Senator demands answers on kickbacks in Obama’s Russian uranium deal

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Republican Sen. John Barrasso (Wyo.) has sounded many alarms over the years regarding the purchase of a uranium company by the Russians, as it directly affects his own state. Now he’s going to battle again.

In 2010, Barrasso said he wrote a letter to President Obama, expressing serious concerns about a Russian firm taking control of 20 percent of America’s uranium supply, The Hill has reported.

In 2010, Russia’s main nuclear company, Rosatom, purchased Uranium One, a company that owns several mines in Wyoming.

That year, Barrasso sent a letter to President Obama, warning, “This transaction would give the Russian government control over a sizeable portion of America’s uranium production capacity. Equally alarming, this sale gives ARMZ a significant stake in uranium mines in Kazakhstan.”

“As you know, Russia has a disturbing record of supporting nuclear programs in countries that are openly hostile to the United States,” the senator continued. “This record is at great odds with our own national security.”

In 2015, he sent another letter to then-treasury secretary Jack Lew, expressing additional concerns about the Russians having ownership of uranium reserves in America.

That year, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States approved the Russian majority take over of Uranium One.

Barrasso has now sent a letter to the Department of Justice requesting that Attorney General Jeff Sessions provide documents from that decision.

He is also demanding answers on newly released details that the FBI has discovered kickbacks, bribes, money laundering and extortion were all conducted by an employee of the Russian firm, prior to the Obama administration approving the deal.

Barrasso has demanded a response from the Justice Department no later than December 1, 2017.

“Recent reports indicate that, prior to CFIUS’s approval of the Russian-Uranium One deal, the Department of Justice possessed substantial evidence that Russian officials engaged in bribery kickbacks, and other criminal conducts to expand Russia’s nuclear energy business in the United States,” the senator wrote in his letter to Sessions.

“I ask that you provide my office with all documents disclosed by the Department to CFIUS concerning the investigation of Russian nuclear officials prior to CFIUS’s approval of the Russia-Uranium One deal,” he stated.

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