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Monday, July 31, 2017

Sunday, July 30, 2017

A Wilderness of Mirrors

Show Us The Crime:



Here Is a Real Crime:

ABC, NBC, And CBS Pretty Much Bury IT Scandal Engulfing Debbie Wasserman Schultz's Office


Well, just in case you didn’t hear, an information technology officer has been accused of bank fraud. He tried to flee the country, and now Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s (D-FL) office has finally fired the aide, despite this person being under investigation since last winter. His termination was made official on Tuesday.

Imran Awan is the name of the subject in question. The Capitol Police launched a probe, where he’s been accused of “serious, potentially illegal, violations on the House IT network.” He also provided technical assistance to other Democratic members of Congress. It was a family affair as well. As Jenn noted over the weekend, his two brothers, along with two of their wives, also worked for members of Congress. Imran moved out of his house in Virginia when he found out he was under investigation last February. He rented the home to a Marine Corps veteran and his wife, a naval officer, who found hard drives that Awan had reportedly tried to destroy. The FBI now has possession of those drives. Jenn added that Imran tried to enter the home to retrieve them, though the Marine refused entry.

On Monday, Imran was arrested trying to leave the country at Dulles airport (via The Hill):

Awan and his family have reportedly worked for House Democrats for years. He declared bankruptcy in 2012, but has made millions of dollars on the House payroll over at least a decade of work for various members, according to a Politico report. 
In March, a group of House Democrats fired Awan and one other staffer over their alleged involvement in the scheme and the looming criminal investigation. However, Fox News reported Tuesday that Wasserman Schultz still has Awan on her staff's payroll despite him being barred from accessing the House's computer system since February.
Concerning media coverage, Politico has reported something on it, but the big three—ABC, NBC, and CBS—have virtually buried this story, preventing the millions of viewers that tune into these respective networks from learning about it. NBC and ABC have been silent in their broadcasts, but CBS did devote 37 seconds to it. That's it (via Newsbusters):
ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today continued on Wednesday morning the liberal media’s attempts to help Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fl.) cover up the scandal involving now-fired I.T. staffer Imran Awan after his arrested Monday when he tried to flee the country.
After all three ignored the story until Wednesday, CBS This Morning arrived at the scene, albeit it with a 37-second news brief by co-host Gayle King that only scratched the surface on this scandal concerning Awan and his family.
[…]
As The Daily Caller has reported for months, Awan and his family have provided I.T. services to not just Wasserman Schultz but prominent congressional Democrats across key committees such as the House Intelligence Committee. 
The news outlet also found that Awan and his brother secretly took $100,000 of Iraqi money, owed money to an Iraqi politician who’s been linked to Hezbollah, and possibly kept their stepmother “in ‘capivity’” for better access to offshore money. 
On Monday, The Daily Caller’s Luke Rosiak reported that the FBI had “seized smashed computer hard drives” from Awan’s home in addition to the Capitol Police’s seizure of  “computer equipment tied to [Wasserman Schultz].”
Awan’s attorney is blaming the media attention on “anti-Muslim bigotry.” Awan is from Pakistan.
Awan, who lives in Lorton, Va., was arraigned Tuesday on charges of bank fraud for allegedly attempting to get a loan from the Congressional Federal Credit Union on a rental property by claiming it as his primary residence.
He pleaded not guilty. His passport was confiscated and he was outfitted with a GPS monitoring device. 
Awan's wife, Hina Alvi, flew to Pakistan in March with the couple's three children. A federal court complaint, which noted the children had been abruptly taken out of school in Virginia, said an examination of her luggage found she was carrying $12,400 in cash. She was allowed to leave for Pakistan.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Another Burp from The Swamp

Report: FBI General Counsel Allegedly Under Investigation for Leaks

Image: Report: FBI General Counsel Allegedly Under Investigation for Leaks
FBI General Counsel James Baker is allegedly under investigation by the Justice Department in connection with leaks of classified national security information to the media, Circa is reporting.

The website attributed its information to "multiple government officials close to the probe" and the officials spoke on the condition they not be identified.

The website attributed its information to "multiple government officials close to the probe." The officials spoke on the condition they not be identified, according to Circa.

