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Feinstein seeks contact with FBI informant in Russia nuclear bribery case

Feinstein seeks contact with FBI informant in Russia nuclear bribery case
© Camille Fine

Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinDemocrats to boycott committee vote on Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination The Senate should evoke RBG in its confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Goldman Sachs - Pelosi, Mnuchin push stimulus talks forward, McConnell applies brakes MORE (D-Calif.) has sought access to an undercover informant who helped the FBI chronicle bribery, kickbacks and money laundering inside Moscow's nuclear industry as part of an Obama-era Russia corruption case.

Heather Sawyer, the general counsel for Feinstein — the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee — sent an email this week to the lawyer for the former FBI informant, William Campbell, seeking to be included in conversations involving the committee.

Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOn The Money: Power players play chess match on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi bullish, Trump tempers optimism | Analysis: Nearly 1M have run out of jobless benefits Grassley: Voters should be skeptical of Biden's pledge to not raise middle class taxes GOP to Trump: Focus on policy MORE (R-Iowa), the chairman of the committee, secured an agreement with the Justice Department to allow Campbell to talk to Congress about the evidence he gathered for the FBI from 2009 to 2014 when he worked as a consultant for Tenex, a subsidiary of Russia's state-owned commercial nuclear arm Rosatom.

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Campbell's work led to the indictments of three major players, including Tenex official Vadim Mikerin, a key Russian nuclear figure inside the United States who was sentenced to 48 months in prison in December 2015.
 
Grassley wants to know what the FBI did with the evidence it first gathered in 2009 that Mikerin and others inside the Russian nuclear industry were engaged in illegal activity.
 
The GOP chairman also wants to know whether the Obama administration was alerted to the illegal activity before it approved the sale of U.S. uranium assets to Rosatom and made other favorable decisions worth billions of dollars to Russia's nuclear industry.
 
"I’m writing to follow-up on the October 18, 2017 letter from Chairman Grassley," Sawyer wrote Campbell's attorney, Victoria Toensing.
 
"I understand that you represent someone who may have information of interest to the Committee and that discussions are under way to arrange for a possible interview," she added. "We would appreciate being looped in on those discussions so that we can address any concerns that might arise."
 
Toensing signaled in a response back to Feinstein's staff that she and her client will cooperate, according to an email exchange reviewed by The Hill.
 
Feinstein first showed her interest in the case a few weeks ago in an interview with The Hill where she said she would like to learn more about the FBI case and what happened with the evidence.
 
Sen. Angus KingAngus KingCollins says running as Independent 'crossed my mind' Susan Collins and the American legacy Coordinated federal leadership is needed for recovery of US travel and tourism MORE (I-Maine), who caucuses with the Democrats, likewise has said the case may raise legitimate oversight issues for Congress.
 
 
 
Hillary Clinton has scoffed at those requests, suggesting they are nothing more than a partisan distraction from the current federal probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
 
Updated on February 19, 2020 at 7:55 a.m.

Disclosure: Victoria Toensing is an attorney who represents John Solomon.