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 NunesHeads up, GOP: Elections have consequences Overnight Energy: Trump, California leaders clash over fires | Trump says oil prices should be 'much lower' | Zinke criticizes media coverage | Officials consider new truck pollution rule Trump, California battle over climate and cause of fires MORE (R-Calif.) and Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyThe Hill's Morning Report — Key decisions loom for Trump after Thanksgiving Senate Homeland Security chairman requests briefing on Ivanka Trump emails Gowdy requests info on Ivanka Trump's personal email use MORE (R-S.C.), as well as subcommittee chairmen Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisElection Countdown: Florida fight ends with Scott, DeSantis wins | Dems see Sunbelt in play for 2020 | Trump to campaign in Mississippi ahead of runoff | GOP wipeout in Orange County | Ortiz Jones concedes in Texas House race Manual electoral process results in higher voter trust, says pollster DeSantis: GOP voters overcame 'blue wave' spurred by Andrew Gillum MORE (R-Fla.), and Pete KingPeter (Pete) Thomas KingDemocrats take Bloomberg run seriously, but with skepticism about his chances Dem rep on Trump 'Adam Schitt' tweet: 'I feel like I'm back in seventh grade' Tax law failed to save GOP majority MORE (R-N.Y), demanded the agencies turn over a wide swath of documents.
 
Separately, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGrassley defends Trump in feud with Chief Justice Roberts: Roberts didn't attack Obama for 2010 swipe Trump urges McConnell to act on criminal justice bill Overnight Health Care: Drug industry nervous about Grassley | CDC warns public not to eat romaine lettuce | Sanders unveils new drug pricing bill 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.