Three sources told Circa that Baker is a suspect in a leak investigation. However, the website has confirmed what information was allegedly leaked.

Baker is said to be close with former FBI Director James Comey, and according to the website, recent media reports suggested he was advising the then-FBI director on legal matters after private meetings Comey had with President Donald Trump earlier this year.

Comey appointed Baker to his post in 2014, according to information on the FBI's website.

He had previously worked as the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review, where he "developed, coordinated, and implemented national security policy with regard to intelligence and counterintelligence matters."

Circa said the FBI would not confirm or deny any investigation of Baker.
The website's report comes as Attorney General Jeff Sessions is expected to announce several criminal leak investigations, Fox News reports.

And just this week, President Donald Trump, who has been highly critical of the attorney general, said: Session had to be "tougher" on leaks, The Washington Post noted.

"You can't let that happen," Trump said of the leaks.
© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Friday, July 28, 2017

While the U.S. preaches “free competition”, it constantly takes measures to prevent free competition at the international level.


Collateral Damage: U.S. Sanctions Aimed at Russia Strike Western European Allies

Do they know what they are doing?  When the U.S. Congress adopts draconian sanctions aimed mainly at disempowering President Trump and ruling out any move to improve relations with Russia, do they realize that the measures amount to a declaration of economic war against their dear European “friends”?

Whether they know or not, they obviously don’t care.  U.S. politicians view the rest of the world as America’s hinterland, to be exploited, abused and ignored with impunity.

The Bill H.R. 3364 “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act” was adopted on July 25 by all but three members of the House of Representatives.  An earlier version was adopted by all but two Senators. Final passage at veto-overturning proportions is a certainty.

This congressional temper tantrum flails in all directions. The main casualties are likely to be America’s dear beloved European allies, notably Germany and France.  Who also sometimes happen to be competitors, but such crass considerations don’t matter in the sacred halls of the U.S. Congress, totally devoted to upholding universal morality.

Economic “Soft Power” Hits Hard

Under U.S. sanctions, any EU nation doing business with Russia may find itself in deep trouble.  In particular, the latest bill targets companies involved in financing Nord Stream 2, a pipeline designed to provide Germany with much needed natural gas from Russia.

By the way, just to help out, American companies will gladly sell their own fracked natural gas to their German friends, at much higher prices.

That is only one way in which the bill would subject European banks and enterprises to crippling restrictions, lawsuits and gigantic fines.

While the U.S. preaches “free competition”, it constantly takes measures to prevent free competition at the international level.

Following the July 2015 deal ensuring that Iran could not develop nuclear weapons, international sanctions were lifted, but the United States retained its own previous ones. Since then, any foreign bank or enterprise contemplating trade with Iran is apt to receive a letter from a New York group calling itself “United Against Nuclear Iran” which warns that “there remain serious legal, political, financial and reputational risks associated with doing business in Iran, particularly in sectors of the Iranian economy such as oil and gas”.  The risks cited include billions of dollars of (U.S.) fines, surveillance by “a myriad of regulatory agencies”, personal danger, deficiency of insurance coverage, cyber insecurity, loss of more lucrative business, harm to corporate reputation and a drop in shareholder value.

The United States gets away with this gangster behavior because over the years it has developed a vast, obscure legalistic maze, able to impose its will on the “free world” economy thanks to the omnipresence of the dollar, unrivaled intelligence gathering and just plain intimidation.

European leaders reacted indignantly to the latest sanctions.  The German foreign ministry said it was “unacceptable for the United States to use possible sanctions as an instrument to serve the interest of U.S. industry”.  The French foreign ministry denounced the “extraterritoriality” of the U.S. legislation as unlawful, and announced that “To protect ourselves against the extraterritorial effects of US legislation, we will have to work on adjusting our French and European laws”.
In fact, bitter resentment of arrogant U.S. imposition of its own laws on others has been growing in France, and was the object of a serious parliamentary report delivered to the French National Assembly foreign affairs and finance committees last October 5, on the subject of “the extraterritoriality of American legislation”.

