Former White House adviser Sebastian Gorka said on Thursday that if the Uranium One deal took place in the 1950s, those involved would have been subject to the electric chair.  

"If this had happened in the 1950s, there would be people up on treason charges right now. The Rosenbergs, okay? This is equivalent to what the Rosenbergs did, and those people got the chair. Think about it. Giving away nuclear capability to our enemies, that's what we're talking about," Gorka told Fox News's Sean Hannity.

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed in 1953 after being convicted of espionage for the Soviet Union.

Gorka's comments come after The Hill reported last week that prior to the Obama administration approving the sale of Uranium One, the FBI had collected evidence that officials from the Russian nuclear sector were taking part in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering as a means to gain access to the U.S. energy market. 

The sale of the Canadian mining company to Russia's atomic energy agency, Rosatom, required the approval of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which includes representatives from several federal agencies, including the State Department.

Gorka, on Thursday, called the deal "treasonous." 


The Senate Judiciary Committee announced last week that it was opening an inquiry into the Uranium One sale.

The House Oversight and Government Reform and Intelligence panels on Tuesday also announced a joint investigation that will look into how the Justice Department handled the deal, which sold more than 20 percent of the U.S. uranium supply to the Russian nuclear giant Rosatom.