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Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal

Uranium investors gave millions to the Clinton Foundation while Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s office was involved in approving a Russian bid for mining assets in Kazakhstan and the United States.

By Jo Becker and Mike McIntire N.Y. Times , April 23, 2015

The headline on the website Pravda trumpeted President Vladimir V. Putin’s latest coup, its nationalistic fervor recalling an era when its precursor served as the official mouthpiece of the Kremlin: “Russian Nuclear Energy Conquers the World.”

The article, in January 2013, detailed how the Russian atomic energy agency, Rosatom, had taken over a Canadian company with uranium-mining stakes stretching from Central Asia to the American West. The deal made Rosatom one of the world’s largest uranium producers and brought Mr. Putin closer to his goal of controlling much of the global uranium supply chain.

But the untold story behind that story is one that involves not just the Russian president, but also a former American president and a woman who would like to be the next one.

At the heart of the tale are several men, leaders of the Canadian mining industry, who have been major donors to the charitable endeavors of former President Bill Clinton and his family. Members of that group built, financed and eventually sold off to the Russians a company that would become known as Uranium One.

Beyond mines in Kazakhstan that are among the most lucrative in the world, the sale gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States. Since uranium is considered a strategic asset, with implications for national security, the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of United States government agencies. Among the agencies that eventually signed off was the State Department, then headed by Mr. Clinton’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.

And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.

At the time, both Rosatom and the United States government made promises intended to ease concerns about ceding control of the company’s assets to the Russians. Those promises have been repeatedly broken, records show.

The New York Times’s examination of the Uranium One deal is based on dozens of interviews, as well as a review of public records and securities filings in Canada, Russia and the United States. Some of the connections between Uranium One and the Clinton Foundation were unearthed by Peter Schweizer, a former fellow at the right-leaning Hoover Institution and author of the forthcoming book “Clinton Cash.”Mr. Schweizer provided a preview of material in the book to The Times, which scrutinized his information and built upon it with its own reporting.

Whether the donations played any role in the approval of the uranium deal is unknown. But the episode underscores the special ethical challenges presented by the Clinton Foundation, headed by a former president who relied heavily on foreign cash to accumulate $250 million in assets even as his wife helped steer American foreign policy as secretary of state, presiding over decisions with the potential to benefit the foundation’s donors.

In a statement, Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign, said no one “has ever produced a shred of evidence supporting the theory that Hillary Clinton ever took action as secretary of state to support the interests of donors to the Clinton Foundation.” He emphasized that multiple United States agencies, as well as the Canadian government, had signed off on the deal and that, in general, such matters were handled at a level below the secretary. “To suggest the State Department, under then-Secretary Clinton, exerted undue influence in the U.S. government’s review of the sale of Uranium One is utterly baseless,” he added.

American political campaigns are barred from accepting foreign donations. But foreigners may give to foundations in the United States. In the days since Mrs. Clinton announced her candidacy for president, the Clinton Foundation has announced changes meant to quell longstanding concerns about potential conflicts of interest in such donations; it has limited donations from foreign governments, with many, like Russia’s, barred from giving to all but its health care initiatives. That policy stops short of a more stringent agreement between Mrs. Clinton and the Obama administration that was in effect while she was secretary of state.

Either way, the Uranium One deal highlights the limits of such prohibitions. The foundation will continue to accept contributions from foreign sources whose interests, like Uranium One’s, may overlap with those of foreign governments, some of which may be at odds with the United States.

When the Uranium One deal was approved, the geopolitical backdrop was far different from today’s. The Obama administration was seeking to “reset” strained relations with Russia. The deal was strategically important to Mr. Putin, who shortly after the Americans gave their blessing sat down for a staged interview with Rosatom’s chief executive, Sergei Kiriyenko. “Few could have imagined in the past that we would own 20 percent of U.S. reserves,” Mr. Kiriyenko told Mr. Putin.

Now, after Russia’s annexation of Crimea and aggression in Ukraine, the Moscow-Washington relationship is devolving toward Cold War levels, a point several experts made in evaluating a deal so beneficial to Mr. Putin, a man known to use energy resources to project power around the world.

“Should we be concerned? Absolutely,” said Michael McFaul, who served under Mrs. Clinton as the American ambassador to Russia but said he had been unaware of the Uranium One deal until asked about it. “Do we want Putin to have a monopoly on this? Of course we don’t. We don’t want to be dependent on Putin for anything in this climate.”

A Seat at the Table

The path to a Russian acquisition of American uranium deposits began in 2005 in Kazakhstan, where the Canadian mining financier Frank Giustra orchestrated his first big uranium deal, with Mr. Clinton at his side.

The two men had flown aboard Mr. Giustra’s private jet to Almaty, Kazakhstan, where they dined with the authoritarian president, Nursultan A. Nazarbayev. Mr. Clinton handed the Kazakh president a propaganda coup when he expressed support for Mr. Nazarbayev’s bid to head an international elections monitoring group, undercutting American foreign policy and criticism of Kazakhstan’s poor human rights record by, among others, his wife, then a senator.

Within days of the visit, Mr. Giustra’s fledgling company, UrAsia Energy Ltd., signed a preliminary deal giving it stakes in three uranium mines controlled by the state-run uranium agency Kazatomprom.

If the Kazakh deal was a major victory, UrAsia did not wait long before resuming the hunt. In 2007, it merged with Uranium One, a South African company with assets in Africa and Australia, in what was described as a $3.5 billion transaction. The new company, which kept the Uranium One name, was controlled by UrAsia investors including Ian Telfer, a Canadian who became chairman. Through a spokeswoman, Mr. Giustra, whose personal stake in the deal was estimated at about $45 million, said he sold his stake in 2007.

Soon, Uranium One began to snap up companies with assets in the United States. In April 2007, it announced the purchase of a uranium mill in Utah and more than 38,000 acres of uranium exploration properties in four Western states, followed quickly by the acquisition of the Energy Metals Corporation and its uranium holdings in Wyoming, Texas and Utah. That deal made clear that Uranium One was intent on becoming “a powerhouse in the United States uranium sector with the potential to become the domestic supplier of choice for U.S. utilities,” the company declared.

Still, the company’s story was hardly front-page news in the United States — until early 2008, in the midst of Mrs. Clinton’s failed presidential campaign, when The Times published an article revealing the 2005 trip’s link to Mr. Giustra’s Kazakhstan mining deal. It also reported that several months later, Mr. Giustra had donated $31.3 million to Mr. Clinton’s foundation.

(In a statement issued after this article appeared online, Mr. Giustra said he was “extremely proud” of his charitable work with Mr. Clinton, and he urged the media to focus on poverty, health care and “the real challenges of the world.”)

Though the 2008 article quoted the former head of Kazatomprom, Moukhtar Dzhakishev, as saying that the deal required government approval and was discussed at a dinner with the president, Mr. Giustra insisted that it was a private transaction, with no need for Mr. Clinton’s influence with Kazakh officials. He described his relationship with Mr. Clinton as motivated solely by a shared interest in philanthropy.

As if to underscore the point, five months later Mr. Giustra held a fund-raiser for the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative, a project aimed at fostering progressive environmental and labor practices in the natural resources industry, to which he had pledged $100 million. The star-studded gala, at a conference center in Toronto, featured performances by Elton John and Shakira and celebrities like Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Robin Williams encouraging contributions from the many so-called F.O.F.s — Friends of Frank — in attendance, among them Mr. Telfer. In all, the evening generated $16 million in pledges, according to an article in The Globe and Mail.

“None of this would have been possible if Frank Giustra didn’t have a remarkable combination of caring and modesty, of vision and energy and iron determination,” Mr. Clinton told those gathered, adding: “I love this guy, and you should, too.”

But what had been a string of successes was about to hit a speed bump.

Arrest and Progress

By June 2009, a little over a year after the star-studded evening in Toronto, Uranium One’s stock was in free-fall, down 40 percent. Mr. Dzhakishev, the head of Kazatomprom, had just been arrested on charges that he illegally sold uranium deposits to foreign companies, including at least some of those won by Mr. Giustra’s UrAsia and now owned by Uranium One.

Publicly, the company tried to reassure shareholders. Its chief executive, Jean Nortier, issued a confident statement calling the situation a “complete misunderstanding.” He also contradicted Mr. Giustra’s contention that the uranium deal had not required government blessing. “When you do a transaction in Kazakhstan, you need the government’s approval,” he said, adding that UrAsia had indeed received that approval.