Extraterritoriality

The chairman of the commission of enquiry, long-time Paris representative Pierre Lellouche, summed up the situation as follows:
“The facts are very simple.  We are confronted with an extremely dense wall of American legislation whose precise intention is to use the law to serve the purposes of the economic and political imperium with the idea of gaining economic and strategic advantages. As always in the United States, that imperium, that normative bulldozer operates in the name of the best intentions in the world since the United States considers itself a ‘benevolent power’, that is a country that can only do good.”
Always in the name of “the fight against corruption” or “the fight against terrorism”, the United States righteously pursues anything legally called a “U.S. person”, which under strange American law can refer to any entity doing business in the land of the free, whether by having an American subsidiary, or being listed on the New York stock exchange, or using a U.S.-based server, or even by simply trading in dollars, which is something that no large international enterprise can avoid.

In 2014, France’s leading bank, BNP-Paribas, agreed to pay a whopping fine of nearly nine billion dollars, basically for having used dollar transfers in deals with countries under U.S. sanctions.  The transactions were perfectly legal under French law.  But because they dealt in dollars, payments transited by way of the United States, where diligent computer experts could find the needle in the haystack.  European banks are faced with the choice between prosecution, which entails all sorts of restrictions and punishments before a verdict is reached, or else, counseled by expensive U.S. corporate lawyers, and entering into the obscure “plea bargain” culture of the U.S. judicial system, unfamiliar to Europeans.  Just like the poor wretch accused of robbing a convenience store, the lawyers urge the huge European enterprises to plea guilty in order to escape much worse consequences.

Alstom, a major multinational corporation whose railroad section produces France’s high speed trains, is a jewel of French industry.  In 2014, under pressure from U.S. accusations of corruption (probably bribes to officials in a few developing countries), Alstom sold off its electricity branch to General Electric.
The underlying accusation is that such alleged “corruption” by foreign firms causes U.S. firms to lose markets.  That is possible, but there is no practical reciprocity here.  A whole range of U.S. intelligence agencies, able to spy on everyone’s private communications, are engaged in commercial espionage around the world.  As an example, the Office of Foreign Assets Control, devoted to this task, operates with 200 employees on an annual budget of over $30 million. The comparable office in Paris employs five people.

This was the situation as of last October.  The latest round of sanctions can only expose European banks and enterprises to even more severe consequences, especially concerning investments in the vital Nord Stream natural gas pipeline.
This bill is just the latest in a series of U.S. legislative measures tending to break down national legal sovereignty and create a globalized jurisdiction in which anyone can sue anyone else for anything, with ultimate investigative capacity and enforcement power held by the United States.

Wrecking the European Economy

Over a dozen European Banks (British, German, French, Dutch, Swiss) have run afoul of U.S. judicial moralizing, compared to only one U.S. bank: JP Morgan Chase.

The U.S. targets the European core countries, while its overwhelming influence in the northern rim – Poland, the Baltic States and Sweden – prevents the European Union from taking any measures (necessarily unanimous) contrary to U.S. interests.

By far the biggest catch in Uncle Sam’s financial fishing expedition is Deutsche Bank.  As Pierre Lellouche warned during the final hearing of the extraterritorial hearings last October, U.S. pursuits against Deutsche Bank risk bringing down the whole European banking system.  Although it had already paid hundreds of millions of dollars to the State of New York, Deutsche Bank was faced with a “fine of 14 billion dollars whereas it is worth only five and a half. … In other words, if this is carried out, we risk a domino effect, a major financial crisis in Europe.”
In short, U.S. sanctions amount to a sword of Damocles threatening the economies of the country’s main trading partners.  This could be a Pyrrhic victory, or more simply, the blow that kills the goose that lays the golden eggs.  But hurrah, America would be the winner in a field of ruins.

Former justice minister Elisabeth Guigou called the situation shocking, and noted that France had told the U.S. Embassy that the situation is “insupportable” and insisted that “we must be firm”.

Jacques Myard said that “American law is being used to gain markets and eliminate competitors.  We should not be naïve and wake up to what is happening.”

This enquiry marked a step ahead in French awareness and resistance to a new form of “taxation without representation” exercised by the United States against its European satellites. They committee members all agreed that something must be done.

