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 NunesOvernight Defense: Trump hosts Erdoğan at White House | Says Turkish leader has 'great relationship with the Kurds' | Highlights from first public impeachment hearing GOP zeroes in on alleged Ukraine meddling during impeachment testimony The Hill's 12:30 Report: Democrats open televised impeachment hearings MORE (R-Calif.) and Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyFive landmark moments of testimony to Congress Conway spars with Wallace on whether White House will cooperate with impeachment inquiry after formal vote Gowdy: I '100 percent' still believe public congressional hearings are 'a circus' MORE (R-S.C.), as well as subcommittee chairmen Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisSaagar Enjeti: Republicans lost Kentucky by failing to appeal to working class Saagar Enjeti: Republicans lost Kentucky by screwing the working class Burr promises bill to tax scholarships of student athletes who profit off their likenesses MORE (R-Fla.), and Pete KingPeter (Pete) KingHouse panel advances flavored e-cigarette ban Hillicon Valley: Schumer questions Army over use of TikTok | Federal court rules against random searches of travelers' phones | Groups push for election security funds in stopgap bill | Facebook's new payment feature | Disney+ launch hit by glitches The Hill's Morning Report - Witness transcripts plow ground for public impeachment testimony MORE (R-N.Y), demanded the agencies turn over a wide swath of documents.
 
Separately, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleySpeaker Pelosi, it's time to throw American innovators a lifeline Barr: Inspector general's report on alleged FISA abuses 'imminent' Pelosi aide hopeful White House will support drug-pricing bill despite criticism 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.