Previously undisclosed Russian donations flowing into the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation has prompted Mitt Romney to describe the situation as potential bribery.
Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and successful businessman, was the 2012 GOP presidential nominee.
This latest revelation is part of the ongoing controversy over the Clinton Foundation accepting big checks from foreign governments (including some with dismal women’s rights records) and multinational corporations with business before the U.S. government while Hillary Clinton served as Secretary of State and the resulting allegations of conflicts of interest.
There has been much speculation across the ideological spectrum that then-Secretary Clinton, now a declared presidential candidate, may have traded favorable treatment at the highest level of the federal government for Foundation contributions, including more allegations contained in a new book called Clinton Cash. Some Clinton critics have suggested that the personal email account on a private email server that has supposedly been wiped clean may have contained evidence of a pay-for-play, access-buying scheme.
Through its state-controlled energy agency Rosatom, Russia now controls one-fifth of America’s uranium – considered a strategic asset by the Obama administration — as a result of a transaction that required approval from several Obama agencies including the State Department, which was then headed by Hillary Clinton. The Putin regime reportedly sells uranium to Iran.
According a detailed report in the New York Times, Uranium One is or was the Canada-based company at the heart of this latest expose.
“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…”
The Times acknowledged, however, that it hasn’t specifically identified any direct impropriety as yet.
“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 an appearance on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show yesterday, Mitt Romney offered this assessment of the transaction.
“I was stunned by it. I mean, it looks like bribery. I mean, there is every appearance that Hillary Clinton was bribed to grease the sale of, what, 20 percent of America’s uranium production to Russia, and then it was covered up by lying about a meeting at her home with the principals, and by erasing emails. And you know, I presume we might know for sure whether there was or was not bribery, if she hadn’t wiped out thousands of emails. But this is a very, very serious series of facts, and it looks like bribery.”
Separately, the Clinton Foundation plans to resubmit tax returns from the past several years “after a Reuters review found errors in how they reported donations from governments, and said they may audit other Clinton Foundation returns in case of other errors.”
New York Times reporter Jo Becker and Clinton Cash author Peter Schweizer provide more details about the uranium deal controversy in this FNC interview.
[Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images News]
Other media outlets weigh in on the Clinton Foundation foreign cash controversy.