That was last October.  In June, France held parliamentary elections.  The commission chairman, Pierre Lellouche (Republican), the rapporteur Karine Berger (Socialist), Elisabeth Guigou (a leading Socialist) and Jacques Myard (Republican) all lost their seats to inexperienced newcomers recruited into President Emmanuel Macron’s République en marche party.  The newcomers are having a hard time finding their way in parliamentary life and have no political memory, for instance of the Rapport on Extraterritoriality.

As for Macron, as minister of economics, in 2014 he went against earlier government rulings by approving the GE purchase of Alstom.  He does not appear eager to do anything to anger the United States.

However, there are some things that are so blatantly unfair that they cannot go on forever.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Bad Ass



ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS)—The Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office has released footage of a 2014 police-involved shooting in Atlantic City after the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled earlier this month that the video is a matter of public interest.
The incident began on March 27, 2014, when with two 911 calls reported a man with a gun at the La Escondida II Restaurant in the 700 block of Black Horse Pike in Pleasantville.
According to investigators, the man, later identified as 27-year-old Antoquan T. Watson, of Williamstown, fled Pleasantville police in a vehicle east on Route 322 through Egg Harbor Township’s West Atlantic City section, on to Albany Avenue. The vehicle turned south on West End Avenue into Ventnor, returned back to Albany Avenue via West End Avenue, turned east on Albany Avenue, and north on Atlantic Avenue. The pursuit lasted 11 minutes and covered 10.3 miles.
Video captures the chase ending at Missouri and Atlantic Avenues in Atlantic City, at the foot of the AC Expressway, near Tanger Outlets The Walk outdoor shops.
In the video, you can see Watson get out of his moving vehicle and raise his weapon as he opens fire on police. Seconds later, video shows ambush bullets from police.
An autopsy on March 28-29 revealed that Watson sustained a total of 45 gunshot wounds.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Debbie Rodham Wasserman Schultz




Exclusive — Ronna Romney McDaniel: Debbie Wasserman Schultz Must Testify Before Congress on IT Staffer

Andrew Burton/Getty
Washington, D.C. 

McDaniel made the explosive demand in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News via phone on Wednesday afternoon, after news broke Tuesday night that Wasserman Schultz’s IT staffer for more than a decade was caught trying to flee the country by federal law enforcement agents after wiring hundreds of thousands of dollars to Pakistan.

“I think Congress needs to open an investigation into what this staffer had access to, to figure out what information he had on the hard drives he took a hammer to, why he was fleeing the country,” McDaniel told Breitbart News. “There are just so many questions with this individual and his family members who received over $4 million of taxpayer money between 2005 and 2009. We need to get to the bottom of it. It’s very sad that the mainstream media is not talking about this at all. It shows the bias.”

McDaniel specifically called on Wasserman Schultz to be willing to testify before a congressional committee on her knowledge of the matter. It’s unclear if the Florida congresswoman and former party chief—who stepped down at the Democratic National Convention last summer in Philadelphia amid leaks of DNC emails—would be willing to testify. Her spokesman David Damron has not responded to a request for comment when asked if she would be willing to cooperate with an investigation by Congress and testify before a panel about this matter.

“Debbie Wasserman Schultz absolutely needs to testify and explain why this individual was on taxpayer-funded payroll until yesterday, as he was fleeing the country, on top of the fact that they had removed his access to congressional computers in February,” McDaniel said. “So she knew he was under investigation, she knew something was wrong, and she kept him on payroll. So we need to figure out what she knew, why she was protecting this person, and figure out what he did with important government information.”

Federal agents picked up Imran Awan, the Pakistani-born IT vendor for Wasserman Schultz, at the airport attempting to flee the country on Tuesday night. He had just wired hundreds of thousands of dollars to Pakistan in his effort to escape scrutiny. He has been under investigation for some time. The staffer was on Wasserman Schultz’s payroll since 2004 until Tuesday night and was not fired until after he was arrested in an attempt to flee the country.

McDaniel is worried that Awan may have had access to information that not only put America’s national security at risk but may also be relevant to the Russia investigation—something Democrats are not cooperating with anymore.