But privately, Uranium One officials were worried they could lose their joint mining ventures. American diplomatic cables made public by WikiLeaks also reflect concerns that Mr. Dzhakishev’s arrest was part of a Russian power play for control of Kazakh uranium assets.

At the time, Russia was already eying a stake in Uranium One, Rosatom company documents show. Rosatom officials say they were seeking to acquire mines around the world because Russia lacks sufficient domestic reserves to meet its own industry needs.

It was against this backdrop that the Vancouver-based Uranium One pressed the American Embassy in Kazakhstan, as well as Canadian diplomats, to take up its cause with Kazakh officials, according to the American cables.

“We want more than a statement to the press,” Paul Clarke, a Uranium One executive vice president, told the embassy’s energy officer on June 10, the officer reported in a cable. “That is simply chitchat.” What the company needed, Mr. Clarke said, was official written confirmation that the licenses were valid.

The American Embassy ultimately reported to the secretary of state, Mrs. Clinton. Though the Clarke cable was copied to her, it was given wide circulation, and it is unclear if she would have read it; the Clinton campaign did not address questions about the cable.

What is clear is that the embassy acted, with the cables showing that the energy officer met with Kazakh officials to discuss the issue on June 10 and 11.

Three days later, a wholly owned subsidiary of Rosatom completed a deal for 17 percent of Uranium One. And within a year, the Russian government substantially upped the ante, with a generous offer to shareholders that would give it a 51 percent controlling stake. But first, Uranium One had to get the American government to sign off on the deal.

The Power to Say No

When a company controlled by the Chinese government sought a 51 percent stake in a tiny Nevada gold mining operation in 2009, it set off a secretive review process in Washington, where officials raised concerns primarily about the mine’s proximity to a military installation, but also about the potential for minerals at the site, including uranium, to come under Chinese control. The officials killed the deal.

Such is the power of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. The committee comprises some of the most powerful members of the cabinet, including the attorney general, the secretaries of the Treasury, Defense, Homeland Security, Commerce and Energy, and the secretary of state. They are charged with reviewing any deal that could result in foreign control of an American business or asset deemed important to national security.

The national security issue at stake in the Uranium One deal was not primarily about nuclear weapons proliferation; the United States and Russia had for years cooperated on that front, with Russia sending enriched fuel from decommissioned warheads to be used in American nuclear power plants in return for raw uranium.

Instead, it concerned American dependence on foreign uranium sources. While the United States gets one-fifth of its electrical power from nuclear plants, it produces only around 20 percent of the uranium it needs, and most plants have only 18 to 36 months of reserves, according to Marin Katusa, author of “The Colder War: How the Global Energy Trade Slipped From America’s Grasp.”

“The Russians are easily winning the uranium war, and nobody’s talking about it,” said Mr. Katusa, who explores the implications of the Uranium One deal in his book. “It’s not just a domestic issue but a foreign policy issue, too.”

When ARMZ, an arm of Rosatom, took its first 17 percent stake in Uranium One in 2009, the two parties signed an agreement, found in securities filings, to seek the foreign investment committee’s review. But it was the 2010 deal, giving the Russians a controlling 51 percent stake, that set off alarm bells. Four members of the House of Representatives signed a letter expressing concern. Two more began pushing legislation to kill the deal.

Senator John Barrasso, a Republican from Wyoming, where Uranium One’s largest American operation was, wrote to President Obama, saying the deal “would give the Russian government control over a sizable portion of America’s uranium production capacity.”

“Equally alarming,” Mr. Barrasso added, “this sale gives ARMZ a significant stake in uranium mines in Kazakhstan.”

Uranium One’s shareholders were also alarmed, and were “afraid of Rosatom as a Russian state giant,” Sergei Novikov, a company spokesman, recalled in an interview. He said Rosatom’s chief, Mr. Kiriyenko, sought to reassure Uranium One investors, promising that Rosatom would not break up the company and would keep the same management, including Mr. Telfer, the chairman. Another Rosatom official said publicly that it did not intend to increase its investment beyond 51 percent, and that it envisioned keeping Uranium One a public company

American nuclear officials, too, seemed eager to assuage fears. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission wrote to Mr. Barrasso assuring him that American uranium would be preserved for domestic use, regardless of who owned it.

“In order to export uranium from the United States, Uranium One Inc. or ARMZ would need to apply for and obtain a specific NRC license authorizing the export of uranium for use as reactor fuel,” the letter said.

Still, the ultimate authority to approve or reject the Russian acquisition rested with the cabinet officials on the foreign investment committee, including Mrs. Clinton — whose husband was collecting millions in donations from people associated with Uranium One.


Undisclosed Donations

Before Mrs. Clinton could assume her post as secretary of state, the White House demanded that she sign a memorandum of understanding placing limits on the activities of her husband’s foundation. To avoid the perception of conflicts of interest, beyond the ban on foreign government donations, the foundation was required to publicly disclose all contributors.

To judge from those disclosures — which list the contributions in ranges rather than precise amounts — the only Uranium One official to give to the Clinton Foundation was Mr. Telfer, the chairman, and the amount was relatively small: no more than $250,000, and that was in 2007, before talk of a Rosatom deal began percolating.

But a review of tax records in Canada, where Mr. Telfer has a family charity called the Fernwood Foundation, shows that he donated millions of dollars more, during and after the critical time when the foreign investment committee was reviewing his deal with the Russians. With the Russians offering a special dividend, shareholders like Mr. Telfer stood to profit.

His donations through the Fernwood Foundation included $1 million reported in 2009, the year his company appealed to the American Embassy to help it keep its mines in Kazakhstan; $250,000 in 2010, the year the Russians sought majority control; as well as $600,000 in 2011 and $500,000 in 2012. Mr. Telfer said that his donations had nothing to do with his business dealings, and that he had never discussed Uranium One with Mr. or Mrs. Clinton. He said he had given the money because he wanted to support Mr. Giustra’s charitable endeavors with Mr. Clinton. “Frank and I have been friends and business partners for almost 20 years,” he said.

The Clinton campaign left it to the foundation to reply to questions about the Fernwood donations; the foundation did not provide a response.

Mr. Telfer’s undisclosed donations came in addition to between $1.3 million and $5.6 million in contributions, which were reported, from a constellation of people with ties to Uranium One or UrAsia, the company that originally acquired Uranium One’s most valuable asset: the Kazakh mines. Without those assets, the Russians would have had no interest in the deal: “It wasn’t the goal to buy the Wyoming mines. The goal was to acquire the Kazakh assets, which are very good,” Mr. Novikov, the Rosatom spokesman, said in an interview.

Amid this influx of Uranium One-connected money, Mr. Clinton was invited to speak in Moscow in June 2010, the same month Rosatom struck its deal for a majority stake in Uranium One.

The $500,000 fee — among Mr. Clinton’s highest — was paid by Renaissance Capital, a Russian investment bank with ties to the Kremlin that has invited world leaders, including Tony Blair, the former British prime minister, to speak at its investor conferences.

Renaissance Capital analysts talked up Uranium One’s stock, assigning it a “buy” rating and saying in a July 2010 research report that it was “the best play” in the uranium markets. In addition, Renaissance Capital turned up that same year as a major donor, along with Mr. Giustra and several companies linked to Uranium One or UrAsia, to a small medical charity in Colorado run by a friend of Mr. Giustra’s. In a newsletter to supporters, the friend credited Mr. Giustra with helping get donations from “businesses around the world.”

Renaissance Capital would not comment on the genesis of Mr. Clinton’s speech to an audience that included leading Russian officials, or on whether it was connected to the Rosatom deal. According to a Russian government news service, Mr. Putin personally thanked Mr. Clinton for speaking.

A person with knowledge of the Clinton Foundation’s fund-raising operation, who requested anonymity to speak candidly about it, said that for many people, the hope is that money will in fact buy influence: “Why do you think they are doing it — because they love them?” But whether it actually does is another question. And in this case, there were broader geopolitical pressures that likely came into play as the United States considered whether to approve the Rosatom-Uranium One deal.

Diplomatic Considerations

If doing business with Rosatom was good for those in the Uranium One deal, engaging with Russia was also a priority of the incoming Obama administration, which was hoping for a new era of cooperation as Mr. Putin relinquished the presidency — if only for a term — to Dmitri A. Medvedev.

