On Monday, the Justice Department sent a letter to the House Judiciary Committee stating they were reviewing whether to appoint a special counsel to investigate claims of corruption in relation to the Obama Administration and Hillary Clinton. The investigation will review multiple donations made to the Clinton Foundation around the time of an acquisition made of a mining company from a Russian buyer.
Uranium One, a mining company headquartered in Canada, was sold to a Russian company by the name of Rosatom in 2010 over multiple transactions. Uranium is a chemical utilized by militaries to power nuclear weapons, a notably important asset to any country that produces it. At the time of the acquisition, Uranium One had mining facilities outside of Canada, including the United States, Australia, Kazakhstan, and South Africa. The acquisition would allow Russia to become one the largest Uranium producers in the world, taking control over one fifth of the United States Uranium production if the deal were to go through. Due to the product and nature of the company being acquired, and national security threats that coincided, the United States had to approve the deal through a committee made up of multiple different government agencies. Among those in the committee was Hillary Clinton who was then the Secretary of State for President Obama.
At the same that Russia was acquiring the deal and obtained approval from the United States, people associated with the Uranium deal donated large amounts to the Clinton Foundation, a charitable organization founded by the family of Bill and Hillary Clinton. The donations in conjunction with the timing of the acquisition had raised concerns about what ties the Clinton Foundation may have had to the deal being approved by the United States. According to The New York Times, the Uranium One Chairman donated total of $2.35 million in donations to the Clinton Foundation around the time of the sale. It was also reported that a Russian investment company, promoting Uranium One stock, had also paid Bill Clinton $500,000 for a speech in Moscow soon after the acquisition was announced.
Although the Federal Bureau of Investigations has previously looked into these claims in 2015, finding no evidence to move forward with a case, President Donald Trump has called publicly for an investigation into the previous administration as well as the Clinton Foundation. Donald Trump has spoken in outrage, claiming unfair treatment relating to the 2016 Russia investigation of which his campaign has been a target of. The Trump administration has expressed that the dealing between Hillary Clinton and Russian activities should be given the same fair assessment as the current investigation, in which President Trump has repeatedly stated he has no knowledge of collusion. Donald Trump has also recently stated that he believes the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, when he says he had no involvement in meddling in the United States elections. The Russia investigation has brought indictments of two members of his campaign and is expected to bring more as the lead on the case, Robert Mueller, presses forward.
Jeff Sessions, the current Attorney General for Trump, testified to congress on the possible appointment of a special counsel to review the corruption claims in the Uranium One Deal. Mr. Sessions stated that the Department of Justice uses factual information and laws in their work while assuring Congress that the review of the Uranium One deal was not influenced by the President of the United States. Hillary Clinton, however, has stated that reviewing the deal again is a distraction from the current investigation reviewing ties between the Trump Campaign and the Kremlin which has cast a dark cloud over the first year of his presidency.