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 NunesJuan Williams: Trump, his allies and the betrayal of America Trump expected to nominate Texas GOP lawmaker to replace Dan Coats: report House Republicans claim victory after Mueller hearings MORE (R-Calif.) and Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyRising star Ratcliffe faces battle to become Trump's intel chief Cummings announces expansion of Oversight panel's White House personal email probe, citing stonewalling Pelosi says it's up to GOP to address sexual assault allegation against Trump MORE (R-S.C.), as well as subcommittee chairmen Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisFlorida first lady to miss Women for Trump event due to planned execution Florida governor orders criminal investigation into handling of Jeffrey Epstein case Groups ask court to block ex-felon voting law in Florida MORE (R-Fla.), and Pete KingPeter (Pete) Thomas KingFirst House Republican backs bill banning assault weapons The 9 House Republicans who support background checks Progressive gun control activist on NRA: 'Don't count them out' MORE (R-N.Y), demanded the agencies turn over a wide swath of documents.
 
Separately, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyWhite House denies exploring payroll tax cut to offset worsening economy Schumer joins Pelosi in opposition to post-Brexit trade deal that risks Northern Ireland accord GOP senators call for Barr to release full results of Epstein investigation 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.