“The assumption was we could engage Russia to further core U.S. national security interests,” said Mr. McFaul, the former ambassador.

It started out well. The two countries made progress on nuclear proliferation issues, and expanded use of Russian territory to resupply American forces in Afghanistan. Keeping Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon was among the United States’ top priorities, and in June 2010 Russia signed off on a United Nations resolution imposing tough new sanctions on that country.

Two months later, the deal giving ARMZ a controlling stake in Uranium One was submitted to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States for review. Because of the secrecy surrounding the process, it is hard to know whether the participants weighed the desire to improve bilateral relations against the potential risks of allowing the Russian government control over the biggest uranium producer in the United States. The deal was ultimately approved in October, following what two people involved in securing the approval said had been a relatively smooth process.

Not all of the committee’s decisions are personally debated by the agency heads themselves; in less controversial cases, deputy or assistant secretaries may sign off. But experts and former committee members say Russia’s interest in Uranium One and its American uranium reserves seemed to warrant attention at the highest levels.

“This deal had generated press, it had captured the attention of Congress and it was strategically important,” said Richard Russell, who served on the committee during the George W. Bush administration. “When I was there invariably any one of those conditions would cause this to get pushed way up the chain, and here you had all three.”

And Mrs. Clinton brought a reputation for hawkishness to the process; as a senator, she was a vocal critic of the committee’s approval of a deal that would have transferred the management of major American seaports to a company based in the United Arab Emirates, and as a presidential candidate she had advocated legislation to strengthen the process.

The Clinton campaign spokesman, Mr. Fallon, said that in general, these matters did not rise to the secretary’s level. He would not comment on whether Mrs. Clinton had been briefed on the matter, but he gave The Times a statement from the former assistant secretary assigned to the foreign investment committee at the time, Jose Fernandez. While not addressing the specifics of the Uranium One deal, Mr. Fernandez said, “Mrs. Clinton never intervened with me on any C.F.I.U.S. matter.”

Mr. Fallon also noted that if any agency had raised national security concerns about the Uranium One deal, it could have taken them directly to the president.

Anne-Marie Slaughter, the State Department’s director of policy planning at the time, said she was unaware of the transaction — or the extent to which it made Russia a dominant uranium supplier. But speaking generally, she urged caution in evaluating its wisdom in hindsight.

“Russia was not a country we took lightly at the time or thought was cuddly,” she said. “But it wasn’t the adversary it is today.”

That renewed adversarial relationship has raised concerns about European dependency on Russian energy resources, including nuclear fuel. The unease reaches beyond diplomatic circles. In Wyoming, where Uranium One equipment is scattered across his 35,000-acre ranch, John Christensen is frustrated that repeated changes in corporate ownership over the years led to French, South African, Canadian and, finally, Russian control over mining rights on his property.

“I hate to see a foreign government own mining rights here in the United States,” he said. “I don’t think that should happen.”

Mr. Christensen, 65, noted that despite assurances by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that uranium could not leave the country without Uranium One or ARMZ obtaining an export license — which they do not have — yellowcake from his property was routinely packed into drums and trucked off to a processing plant in Canada.


Asked about that, the commission confirmed that Uranium One has, in fact, shipped yellowcake to Canada even though it does not have an export license. Instead, the transport company doing the shipping, RSB Logistic Services, has the license. A commission spokesman said that “to the best of our knowledge” most of the uranium sent to Canada for processing was returned for use in the United States. A Uranium One spokeswoman, Donna Wichers, said 25 percent had gone to Western Europe and Japan. At the moment, with the uranium market in a downturn, nothing is being shipped from the Wyoming mines.


The “no export” assurance given at the time of the Rosatom deal is not the only one that turned out to be less than it seemed. Despite pledges to the contrary, Uranium One was delisted from the Toronto Stock Exchange and taken private. As of 2013, Rosatom’s subsidiary, ARMZ, owned 100 percent of it.

Article

The Obama Administration’s Uranium One Scandal

By: Andrew McCarthy

October 21, 2017

 

Let’s put the Uranium One scandal in perspective: The cool half-million bucks the Putin regime funneled to Bill Clinton was five times the amount it spent on those Facebook ads — the ones the media-Democrat complex ludicrously suggests swung the 2016 presidential election to Donald Trump.

The Facebook-ad buy, which started in June 2015 — before Donald Trump entered the race — was more left-wing agitprop (ads pushing hysteria on racism, immigration, guns, etc.) than electioneering. The Clintons’ own long-time political strategist Mark Penn estimates that just $6,500 went to actual electioneering. (You read that right: 65 hundred dollars.) By contrast, the staggering $500,000 payday from a Kremlin-tied Russian bank for a single speech was part of a multi-million-dollar influence-peddling scheme to enrich the former president and his wife, then–secretary of state Hillary Clinton. At the time, Russia was plotting — successfully — to secure U.S. government approval for its acquisition of Uranium One, and with it, tens of billions of dollars in U.S. uranium reserves.

Here’s the kicker: The Uranium One scandal is not only, or even principally, a Clinton scandal. It is an Obama-administration scandal.

The Clintons were just doing what the Clintons do: cashing in on their “public service.” The Obama administration, with Secretary Clinton at the forefront but hardly alone, was knowingly compromising American national-security interests. The administration green-lighted the transfer of control over one-fifth of American uranium-mining capacity to Russia, a hostile regime — and specifically to Russia’s state-controlled nuclear-energy conglomerate, Rosatom. Worse, at the time the administration approved the transfer, it knew that Rosatom’s American subsidiary was engaged in a lucrative racketeering enterprise that had already committed felony extortion, fraud, and money-laundering offenses.

The Obama administration also knew that congressional Republicans were trying to stop the transfer. Consequently, the Justice Department concealed what it knew. DOJ allowed the racketeering enterprise to continue compromising the American uranium industry rather than commencing a prosecution that would have scotched the transfer. Prosecutors waited four years before quietly pleading the case out for a song, in violation of Justice Department charging guidelines. Meanwhile, the administration stonewalled Congress, reportedly threatening an informant who wanted to go public.

Obama’s ‘Reset’

To understand what happened here, we need to go back to the beginning.

The first-tier military arsenal of Putin’s Russia belies its status as a third-rate economic power. For well over a decade, the regime has thus sought to develop and exploit its capacity as a nuclear-energy producer. Naïvely viewing Russia as a “strategic partner” rather than a malevolent competitor, the Bush administration made a nuclear-cooperation agreement with the Kremlin in May 2008. That blunder, however, was tabled before Congress could consider it. That is because Russia, being Russia, invaded Georgia.

In 2009, notwithstanding this aggression (which continues to this day with Russia’s occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia), President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton signaled the new administration’s determination to “reset” relations with Moscow. In this reset, renewed cooperation and commerce in nuclear energy would be central.

There had been such cooperation and commerce since the Soviet Union imploded. In 1992, the administration of President George H. W. Bush agreed with the nascent Russian federation that U.S. nuclear providers would be permitted to purchase uranium from Russia’s disassembled nuclear warheads (after it had been down-blended from its highly enriched weapons-grade level). The Russian commercial agent responsible for the sale and transportation of this uranium to the U.S. is the Kremlin-controlled company “Tenex” (formally, JSC Techsnabexport). Tenex is a subsidiary of Rosatom.

Tenex (and by extension, Rosatom) have an American arm called “Tenam USA.” Tenam is based in Bethesda, Md. Around the time President Obama came to power, the Russian official in charge of Tenam was Vadim Mikerin.

The Obama administration reportedly issued a visa for Mikerin in 2010, but a racketeering investigation led by the FBI determined that he was already operating here in 2009.

The Racketeering Scheme

As Tenam’s general director, Mikerin was responsible for arranging and managing Rosatom/Tenex’s contracts with American uranium purchasers. This gave him tremendous leverage over the U.S. companies. With the assistance of several confederates, Mikerin used this leverage to extort and defraud the U.S. contractors into paying inflated prices for uranium. They then laundered the proceeds through shell companies and secret bank accounts in Latvia, Cyprus, Switzerland, and the Seychelle Islands — though sometimes transactions were handled in cash, with the skim divided into envelopes stuffed with thousands of dollars in cash.

