If true, the New York Times report that Steve cited last night in his post “Clinton Cash — the Russia Connection” is perhaps the most explosive Clinton Foundation scandal yet. As amplified by Bret Baier of Fox News, the allegations are as follows:
In 2005, Bill Clinton and Frank Giustra visited Kazakhstan. Giustra, as we have noted is a massive donor to the Clinton Foundation and a beneficiary of Hillary Clinton’s decisiomaking as Secretary of State.
Giustra’s goal was to buy uranium mines in Kazakhstan. Pursuing this objective, he and Clinton met with leaders of the Kazakhstan government.
It proved to be a win-win for all concerned. Giustra got major mining concessions, which were approved by the Kazakhstan government. Kazakhstan got Bill Clinton publicly to praise its alleged progress in democracy and human rights. Clinton received a $31 million donation to his Foundation from Giustra, along with a pledge to donate $100 million more.
The deal with Kazakhstan made Giustra’s company, Uranium One, a major player. It proceeded to buy large amounts of holdings in the United States.
Uranium One thus became an attractive target for Russia. In fact, Russia made a hugely attractive offer to purchase the company.
Such a deal requires approval by the U.S. government, including by the Secretary of State, who then was Hillary Clinton. During the period when the deal with Russia was under consideration, the Clinton Foundation received millions of dollars from key Uranium One shareholders. These contributions were not disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Hillary had reached with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors.
During this period, Bill Clinton also received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank that was promoting Uranium One stock.
Hillary Clinton duly approved the deal. It made the Russian company Rosatom one of the world’s largest uranium producers and brought Vladimir Putin closer to his goal of controlling much of the global uranium supply chain.
The deal left huge amounts of U.S. uranium under the control of Russia. The New York Times estimates this share at 20 percent. But Peter Schweizer told Fox News that it amounts to up to 50 percent of projected U.S. uranium output.
The Russians are free to use the uranium for any purpose. They could sell it to Iran.
According to the New York Times, at the time the deal was made, both Rosatom and the U.S. government made promises intended to ease concerns about ceding control of the company’s assets to the Russians. But, says the Times, records show that these promises have been repeatedly broken.
Quite apart from concerns about what Russia will do with American uranium, there is also the fact that America is short on uranium. The Times quotes energy author Marin Katusa who says that while we get one-fifth of our electrical power from nuclear plants, we produce only around 20 percent of the uranium we need, and most plants have only 18 to 36 months of reserves.
Katusa concludes that “the Russians are easily winning the uranium war.” Adding the obvious, he notes that this “is not just a domestic issue but a foreign policy issue, too.”
The Russians aren’t the only winners. Frank Giustra won big. So did the Clintons who raised tens of millions, if not more, in this saga. Even Kazakhstan came away with something, though whether it contemplated Russia controlling its uranium is another matter.
Only America is the loser.