“Well, first of all, Debbie Wasserman Schultz said when the DNC was hacked that she was going to have her IT guy come and look at what happened,” McDaniel told Breitbart News. “So, we need to figure out what access he had to the DNC servers, what access he had to her personal servers and computers, did she have separate devices for the DNC and her personal and her congressional? We need to have a full big picture as to what access this individual had not just to the congressional but also to the DNC servers.”

McDaniel is also worried about other Democrats—staffers and House and Senate members alike—with whom Awan may have been in contact. She’s calling on all of them to come forward and address this situation transparently now and testify before the relevant committees.

“They should testify to help clear all this up,” McDaniel said. “Let’s look at it, Matt. You have Jared Kushner putting out a statement two days ago and being transparent and compliant with the Senate investigation and the congressional investigation, with bipartisan congress members coming out and saying he did a great job being forthcoming. You have Don, Jr., saying he’s going to comply. You’re seeing Republicans from the Trump administration say ‘we’re going to work with Congress on every aspect of Russia collusion and get to the bottom of it.’ Then you have the Democrat party. They have not turned over their server. They have this individual now trying to flee the country who had access to we don’t know what, certainly the congressional servers and potentially the DNC information, and you don’t hear anything from the Democrat party. So which is it? Do they want to get to the bottom of what happened or do they only want to have a witch hunt against Republicans?”

McDaniel added that Democrats like Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) should be concerned about these revelations and actually begin investigating them rather than spending all their time on television shows making political attacks against President Trump.

“The Democrats are obstructing at every turn,” McDaniel said. “Debbie Wasserman Schultz has obstructed at every turn and protected this staffer even to the point where she threatened a Capitol Hill police officer. There’s something that is curious about their behavior and we need to investigate it and figure out what is happening with the Democrat Party. What is interesting is you see Adam Schiff running for every TV camera—he has done 14 hours of interviews—why doesn’t he focus on his own party and get some answers from them with regards to what they knew with regards to the DNC hack and now this IT person working for Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz and see what access he had to those computers and that information?”

Monday, July 24, 2017

Robots to Replace Most Workers and We Are Doomed (but) We desperately Need More Immigrants from Third World Countries to Expand Our Work Force

REPORT
A key player in the Australian jobs market has warned that the rate at which robots replace humans in the workplace will spark an employment crisis and has urged companies and governments to urgently confront the issue. 
Seek chief executive Andrew Bassat, whose company is one of the world’s largest global online employment marketplaces, said Australian companies were shaping up to be the “losers’’ in an age when threats and opportunities from disruption were challenging every industry.
“My view is that we have enough warning to know that we need to act with urgency to­ ­address this issue and can no longer afford to wait,” Mr Bassat told The Australian.
“Job losses will only accelerate as machines start to be smarter than people, given our brains were seen as the last line of defence. I can’t see new jobs being created in anywhere near the volumes that will make up for the jobs lost. The same examples of new jobs keep being used, like data ­analysts and engineers etc, but I can’t see them being created with anywhere near the volume needed.’’

REPORT

To Be Great Again, America Needs Immigrants


What makes America great?

The standard answers point to qualities that the United States is said to have in greater abundance than its peers in Europe and Japan. There are the innovations that pour out of Silicon Valley companies and elite universities, the flexibility of a work force relatively unconstrained by union rules, the dynamism of entrepreneurs less hamstrung by an oversize welfare state and of a more mobile population willing to move to where the cutting-edge jobs are mushrooming.
In short, the standard innovation theory of American exceptionalism is all about qualities that make each worker more productive. Today, nearly all the economic discussion about how to make America great again focuses on ways — like cutting red tape and taxes — to revive flagging productivity growth.

Though this discussion remains critically important, it plays down a big shift in the story. The underlying growth potential of any economy is shaped not only by productivity, or output per worker, but also by the number of workers entering the labor force. The growth of the labor force is in turn determined mainly by the number of native-born and immigrant working-age people. Over the last two decades, the United States’ advantage in productivity growth has narrowed sharply, while its population advantages, compared with both Europe and Japan, have essentially held steady.