The inflated payments served two purposes: They enriched Kremlin-connected energy officials in the U.S. and in Russia to the tune of millions of dollars; and they compromised the American companies that paid the bribes, rendering players in U.S. nuclear energy — a sector critical to national security — vulnerable to blackmail by Moscow.

But Mikerin had a problem. To further the Kremlin’s push for nuclear-energy expansion, he had been seeking to retain a lobbyist — from whom he planned to extort kickbacks, just as he did with the U.S. energy companies. With the help of an associate connected to Russian organized-crime groups, Mikerin found his lobbyist. The man’s name has not been disclosed, but we know he is now represented by Victoria Toensing, a well-respected Washington lawyer, formerly a federal prosecutor and counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

When Mikerin solicited him in 2009, the lobbyist was uncomfortable, worried that the proposal would land him on the wrong side of the law. So he contacted the FBI and revealed what he knew. From then on, the Bureau and Justice Department permitted him to participate in the Russian racketeering scheme as a “confidential source” — and he is thus known as “CS-1” in affidavits the government, years later, presented to federal court in order to obtain search and arrest warrants.

At the time this unidentified man became an informant, the FBI was led by director Robert Mueller, who is now the special counsel investigating whether Trump colluded with Russia. The investigation was centered in Maryland (Tenam’s home base). There, the U.S. attorney was Obama appointee Rod Rosenstein — now President Trump’s deputy attorney general, and the man who appointed Mueller as special counsel to investigate Trump.

Because of CS-1, the FBI was able to understand and monitor the racketeering enterprise almost from the start. By mid-May 2010, it could already prove the scheme and three separate extortionate payments Mikerin had squeezed out of the informant. Equally important: According to reporting by John Solomon and Alison Spann in the Hill, the informant learned through conversations with Mikerin and others that Russian nuclear officials were trying to ingratiate themselves with the Clintons.

Uranium One, Russia, and the Clintons

There is no doubt that this extraordinarily gainful ingratiation took place. I outlined some of it a year ago in suggesting that the Justice Department should be investigating the Clinton Foundation, and its exploitation of Hillary Clinton’s influence as secretary of state, as a potential racketeering case.

In 2005, former President Clinton helped his Canadian billionaire friend and benefactor, Frank Giustra, obtain coveted uranium-mining rights from Kazakhstan’s dictator. The Kazakh deal enabled Giustra’s company (Ur-Asia Energy) to merge into Uranium One (a South African company), a $3.5 billion windfall. Giustra and his partners thereafter contributed tens of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation. Besides the valuable Kazakh reserves, Uranium One also controlled about a fifth of the uranium stock in the United States.

Alas, Putin, the neighborhood bully, also wanted the Kazakh uranium. He leaned on Kazakhstan’s dictator, who promptly arrested the official responsible for selling the uranium-mining rights to Giustra’s company. This put Uranium One’s stake in jeopardy of being seized by the Kazakh government.

As Uranium One’s stock plunged, its panicked executives turned to the State Department, where their friend Hillary Clinton was now in charge. State sprung into action, convening emergency meetings with the Kazakh regime. A few days later, it was announced that the crisis was resolved (translation: the shakedown was complete). Russia’s energy giant, Rosatom, would purchase 17 percent of Uranium One, and the Kazakh threat would disappear — and with it, the threat to the value of the Clinton donors’ holdings.

For Putin, though, that was just a start. He didn’t want a minority stake in Uranium One, he wanted control of the uranium. For that, Rosatom would need a controlling interest in Uranium One. That would be a tall order — not because of the Kazakh mining rights but because acquisition of Uranium One’s American reserves required U.S. government approval.

Uranium is foundational to nuclear power and thus to American national security. As the New York Times explained in a report on the disturbing interplay between the Clinton Foundation and the transfer of American uranium assets to Russia, the United States gets a fifth of its electrical power from nuclear energy, but only produces a fifth of the uranium it needs. Consequently, a foreign entity would not be able to acquire rights to American uranium without the approval of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

CFIUS is composed of the leaders of 14 U.S. government agencies involved in national security and commerce. In 2010, these included not only Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who had cultivated a reputation as a hawk opposed to such foreign purchases, but Attorney General Eric Holder, whose Justice Department (and its lead agency, the FBI) were conducting the investigation of Rosatom’s ongoing U.S. racketeering, extortion, and money-laundering scheme.

In March 2010, to push the Obama “reset” agenda, Secretary Clinton traveled to Russia, where she met with Putin and Dimitri Medvedev, who was then keeping the president’s chair warm for Putin. Soon after, it emerged that Renaissance Capital, a regime-tied Russian bank, had offered Bill Clinton $500,000 to make a single speech — far more than the former president’s usual haul in what would become one of his biggest paydays ever. Renaissance was an aggressive promoter of Rosatom. The Clinton speech took place in Moscow in June. The exorbitant speech fee, it is worth noting, is a pittance compared with the $145 million Newsweek reports was donated to the Clinton Foundation by sources linked to the Uranium One deal.

The month before the speech, the Hill reports, Bill Clinton told his wife’s State Department that he wanted to meet while in Russia with Arkady Dvorkovich, who, in addition to being a top Medvedev aide, was also a key Rosatom board member. It is not known whether the State Department gave clearance for the meeting; the question appears to have become moot since the former U.S. president met directly with Putin and Medvedev. You’ll be comforted, I’m sure, to learn that aides to the Clintons, those pillars of integrity, assure us that the topics of Rosatom and Uranium One never came up.

Keeping Congress in the Dark

Meanwhile, congressional opposition to Russia’s potential acquisition of American uranium resources began to stir. As Peter Schweizer noted in his essential book, Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, four senior House members steeped in national-security issues — Peter King (R., N.Y.), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R., Fla.), Spencer Bachus (R., Ala.), and Howard McKeon (R. Calif.) — voiced grave concerns, pointing out that Rosatom had helped Iran, America’s sworn enemy, build its Bushehr nuclear reactor. The members concluded that “the take-over of essential US nuclear resources by a government-owned Russian agency . . . would not advance the national security interests of the United States.” Republican senator John Barrasso objected to Kremlin control of uranium assets in his state of Wyoming, warning of Russia’s “disturbing record of supporting nuclear programs in countries that are openly hostile to the United States, specifically Iran and Venezuela.” The House began moving a bill “expressing disfavor of the Congress” regarding Obama’s revival of the nuclear-cooperation agreement Bush had abandoned.

Clearly, in this atmosphere, disclosure of the racketeering enterprise that Rosatom’s American subsidiary was, at that very moment, carrying out would have been the death knell of the asset transfer to Russia. It would also likely have ended the “reset” initiative in which Obama and Clinton were deeply invested — an agenda that contemplated Kremlin-friendly deals on nuclear-arms control and accommodation of the nuclear program of Russia’s ally, Iran. That was not going to be allowed to happen. It appears that no disclosure of Russia’s racketeering and strong-arming was made to CFIUS or to Congress — not by Secretary Clinton, not by Attorney General Holder, and certainly not by President Obama. In October 2010, CFIUS gave its blessing to Rosatom’s acquisition of Uranium One.

A Sweetheart Plea Helps the Case Disappear

Even though the FBI had an informant collecting damning information, and had a prosecutable case against Mikerin by early 2010, the extortion racket against American energy companies was permitted to continue into the summer of 2014. It was only then that, finally, Mikerin and his confederates were arrested.

Why then? This is not rocket science. In March 2014, Russia annexed Crimea. Putin also began massing forces on the Ukrainian border, coordinating and conducting attacks, ultimately taking control of territory. Clearly, the pie-in-the-sky Obama reset was dead. Furthermore, the prosecution of Mikerin’s racketeering scheme had been so delayed that the Justice Department risked losing the ability to charge the 2009 felonies because of the five-year statute of limitations on most federal crimes.

Still, a lid needed to be kept on the case. It would have made for an epic Obama administration scandal, and a body blow to Hillary Clinton’s presidential hopes, if in the midst of Russia’s 2014 aggression, public attention had been drawn to the failure, four years earlier, to prosecute a national-security case in order to protect Russia’s takeover of U.S. nuclear assets.

The Obama administration needed to make this case go away — without a public trial if at all possible.

Think about this: The investigation of Russian racketeering in the American energy sector was the kind of spectacular success over which the FBI and Justice Department typically do a bells-n-whistles victory lap — the big self-congratulatory press conference followed by the media-intensive prosecutions . . . and, of course, more press conferences.

