handling of a deal that gave a Russian-owned company control over 20 percent of the United States’ supply of uranium, an episode that the Trump campaign used to try to discredit Democratic rival Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential race.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said Tuesday that the panel has “been looking into this for a while now” but elected to formally start the inquiry in light of new evidence, reported in the Hill, that the FBI had been investigating Russian efforts to influence the American nuclear industry through various corrupt schemes.
Nunes said the first goal of the investigation, for which the Intelligence Committee is partnering with the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is determining “was there actually an open FBI investigation or not.”
Oversight committee member Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., said Tuesday that members had identified a “witness who was a confidential informant who wants to talk about his role in this” but were trying to first get the witness released from a nondisclosure agreement with the Justice Department.
The uranium deal in question dates to 2009, when state-owned Russian nuclear energy company Rosatom began buying shares in Uranium One, a company based in Toronto with interests in the United States. The next year, Rosatom sought to assume majority ownership in Uranium One – a deal that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) had to approve. Russia later assumed full ownership of the company.
(c) 2017, The Washington Post · Karoun Demirjian