What makes America great is, therefore, less about productivity than about population, less about Google and Stanford than about babies and immigrants.
The growing importance of the population race will be very hard for any political leader to fully digest. Every nation prefers to think of itself as productive in the sense of hard-working and smart, not just fertile. But population is where the real action is.

Comparing six of the leading developed countries — the United States, Germany, Japan, Canada, Australia and Britain — I found that not only has productivity growth been slowing across the board in recent decades, but also that the gaps in productivity growth among these rich nations are narrowing sharply. For example, in the 1990s and 2000s, productivity was growing much faster in the United States than in Germany or Japan, but that advantage has largely disappeared in this decade.

The reasons for this convergence are complex, possibly having to do with the way production technology now spreads quickly across borders. But this trend spans the developed world, and it basically holds regardless of which two countries you compare, which should raise doubts about how any one country, including the United States, can regain a distinct economic advantage by focusing only on reviving productivity.

Which brings us back to babies and immigrants. Like productivity, population growth has been slowing worldwide in recent decades, the big difference being that the gaps among the rich nations are increasingly significant. In the 1960s the United States population growth rate averaged 1.2 percent, or 50 percent higher than Europe’s and about the same as Japan’s. By the late 1960s, population growth peaked worldwide because of the spread of birth control and other cultural shifts, but it has slowed much more gradually in the United States than in its rivals.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Real Russian Scandal: The un-investigated story that involves the Russian President, President Bill Clinton and Secretary Hillary Clinton

Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal





A Uranium One sign that points to a 35,000-acre ranch owned by John Christensen, near the town of Gillette, Wyo. Uranium One has the mining rights to Mr. Christensen’s property. Matthew Staver for The New York Times 

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.


Frank Giustra, right, a mining financier, has donated $31.3 million to the foundation run by former President Bill Clinton, left. Joaquin Sarmiento/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images 

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.

Graphic 

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. 
OPEN Graphic 

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.


Ian Telfer was chairman of Uranium One and made large donations to the Clinton Foundation. Galit Rodan/Bloomberg, via Getty Images 

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.


Bill Clinton met with Vladimir V. Putin in Moscow in 2010. Mikhail Metzel/Associated Press 

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.


Among the Donors to the Clinton Foundation 

$31.3 million and a pledge for $100 million more
He built a company that later merged with Uranium One.
Mining investor who was chairman of Uranium One when an arm of the Russian government, Rosatom, acquired it.
Adviser on 2007 UrAsia-Uranium One merger. Later helped raise $260 million for the company.
Chief Executive of U.S. Global Investors Inc., which held $4.7 million in Uranium One shares in the first quarter of 2011.
Adviser to Uranium One. Founded Endeavour Mining with Mr. Giustra.
Donating portion of profits
Worked on debt issue that raised $260 million for Uranium One.

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.”


President Putin during a meeting with Rosatom’s chief executive, Sergei Kiriyenko, in December 2007.Dmitry Astakhov/Ria Novosti, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images 

“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.


Uranium One’s Russian takeover was approved by the United States while Hillary Rodham Clinton was secretary of state. Doug Mills/The New York Times 

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.”


John Christensen sold the mining rights on his ranch in Wyoming to Uranium One. Matthew Staver for The New York Times 

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.

Moukhtar Dzhakishev was arrested in 2009 while the chief of Kazatomprom. Daniel Acker/Bloomberg, via Getty Images 

“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.

Correction: April 23, 2015 
An earlier version of this article misstated, in one instance, the surname of a fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is Peter Schweizer, not Schweitzer.
An earlier version also incorrectly described the Clinton Foundation’s agreement with the Obama administration regarding foreign-government donations while Hillary Rodham Clinton was secretary of state. Under the agreement, the foundation would not accept new donations from foreign governments, though it could seek State Department waivers in specific cases. It was not barred from accepting all foreign-government donations.

Correction: April 30, 2015 
An article on Friday about contributions to the Clinton Foundation from people associated with a Canadian uranium-mining company described incorrectly the foundation’s agreement with the Obama administration regarding foreign-government donations while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state. Under the agreement, the foundation would not accept new donations from foreign governments, though it could seek State Department waivers in specific cases. The foundation was not barred from accepting all foreign-government donations.