Here . . . crickets.

As the Hill reports, the Justice Department and FBI had little to say when Mikerin and his co-conspirators were arrested. They quietly negotiated guilty pleas that were announced with no fanfare just before Labor Day. It was arranged that Mikerin would be sentenced just before Christmas. All under the radar.

How desperate was the Obama Justice Department to plead the case out? Here, Rosenstein and Holder will have some explaining to do.

Mikerin was arrested on a complaint describing a racketeering scheme that stretched back to 2004 and included extortion, fraud, and money laundering. Yet he was permitted to plead guilty to a single count of money-laundering conspiracy.

Except it was not really money-laundering conspiracy.

Under federal law, that crime (at section 1956 of the penal code) carries a penalty of up to 20 years’ imprisonment — not only for conspiracy but for each act of money laundering. But Mikerin was not made to plead guilty to this charge. He was permitted to plead guilty to an offense charged under the catch-all federal conspiracy provision (section 371) that criminalizes agreements to commit any crime against the United States. Section 371 prescribes a sentence of zero to five years’ imprisonment.

The Justice Department instructs prosecutors that when Congress has given a federal offense its own conspiracy provision with a heightened punishment (as it has for money laundering, racketeering, narcotics trafficking, and other serious crimes), they may not charge a section 371 conspiracy. Section 371 is for less serious conspiracy cases. Using it for money laundering — which caps the sentence way below Congress’s intent for that behavior — subverts federal law and signals to the court that the prosecutor does not regard the offense as major.

Yet, that is exactly what Rosenstein’s office did, in a plea agreement his prosecutors co-signed with attorneys from the Justice Department’s Fraud Section. (See in the Hill’s report, the third document embedded at the bottom, titled “Mikerin Plea Deal.”) No RICO, no extortion, no fraud — and the plea agreement is careful not to mention any of the extortions in 2009 and 2010, before CFIUS approved Rosatom’s acquisition of U.S. uranium stock. Mikerin just had to plead guilty to a nominal “money laundering” conspiracy charge. This insulated him from a real money-laundering sentence. Thus, he got a term of just four years’ incarceration for a major national-security crime — which, of course, is why he took the plea deal and waived his right to appeal, sparing the Obama administration a full public airing of the facts.

Interestingly, as the plea agreement shows, the Obama DOJ’s Fraud Section was then run by Andrew Weissmann, who is now one of the top prosecutors in Robert Mueller’s ongoing special-counsel investigation of suspected Trump collusion with Russia.

There was still one other problem to tamp down. That was the informant — the lobbyist who alerted the FBI to the Russian racketeering enterprise back in 2009. He wanted to talk.

Specifically, as his attorney, Ms. Toensing, explains, the informant wanted to tell Congress what he knows — about what the FBI and the Justice Department could already have proved in 2010 when CFIUS signed off on Russia’s acquisition of American nuclear material, and about what he’d learned of Russian efforts to curry favor with Bill and Hillary Clinton. But he was not allowed to talk.

It turns out, the lawyer explains, that the FBI had induced him to sign a non-disclosure agreement. The Justice Department warned him that it was enforceable — even against disclosures to Congress. (Because, you know, the FBI is opposed to all leaks and disclosures of confidential investigative information . . . except those initiated by the FBI, of course.) In addition, when the informant was primed to file a federal civil lawsuit to recover his own losses from the scheme, he claims that the Justice Department threatened him with prosecution, warning that a lawsuit would violate the non-disclosure agreement. The Hill reports that it has obtained emails from a civil lawyer retained by the witness, which describe pressure exerted by the Justice Department to silence the informant.

What a coincidence: That was in 2016, the stretch run of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

This stinks.

Article

Critique of the 2nd Democrat Debate, from all sides

By Suzanne Price – When Hillary spoke after the debate, she announced to the small gathering, “The other side (meaning the Republicans) does not want young people to be involved, they don’t want young people to register and vote, they don’t want people of color, they don’t want elderly people, they want to prevent you from voting because they are afraid of the way you will vote.”

That is not true. Hillary is flat out telling a ‘Lie’, she knows it is a lie. Republicans have never said any of that. But really, can we expect anything but lies from her? (Benghazi). The Left preaches these untruths over and over to their flock and are not questioned as to their validity.

The Republicans do want the young, do want people of color, do want the elderly to register and to vote. What the Republicans do not want, is for groups such as Acorn (who helped get Obama elected) and other left-wing organizations to allow them to abuse the system and have the young, the people of color and the elderly to vote more than once.

There are many take aways from Saturday night’s Democrat debate. But the question is, can America afford to have even one more term any democrat as President, especially now? I think not. Not if we are to remain a free nation. If they can not tell the truth while running for public office and they want that job, what could we expect from these three after being elected?

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders stretched the truth when facts are checked, and some reports claim Bernie Sanders actually won.

FactChecking the Second Democratic Debate

By Brooks Jackson, Robert Farley, Lori Robertson, D’Angelo Gore and Eugene Kiely – MSN

Summary

The three Democratic presidential candidates faced off on a Saturday night, and made several inaccurate claims:

  • Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley said that in President Reagan’s first term, the highest marginal income tax rate was 70 percent. But Reagan signed a bill in his first year dropping that to 50 percent, and it dropped again to 28 percent in his second term.
  • Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said that the U.S. “has more income and wealth inequality than any major country on earth.” But Israel, Brazil and Chile have both greater income and wealth inequality, and more countries beat the U.S. in one of the measures.
  • Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrongly said that wages “haven’t risen since the turn of the last century.” Real average weekly earnings of rank-and-file workers rose 7.2 percent since 1999.
  • Sanders repeated his talking point about billionaires paying “an effective tax rate lower than nurses or truck drivers.” That may be the case for some in those professions, once we factor in payroll taxes, but it’s not accurate for all.
  • When Clinton cited Princeton economist Alan Krueger’s support for her minimum wage proposal, O’Malley called him a Wall Street economist. He’s not.
  • O’Malley boasted that Maryland was “the only state” to freeze college tuition four years in a row. This year, Maine did so as well.

Analysis

Clinton, Sanders and O’Malley met at Drake University in Iowa for the debate, which was hosted by CBS News, KCCI-TV in Des Moines and the Des Moines Register.

O’Malley on Top Tax Rate Under Reagan

O’Malley said that in President Ronald Reagan’s first term, “the highest marginal [income tax] rate was 70 percent.” That was true only briefly. In Reagan’s first year in office, he signed a bill reducing the top rate to 50 percent. And in his second term, he reduced it again, to 28 percent.

O’Malley cited the top marginal tax rate during the debate to make the point that upper-income taxpayers should be paying more, and historically have.

O’Malley: And may I point out that under Ronald Reagan’s first term, the highest marginal rate was 70 percent. And in talking to a lot of our neighbors who are in that super wealthy, millionaire and billionaire category, a great number of them love their country enough to do more again in order to create more opportunity for America’s middle class.

As a matter of history, the top marginal tax rate of 70 percent was established in 1964, when Congress passed a tax cutbacked by President John F. Kennedy. In the decades before that, the top rate was much higher — hovering around 90 percent.

So 70 percent was the top rate when Reagan took office in January 1981. Eight months after taking office, Reagan signed the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981, which cut the highest marginal tax rate to 50 percent.

In his second term, Reagan signed a bill in 1986 that lowered the top marginal income tax rate to 28 percent.

Sanders Off on Inequality and Poverty

Sanders continued to peddle some false claims about U.S. inequality and child poverty:

Sanders: This country today has more income and wealth inequality than any major country on earth. …  We have the highest rate of childhood poverty. …

Regarding income inequality, we noted back in May that World Bank statistics list at least 41 countries with greater income inequality than the U.S. — including Israel, Brazil, Mexico, Chile and Argentina.

And as for wealth inequality, the share of wealth held by the top 1 percent in the U.S. puts it in 11th place among 37 nations listed in the 2015 edition of the Global Wealth Databook. The top 1 percent in Russia, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Brazil, Chile, South Africa, China, Czech Republic and Israel each hold a greater share of their nation’s wealth, according to that publication.

Finally, the rate of child poverty is far worse in many other countries, including several with industrialized economies. The campaign told us the senator was referring to a report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, but that report ranks the U.S. seventh in “relative childhood poverty” among the 38 countries listed.

