Grassley calls for special counsel on Uranium One sale

Grassley calls for special counsel on Uranium One sale
© Greg Nash

Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyClinton's security clearance withdrawn at her request Kavanaugh tensions linger after bitter fight Senate heads home to campaign after deal on Trump nominees MORE (R-Iowa) is calling on the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel to investigate the Uranium One deal that gave a Russian-owned company partial control of U.S. atomic energy resources in 2010.

"Whoever in DOJ is capable [with] authority to appoint a special counsel [should] do so to investigate Uranium One 'whoever' means if [you] aren't recused," Grassley tweeted Tuesday night.

The FBI already has one special counsel — former FBI Director Robert Mueller is leading the investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

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

The House Oversight 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.

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The congressional committee interest in the matter comes after The Hill reported Sunday that the FBI had been leading a criminal investigation into allegations that the Russians used racketeering and other corrupt schemes to influence the American nuclear industry during the time the uranium deal was in the process of being approved.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said the panel has “been looking into this for a while now,” but the report ultimately convinced them to open a formal inquiry.

"One of the things that you know we're concerned about is whether or not there was an FBI investigation," Nunes said. "Was there a DOJ investigation?  If so, why was Congress not informed of this matter?"

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.

At the time, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillary Clinton on if Bill should’ve resigned over Lewinsky scandal: ‘Absolutely not’ Electoral battle for Hispanics intensifies in Florida Trump adds campaign stops for Senate candidates in Montana, Arizona, Nevada MORE was secretary of State.

Clinton on Monday called the new interest in the uranium deal “baloney” in a C-SPAN interview, suggesting President Trump and his administration are trying to distract from the ongoing Russia probe.