Congressional investigators make first evidence requests in Russia nuclear bribery case

Congressional investigators make first evidence requests in Russia nuclear bribery case
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Republican House and Senate investigators on Wednesday launched their effort to secure evidence from federal agencies about an Obama-era Russian corruption case as lawmakers prepare to interview a former undercover informant who helped the FBI chronicle bribery, kickbacks and money laundering inside Moscow's nuclear industry.

In letters to the FBI, Justice Department, Treasury Department and intelligence agencies, the congressional investigators demanded to know whether the evidence the FBI gathered starting in 2009 against figures inside Rosatom was circulated to government agencies before the Obama administration made a series of favorable decisions between 2010 and 2012 benefitting the Russian nuclear firm.
 
One of those decisions included the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) approval of a sale of the Uranium One firm with large U.S. assets to Rosatom, while others opened the door for Rosatom's Tenex arm to win lucrative commercial nuclear fuel contracts. 
 
The favorable decisions occurred even as the FBI captured widespread evidence that Tenex official Vadim Mikerin and others were carrying out a racketeering scheme. Three individuals, including Mikerin, eventually pleaded guilty to various crimes.
 
"It is unclear to the Committees whether the FBI alerted the other members of the CFIUS about the investigation into Russia's effort to obtain control of the U.S. uranium market," a letter from the House Intelligence and House Oversight and Government Reform Committees read. 
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The letters, signed by Republican committee chairmen Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesHouse Intel postpones enforcement action after DOJ offer to share some Mueller files Roger Stone considers suing to discover if he was spied on by FBI Overnight Defense: Congressional leaders receive classified briefing on Iran | Trump on war: 'I hope not' | Key Republican calls threats credible | Warren plan targets corporate influence at Pentagon MORE (R-Calif.) and Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyHouse Dem calls on lawmakers to 'insulate' election process following Mueller report Democrats put harassment allegations against Trump on back burner Democrats seize on Mueller-Barr friction MORE (R-S.C.), as well as subcommittee chairmen Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisDHS official: Florida one of the 'best' states on election security, despite 2016 Russian hack Florida teacher arrested for loaded gun in backpack told reporter: 'Ask DeSantis' Trump officials not sending migrants to Florida after backlash MORE (R-Fla.), and Pete KingPeter (Pete) Thomas KingThirty-four GOP members buck Trump on disaster bill House bill seeks to bolster security for synagogues, mosques in wake of attacks Tax Foundation: Bill to roll back SALT deduction cap would cost 3B MORE (R-N.Y), demanded the agencies turn over a wide swath of documents.
 
Separately, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyThreat of impeachment takes oxygen out of 2019 agenda Trump mulling visit to ethanol refinery later this month: report Nursing home care: A growing crisis for an aging America  MORE (R-Iowa) sent a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein demanding that the FBI and Justice Department retain all documents in the Russia investigation for review by the committee.
 
"In light of the fact that the confidential informant is now cleared to speak with Congress, please preserve all records relating to his involvement with the Department as an informant and the resulting criminal cases," Grassley wrote.