Turkey, Israel, Mexico, Greece, Romania and Bulgaria all had higher rates of child poverty than the U.S., in the OECD’s ranking.

It’s also worth noting that “relative poverty” is a measure of household disposable income relative to others in that country.

Clinton Wrong on Wages

Clinton erred when she said real wages haven’t risen in nearly 15 years.

Clinton: [W]ages adjusted for inflation haven’t risen since the turn of the last century.

That’s not true, according to the most recent figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Real average weekly earnings of rank-and-file workers were 7.2 percent higher in September than they were in December 1999.

Furthermore, real weekly wages have jumped 2.3 percent in the most recent 12 months alone.

Sanders on Truck Drivers’ Tax Rates

Sanders repeated one of his campaign trail talking points: “But we are going to end the absurdity, as Warren Buffet often remind us … that billionaires pay an effective tax rate lower than nurses or truck drivers.” That’s the case for some in those professions — compared with billionaires who earn their money through investments — but it’s not accurate for all. In fact, a truck driver would have to earn more than the median salary to pay a higher effective rate.

We previously ran the calculations for several different hypothetical nurses and truck drivers (and firefighters and police officers, who have also been part of this Sanders claim), comparing total effective tax rates, including payroll taxes, to what an investment fund manager would pay if only paying capital gains tax rates on earnings.

The billionaire fund manager would pay 23.8 percent — the top capital gains rate for income above $413,200 for individuals — and a 3.8 percent Medicare surcharge tax on investment income for those earning more than $200,000. A truck driver earning the median income for the profession ($39,520) wouldn’t pay a higher rate then the fund manager’s 23.8 percent.

demon debate

But if that truck driver earned a higher salary — such as the average pay in Peabody, Massachusetts ($57,250) — and was single with no dependents, he or she would pay an effective tax rate of 26 percent, higher than the fund manager. If that truck driver had one dependent child, however, the rate would drop to 21 percent.

As for nurses, the median salary is much higher — $66,640. A single nurse with no dependents would have a 28 percent effective tax rate with that salary. But once we add a dependent child, or a nonworking spouse, or both, the nurse’s rate sinks below that of the wealthy fund manager.

If the billionaire fund managers’ earnings were taxed at regular income tax rates, he or she would pay a higher rate. Most marginal income tax rates are higher than capital gains rates, with individual income between about $37,000 and $90,000 at the 25 percent rate for 2015. The top income tax rate is 39.6 percent, which starts after income surpasses $413,200.

Krueger Not a Wall Street Economist

O’Malley lumped Princeton economist Alan Krueger in with what he called “economists on Wall Street.” Krueger is not a Wall Street economist.

O’Malley made his remarks when he had a disagreement with Clinton over how much to raise the minimum wage. O’Malley supports raising it to $15 per hour. Clinton has proposed $12 per hour, and she cited Princeton economist Alan Krueger’s support for her proposal and concern for increasing the minimum to $15 per hour.

O’Malley: I think we need to stop taking our advice from economists on Wall Street …

Clinton: He’s not Wall Street.

O’Malley: … And start taking advice …

Clinton: That’s not fair. He’s a progressive economist.

O’Malley is wrong about Krueger’s background. It is entirely in academia and education.

Krueger graduated with a doctorate in economics from Harvard University in 1987. “Since 1987 he has held a joint appointment in the Economics Department and Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University,” according to his biography on the university website.

Krueger also has held top positions in government, including chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Barack Obama and chief economist at the Department of Labor under President Bill Clinton. His full curriculum vitae can be found here.

O’Malley’s Outdated Tuition Boast

O’Malley claimed that Maryland was the only state that went four consecutive years without an increase in college tuition. That’s no longer the case.

O’Malley: We were the only state to go four years in a row without a penny’s increase to college tuition.

Yes, as governor, O’Malley did sign bills implementing a tuition freeze at public universities in Maryland that lasted from 2007 until 2010. But Maine has now matched what Maryland once achieved.

In March of this year, the University of Maine System Board of Trustees again voted to freeze in-state tuition at its seven member schools. That means the school system has now gone four years without an increase in tuition at its public universities.

Sources

Geewax, Marilyn. “JFK’s Lasting Economic Legacy: Lower Tax Rates.” NPR. 14 Nov 2013.

Tax Foundation. Federal Individual Income Tax Rates History.

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Library. The Second American Revolution: Reaganomics.

GovTrack.us. H.R. 3838: Tax Reform Act of 1986.

Credit Suisse Research Institute. “Global Wealth Databook.” Oct 2015.

World Bank. “GINI index (World Bank estimate).” Data accessed 15 Nov 2015.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. “Chart CO2.2.A. Child income poverty rates, 2012.” Data accessed 15 Nov 2015.

Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Employment, Hours, and Earnings from the Current Employment Statistics survey (National); Average Weekly Earnings of Production and Nonsupervisory Employees, 1982-1984 Dollars.” Data extracted 15 Nov 2015.

Robertson, Lori. “Hedge Fund Managers’ Tax Rates.” FactCheck.org. 8 Sep 2015.

Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2014. 53-3032 Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers. accessed 15 Nov 2015.

Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2014. 29-1141 Registered Nurses. accessed 15 Nov 2015.

O’Malley for President. “Raise the Minimum Wage.” Undated.

Krueger, Alan B. “The Minimum Wage: How Much Is Too Much?” New York Times. 9 Oct 2015.

Princeton University. “Alan B. Krueger, Biography.” Undated.

 

Uneven Candidate Vetting, HRC Signed Form, Carson Attacked

Editor’s Note – Vetting the candidates is hard work, you really have to dig hard into the past and pick apart everything that person ever did or said, that is unless you are Obama or a Clinton according to most on the left in media.

Candidates often forget we have the internet, FOIA laws, and video, yet when a Clinton gets caught, we get crickets from the MSM. When someone on the right gets caught – hell hath no fury…

On a day when another Presidential candidate is being questioned about accounts he wrote about many years ago that some claim are not true, Hillary Rodham Clinton (HRC) seems to skate along with little to no scrutiny from the mainstream media over laws she is alleged to have broken as Secretary of State and the lies about that video.

Ben Carson Spars with Alysin Camerota over Vetting in lengthy interview
Ben Carson Spars with Alisyn Camerota over Vetting in lengthy interview – click image to view videos

Then today we see that HRC did sign a little piece of paper after all – one similar to the one that got General Petreaus in so much hot water, a Sensitive Compartmented Information Nondisclosure Agreement briefing form.

Of course we point out the hypocrisy that is evident, but when people like Charlie Rose are stunned by statements another candidate made on his show about HRC, he is stunned. However, no one is stunned when CNN went after Ben Carson, but Rubio’s factual statements about Clinton stun Rose?

How dare anyone point out the lies that are so obvious, the Queen is wearing no clothes? How do you not know this after three years and call yourself a journalist or anchor newsman?

HRC may be ‘too big to jail‘ but the American voter needs to know about the voracity and truthfulness of all the candidates, not just the enemy of the main stream media – those on the right. With almost daily revelations of just how corrupt HRC is/was, it is simply stunning that a CNN story can be so hot, yet a real hot issue is ignored.

The following revelation shows yet another facet of HRC, congenital liar. But politico tries its best to disprove what we all know, HRC regularly transmitted and received hundreds of “born classified’ information. It is really irrelevant whether they were ‘Top Secret” or not, the document referred to below, signed by HRC shows she knew what she was doing was wrong. Try spinning that Politico.

See Marco Rubio skewer Charlie Rose over the obvious:

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The families of the four who died in Benghazi deserve better, they deserve justice and so does the rest of America.

Clinton Signed NDA Laying Out Criminal Penalties for Mishandling of Classified Info 

Dem presidential candidate and top aides signed NDAs warning against ‘negligent handling’ of classified information

By  – Washington Free Beacon

As the nation’s chief diplomat, Hillary Clinton was responsible for ascertaining whether information in her possession was classified and acknowledged that “negligent handling” of that information could jeopardize national security, according to a copy of an agreement she signed upon taking the job.

A day after assuming office as secretary of state, Clinton signed a Sensitive Compartmented Information Nondisclosure Agreement that laid out criminal penalties for “any unauthorized disclosure” of classified information.

WhatSCI.NDA

Experts have guessed that Clinton signed such an agreement, but a copy of her specific contract, obtained by the Competitive Enterprise Institute through an open records request and shared with the Washington Free Beacon, reveals for the first time the exact language of the NDA.

“I have been advised that the unauthorized disclosure, unauthorized retention, or negligent handling of SCI by me could cause irreparable injury to the United States or be used to advantage by a foreign nation,” the agreement states.

Clinton received at least two emails while secretary of state on her personal email server since marked “TS/SCI”—top secret/sensitive compartmented information—according to the U.S. intelligence community’s inspector general.

The State Department said in September that Clinton’s private email system, set up at her Chappaqua, N.Y., home, was not authorized to handle SCI.

The Democratic presidential frontrunner defended her unauthorized possession of SCI and her sending of emails containing classified information by claiming that the information was not marked as classified when it was sent or received.

The language of her NDA suggests it was Clinton’s responsibility to ascertain whether information shared through her private email server was, in fact, classified.

“I understand that it is my responsibility to consult with appropriate management authorities in the Department … in order to ensure that I know whether information or material within my knowledge or control that I have reason to believe might be SCI,” the agreement says.

The Clinton campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the NDA.

According to government security experts, the type of information that receives a TS/SCI designation is sensitive enough that most senior government officials would immediately recognize it as such.

“TS/SCI is very serious and specific information that jumps out at you and screams ‘classified,’” Larry Mrozinski, a former U.S. counterterrorism official, told the New York Post in August. “It’s hard to imagine that in her position she would fail to recognize the obvious.”

Additional emails on Clinton’s server contained information that was “born classified,” according to J. William Leonard, who directed the U.S. Information Security Oversight Office from 2002 to 2008.

“If a foreign minister just told the secretary of state something in confidence, by U.S. rules that is classified at the moment it’s in U.S. channels and U.S. possession,” Leonard told Reuters in August.

Clinton’s NDA spells out stiff criminal penalties for “any unauthorized disclosure of SCI.” The FBI is currently investigating whether Clinton’s private email server violated any federal laws.

In addition to her SCI agreement, Clinton signed a separate NDA for all other classified information. It contains similar language, including prohibiting “negligent handling of classified information,” requiring her to ascertain whether information is classified and laying out criminal penalties.

It adds, “I will never divulge classified information to anyone unless: (a) I have officially verified that the recipient has been properly authorized to receive it; or (b) I have been given prior written notice of authorization” from the proper authorizes.

Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin, Clinton’s two top aides, also signed copies of the classified information NDA.

Mills sent classified information to officials at the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation in 2012, an email released by the State Department in September shows.

Mills’ NDA required her to inquire about the classification of information in her possession if she was unsure about its status. However, her attorney said that she “presumed” that the information she sent to the foundation was unclassified because it had been sent to her at her unclassified State Department email address.

New Hillary emails don't match her testimony – too big to jail?

Editor’s Note – It is clear that Hillary Clinton and her supporters have seemingly won a political victory but that does not erase the clear fact that she has lied, lied often, and lied about her lies under oath. Since Obama has ‘transformed’ the rule-of-law system we rely upon for a civil society and replaced it with rule by fiat and man, she may just get away with it.

We will never get closure on Fast & Furious, Benghazi, the IRS scandal, and so many other scandals if we allow this to continue. Is she ‘too big to jail’?

While former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, currently a candidate for president of the United States, thinks she has dodged the Benghazi bullet (opinions still vary on that one) she is still under investigation for burbling classified information on her email server, states a Friday story in the McClatchy DC. As the Weekly Standard notes, at least one recently released email did contain classified data because part of it was redacted due to its being classified.

But one national security attorney named Edward McMahon Jr, claims flatly that Clinton is “too big to jail” regardless of her guilt or innocence in the matter.

Honorable???
Honorable???

The theory is that high-profile defendants such as Clinton get off for the same type of behavior that lower level officials go to jail for. The idea may come as a surprise to Scooter Libby, an aide for Vice President Dick Cheney, who was prosecuted for revealing the name of CIA analyst Valerie Plame to the media.

General David Petraeus, a former CIA director, was forced to plead guilty to a misdemeanor on the charge of mishandling classified documents when he showed them to his biographer, who also happened to be his mistress.

FBI Director James Comey, a Republican, would be the official who would recommend an indictment of Hillary Clinton. However Attorney General Loretta Lynch, an Obama appointee, would make the final approval. The situation sets up a nightmare scenario for the Democrats.

If Comey recommends an indictment and Lynch refuses, the charge of political justice follows as night follows day. On the other hand, if Lynch decides to indict, Hillary Clinton’s run for the presidency is, for all practical purposes, over.

The real nightmare kicks in if Hillary Clinton, under indictment, refuses to drop out, choosing instead to do what she always does and play the victim. In that case, Vice President Joe Biden, tanned, ready and rested, may not be able to pull the Democrats out of the fire. Hillary Clinton would make history as the first major candidate for president under criminal indictment. (Examiner)

If Americans blithely look the other way, and leaders do not restore the rule-of-law, why bother having any law? An oath was taken to faithfully execute the law, but that is now a mere oxymoron.

There are two videos to view, one on her discrepancies between her testimony and email releases, and also whether she is too big too jail:

State Department emails conflict with Clinton’s Benghazi testimony

By Catherine Herridge – Fox News

Newly released emails conflict with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 11-hour testimony before the Benghazi Select Committee, according to a review of the transcripts and public records. One of the conflicts involves the role played by Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal.

Regarding the dozens of emails from him, which in many cases were forwarded to her State Department team, Clinton testified: “He’s a friend of mine. He sent me information he thought might be of interest.

Some of it was, some of it wasn’t, some of it I forwarded to be followed up on. He had no official position in the government. And he was not at all my adviser on Libya.”

But a newly released email from February 2011 shows Blumenthal advocated for a no-fly zone over Libya, writing, “U.S. might consider advancing tomorrow. Libyan helicopters and planes are raining terror on cities.”

Re-examining Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi testimony:

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The email was forwarded by Clinton to her deputy chief of staff Jake Sullivan with the question, “What do you think of this idea?”

hillary-clinton-and-sidney-blumenthalA second email from former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in March 2011 also advocated for a no-fly zone, with Blair stating, “Please work on the non-fly zone, or the other options I mentioned. Oil prices are rising, markets are down. We have to be decisive.”

In the end, Clinton advocated for the no-fly zone and was able to gather support within the Obama administration to implement it.

In another email from March 5, 2012, Clinton appears to use Blumenthal as what is known in intelligence circles as a “cut out,” a type of intermediary to gather information, allowing the policymaker plausible deniability.

In this case, the emails focused on the increasingly chaotic and fragmenting political landscape in Libya after dictator Muammar Qaddafi was removed from power.

In the one-page document, Blumenthal writes that Jonathan Powell, a former senior British government adviser to Blair, is “trying to replicate what we did in Northern Ireland by setting up secret channels between insurgents and government, and then, where appropriate, developing these negotiations.”

This type of backchannel discussion helped bring about the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement in Northern Ireland.

Clinton responded two hours later. “I’d like to see Powell when he’s in the building,” with her staff responding, “Will follow up.” In both instances, Clinton’s actions further undercut sworn testimony to the Select Committee that Blumenthal was “not at all my adviser on Libya.”

Another area of conflict involves security and aid requests. In an exchange with Republican Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., Clinton told the House committee none of the requests for diplomatic security reached her.

“Too big too jail?”

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“That’s over 600 requests,” Pompeo said. “You’ve testified here this morning that you had none of those reach your desk; is that correct also?”

Clinton responded, “That’s correct.”

However, the State Department website, under a section on embassy security, states that the secretary has overall responsibility for the well-being of personnel on assignment.   The buck does not stop with “security professionals” as Clinton has testified.

It states: “The Secretary of State, and by extension, the Chief of Mission (COM), are responsible for developing and implementing security policies and programs that provide for the protection of all U.S. Government personnel (including accompanying dependents) on official duty abroad.”

Yet, the new emails show a request for humanitarian aid sent by the late Ambassador Chris Stevens did reach her desk. The Aug. 22, 2011 email from Stevens was circulated among Clinton staff and delegated for action in under an hour.

With the overthrow of Qadaffi, Stevens wrote that the Libyan opposition, known as the TNC, would soon release a statement saying it would “insure the delivery of essential services and commodities (esp. addressing the acute shortages of fuel, children’s milk, and medication for blood pressure and diabetes).”

Seventeen minutes later, Clinton responded, “Can we arrange shipments of what’s requested?”

Symbol of law and justice in the empty courtroom, law and justice concept.

While the request for humanitarian aid from Stevens did reach her office, during her testimony, Clinton emphasized, “Chris Stevens communicated regularly with the members of my staff.

He did not raise security with the members of my staff. I communicated with him about certain issues. He did not raise security with me. He raised security with the security professionals.”

The emails also further depict Clinton’s treatment of sensitive material. A February 2012 email shows Clinton sent an urgent message to an office manager that a white briefing book, used for sensitive and classified information, was left on her desk.

The office manager confirmed when it was correctly stored in the State Department safe.

The 7,000 pages released Friday leave no doubt that Clinton’s personal account mingled information now considered classified with the mundane such as social media requests and the taping of a television period drama.

On Feb. 1, 2011, Clinton sent a “Linkedin” request from a “Susan Kennedy” to a State Department IT specialist asking, “How does this work?”

An email from Feb. 23, 2012, from the State Department’s senior official on Near Eastern Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, called “Bingo!” is fully redacted, citing the B1 exception which is classified information.

And in January that same year, Clinton wrote to an aide, “I’m addicted to Downton Abbey which runs on Sunday night and reruns on Thursday at 8pmb. Since I missed it Sunday and will again tomorrow so wondering if we could tape a DVD for me.”

President Obama, meanwhile, is now under scrutiny after having told CBS’ “60 Minutes” he was not aware of Clinton’s personal account – even though the White House said Friday there are emails between the two, only they will not be available under FOIA requests until after Obama leaves office.

In the “60 Minutes” interview, when asked if he knew about Clinton’s use of a private email server, Obama twice said, “No.”

At this point, between 600 and 700 emails have been identified containing classified information. An intelligence official familiar with the review says there is no such thing as “retroactive classification,” the information is born classified, and the State Department only has the right to declassify information it produced.

While Clinton testified that 90-95 percent of her emails were captured by the State Department system, and nothing she sent or received was “marked classified,” the State Department said that estimate represents the campaign’s data and not their own.


Catherine Herridge is an award-winning Chief Intelligence correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC) based in Washington, D.C. She covers intelligence, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Herridge joined FNC in 1996 as a London-based correspondent.

Bernie Sanders, Hillary; Socialism,"It doesn't work"!

Editor’s note –  Fact check – Bernie Sander’s, currently 2nd place. He’s been a Senator for 16 years, representing Vermont.  A Socialist. Age 74.

Does Bernie Sanders know what it means to be a Socialist? Both Karl Marx (Marxism) and Adolf Hilter (Nazism) considered themselves Socialists, and Communism is similar.

Bernie Sanders’s Denmark Comments Show He Doesn’t Even Understand His Own ‘Socialism’

By Kevin D. Williamson – National Review

It had to be Denmark, didn’t it? If you are the sort of person who has better things to do — which is to say, a fully functioning adult who is not professionally obliged to follow these things — then you probably missed the exchange between Mrs. Clinton and Senator Sanders at last night’s debate, when she lectured him that the United States isn’t Denmark and he responded with a rousing defense of the Danish model.

Never mind, for the moment, that neither of these batty old geezers has the foggiest idea of what’s going on in Denmark, or in the other Nordic countries. Denmark, like Sweden before it, has been engaged in a long campaign of reforming its famously generous welfare state.

The country’s current prime minister is the leader of a center-right party, which, strangely enough, goes by the name “Left,” Venstre. (You might even call it libertarian; its former longtime leader wrote a book bearing the positively Nozickian title “From Social State to Minimal State.” ) Denmark has been marching in the direction exactly opposite socialism for some time.

Our friends at the Heritage Foundation rank its economy the eleventh most free in the world, one place ahead of the United States, reflecting Denmark’s strong property rights, relative freedom from corruption, low public debt, freedom of trade and investment, etc. Don’t tell Senator Sanders, but Denmark’s corporate tax rate is a heck of a lot lower than our own.

Senator Sanders is not very serious about imitating Denmark. Denmark has a large and expensive welfare state, which Senator Sanders envies.

He doesn’t envy the other part of that handshake: Denmark pays for that large and expensive welfare state the only way that you can: with relatively high taxes on the middle class, whose members pay both high income taxes and a value-added tax.

If Senator Sanders were an intellectually honest man, he’d acknowledge forthrightly that the only way to pay for generous benefits for the middle class is to tax the middle class, where most of the income earners are.

Instead, he talks about taxing a handful of billionaires to pay for practically everything. Rhetorically, he’s already spent the entire holdings of the billionaire class many times over. Sanders’s line of thinking seems to go: ‘Bankers, money, evil, greedy, Make Them Pay!’

But Senator Sanders does not seem as if he thinks a great deal about these things. He worries about the size of the holdings of our largest banks (I’d bet a dollar that he could not explain the difference between an investment bank and a commercial bank) and frets that six big banks have assets equal to 65 percent of U.S. GDP.

<> on July 24, 2014 in Washington, DC.
<> on July 24, 2014 in Washington, DC.

He does not consider that in Switzerland there are two banks whose combined assets are well more than twice Switzerland’s GDP, a reflection of the fact that the moneyed people and institutions of the world have a great deal of confidence in Swiss financial institutions, or that similar parties invest with American institutions for similar reasons.

And never mind that Denmark’s largest bank has assets totaling 1.6 times Denmark’s GDP — a lot more than the 65 percent split among six banks in the United States that so troubles Sanders.

Democrats are positively delusional about this stuff, talking about Glass-Steagall as though not repealing it would have changed one thing about the way business was done at a pure-play investment bank such as Lehman Bros. or Bear Stearns.

The policy is entirely unrelated to the problem, but neither the Democratic presidential candidates nor their voters understand the problem or the policy.

They know only that Copenhagen is lovely, and people like Senator Sanders enjoy citing its “example” while shouting such nonsensical sentences as “Free health care is a right!”

Denmark is on the mind of Francis Fukuyama, whose Political Order and Political Decay has now been issued in paperback, to the delight of cheapskate readers everywhere.

Fukuyama, borrowing from a group of developmental economists, introduces his readers to the phrase “isomorphic mimicry,” by which he means the error that poor and developing countries make when they adopt the formal institutions of the developed world in the absence of the underlying values, habits, and culture that make those institutions effective.

This is part of the problem he calls — surprise — “getting to Denmark.” Fukuyama: The problem is that Denmark did not get to be Denmark in a matter of months or years. Contemporary Denmark — and all other developed countries — gradually evolved modern institutions over the course of centuries.

If outside powers try to impose their own models of good institutions on a country, they are likely to produce what Lant Pritchett, Michael Woolcock, and Matt Andrews call “isomorphic mimicry”: a copying of the outward forms of Western institutions but without their substance.

(Here is the Pritchett-Woolcock-Andrews paper, which is well worth your time.)  

That isomorphic mimicry is a great stumbling block. We’re right now in the end stages of failing, spectacularly, in a project to impose liberal democratic institutions on a Muslim world that isn’t much interested in them, but some of our more energetic conservative interventionists still seem to believe that one day an Arab or a Chinese is going to happen across a copy of the U.S. Constitution and build a Connecticut in the Orient.

Cult is the first word in culture, which bears some consideration: The American revolutionaries emerged from a Puritan-Quaker culture shaped by the hardships of colonial life with the savage frontier in front of them and the Atlantic Ocean at their backs; the French revolutionaries emerged from a decadent Catholic culture shaped by court life and European rivalries.

Both parties cried “Liberty!” but one produced the Bill of Rights and the other produced the Terror. The cultural distance between 21st-century Anglo-American liberals and tribal jihadis in the Hindu Kush is rather greater than was the distance between Thomas Jefferson and the Abbé Sieyès.

Aping the superficial attractive forms of alien polities is not an error limited to the poor and the backward. Our progressive friends argued that Obamacare is just like the Swiss health-care system, which is generally quite highly regarded, and it is, with one important difference: Switzerland is full of Swiss people and the United States is not.

The Swiss health-care system turns out to be poorly suited for a country that isn’t Swiss. Any bets on how well the Danish welfare state is going to play in Mississippi and New Jersey? Progressives who imagine that Americans are one election away from getting to Denmark do not understand Denmark, or America, or much of anything.

— Kevin D. Williamson is roving correspondent at National Review.