Fake Uranium One ‘scandal’ just imploded — here’s what the press ISN’T telling you
Hey — you’d be laughing too if a favorite wacko conspiracy theory targeting you and being pushed by Rush, Hannity, Breitbart and Infowars just collapsed in glorious style.
Democratic lawmakers revealed that a “whistleblower” who congressional Republicans once suggested would reveal damning evidence against Hillary Clinton had actually never even mentioned Clinton to the FBI.
At issue is the 2010 sale of a uranium company with extensive US holdings to a Russian firm. Republicans, including President Donald Trump, have charged that as secretary of State, Clinton authorized the deal in exchange for donations to the Clinton Foundation. The allegations are misleading for a number of reasons, but Republicans have nonetheless sought to use them as a counterweight to the Trump-Russia probe.
Democrats now say that senior Justice Department officials told House Oversight and Government Reform Committee staffers in a December 15 briefing that the whistleblower had offered no evidence about Clinton. The Justice Department officials also said during the briefing that they considered the whistleblower, who has been identified in media reports as William Campbell, too unreliable to use as a witness due to inconsistencies in his story, according to a letter sent Tuesday by Reps. Elijah Cummings (Md.) and Adam Schiff (Calif.)—the top Democrats on the House oversight committee and the House intelligence committee—to the Republican chairmen of those panels.
Back in November, Reuters’ Joel Schectman reported:
[William D.] Campbell worked as an informant for federal authorities investigating Vadim Mikerin, a Russian official in charge of U.S. operations for Tenex, a unit of Rosatom. Authorities later accused Mikerin of taking bribes from a shipping company in exchange for contracts to transport Russian uranium into the United States. He pleaded guilty in federal court in Maryland and was sentenced to prison for four years.
Federal prosecutors were ready to use Campbell as a star witness against Mikerin, but they backed away after defense attorneys raised questions about Campbell’s credibility and whether he was a victim or had “entered into a business arrangement with eyes wide open,” according to court records.
Before it was taken down last year, the website of Campbell’s company, Sigma Transnational, did not suggest his firm was a lobbying powerhouse. The website listed four other employees and advisers, although one had died years earlier. A second employee listed said in a court document that she never worked for the company but had agreed in 2014 to pay Campbell to list her as an employee and allow her to use the Sigma name in a business deal. Campbell declined to comment on the staffing or his lobbying contract with Tenex.
Reuters has been unable to learn why Tenex chose Campbell as its lobbyist. He acknowledged in lawsuit he filed in 2016 that he was hired despite the fact he “had no experience with nuclear fuel sales.”
Well, isn’t that special! The same article reported:
Senate Republicans say their investigation of Hillary Clinton’s role in approving a deal to sell U.S. uranium mines to a Russian company hinges in part on the testimony of a secret informant in a bribery and extortion scheme inside the same company. …
[Campbell] confirmed to Reuters he is the informant who will testify and provide documents to Congress about the Obama Administration’s 2010 approval of the sale of Uranium One, a Canadian company with uranium mines in the United States, to Russia’s Rosatom. …
Campbell’s lawyer, Victoria Toensing, who has not previously identified her client, said despite Campbell telling the government ”how corrupt the company was,” Rosatom still got permission to buy Uranium One. She did not say what Campbell would reveal regarding any alleged wrongdoing by Clinton.
Toensing, who was one of the huge cadre of opportunists who hitched their wagon to Bill Clinton’s horndog behavior, made a lot of money over the years peddling all sorts of nonsense and conspiract dross centering on the Clintons. She is a hard-right conservative and is in her third decade of benefitting from the ignorance of Clinton haters. She’ll go quiet on the matter now that her cash cow has been shredded into less-than-USDA ground beef.
And the collapse of the Uranium One scandal may in part explain the actions of Trump’s most oily minion on Capitol Hill, Devin Nunes (R-Putin):
After hyping the Uranium One case throughout much of 2016 and 2017, Republicans have grown relatively quite about the issue in recent weeks. Instead, they’ve sought to focus attention on the controversial memo written by staffers of House intelligence committee chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), attacking the process through which FBI agents sought a warrant to surveil Carter Page, a Trump campaign aide suspected of acting as a Russian agent. Tuesday’s letter may help explain why Republicans have largely stopped talking about the Uranium One whistleblower after raising the matter repeatedly last fall.
Naturally, the deplorables will cling bitterly to both Uranium One and the Nunes Memo. Trump has turned the GOP base into a fact-free zone.
It would still be the case among the Cult of Trump if the mainstream media actually did report the death of the Uranium One “scandal” — but there are a whole lot of undecideds and fence-sitters who would benefit from knowing the entire story was another ginned-up farce pushed by Clinton-hating conservative insiders and the king of the swamp, Donald J. Trump.