What Is Uranium One and Why Is It Suddenly a Big Story?
Sometimes certain words and phrases pop up in the right word cloud – Jeremiah Wright, birth certificate, Vince Foster, Kenya, Benghazi. The latest to come to the fore was “Uranium One,” the latest article on Clinton’s alleged criminal activities to make headlines in both right-wing and mainstream media.
Quick Start Guide: Russian company Rosatom acquired a majority stake in Uranium One, a Canadian company with rights to mine uranium in the United States, in 2010 and bought the rest in 2013. As the Associated Press explains :
“Since Uranium One owned stakes in US uranium mines, which at the time accounted for about 20 percent of America’s licensed uranium mining capacity, Rosatom’s purchase in 2010 had to be approved by the US Foreign Investment Committee. This committee, known as the CFIUS, is made up of representatives from nine federal agencies, including the Department of State, which was led by [Secretary] Clinton at the time. ”
President Trump, mired in his own Russian scandal, recently made it a problem by raising questions about a quid pro quo deal, as people associated with Uranium One donated millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation. This connection was first noted in a book by Peter Schweitzer, who often collaborates on films and books with Steve Bannon of Breitbart News.
So why now? And is there anything in that?
The Justice Department said Monday that prosecutors are investigating the appointment of a special attorney to investigate the Uranium One deal and ties to the Clinton Foundation. This appears to be a response to the president’s statement that Attorney General Jeff Sessions should investigate the Clintons and the Obama administration.
This is troubling for several reasons, the first of which is that presidents should not use their platform to punish political rivals. Second, as the Times notes, “Any such investigation will raise questions about the independence of federal investigations under Trump. Since Watergate, the Justice Department has largely acted independently of political influence in matters involving opponents of the President. ” The third problem – and this is the main one – is that the FBI investigated the Clinton Foundation in 2015 and did not find enough evidence to initiate a case.
The story is deeply distracting: if the media gets excited about Secretary Clinton again, they might spend less airtime investigating Special Adviser Robert Mueller’s alleged ties to Trump’s campaign with Russia in the 2016 election. the investigation, which delivered the first indictments two weeks ago.
Interested in further reading? Check out the New York Times article. What is the Uranium One deal and why does the Trump administration care so much about it? or Shepard Smith’s detailed clarification on Fox News: