Washington, D.C. — According to a written statement to three congressional committees, an FBI informant associated with the Uranium One deal alleged that the Russian government sent millions of dollars to the United States with the expectation the funds would bolster former president Bill Clinton’s Clinton Global Initiative, and that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would oversee a “reset” in the relationship between the U.S. and Russia.
The Hill reports that FBI informant Douglas Campbell told the committees that he had been informed by Russian nuclear executives that Russia had hired US lobbying firm APCO Worldwide due to their “position to influence the Obama administration, and more specifically Hillary Clinton.”
Campbell said in the statement, which was obtained by The Hill, that Russian nuclear officials “told me at various times that they expected APCO to apply a portion of the $3 million annual lobbying fee it was receiving from the Russians to provide in-kind support for the Clintons’ Global Initiative.”
“The contract called for four payments of $750,000 over twelve months. APCO was expected to give assistance free of charge to the Clinton Global Initiative as part of their effort to create a favorable environment to ensure the Obama administration made affirmative decisions on everything from Uranium One to the U.S.-Russia Civilian Nuclear Cooperation agreement.”
An APCO official denied that there was any connection between its work for Russia and the Clinton Global Initiative, claiming that any assertions of misconduct were “false and unfounded.”
“APCO Worldwide’s activities involving client work on behalf of Tenex and The Clinton Global Initiative were totally separate and unconnected in any way,” APCO told The Hill in a statement. “All actions on these two unconnected activities were appropriate, publicly documented from the outset and consistent with regulations and the law. Any assertion otherwise is false and unfounded.”
Democrats have turned Campbell’s testimony into a partisan affair, calling the FBI informant’s credibility into question, despite the bureau paying him $50,000 for his work with the agency.
Nick Merrill, a spokesman for Hillary Clinton, dismissed Campbell’s testimony as a distraction from the special prosecutor’s “Russian collusion” investigation, which some have claimed began as a strategy formed by the Clinton campaign staff to explain Clinton’s stunning election loss to Trump.
“Just yesterday the committee made clear that this secret informant charade was just that, a charade. Along with the widely debunked text-message-gate and Nunes’ embarrassing memo episode, we have a trifecta of GOP-manufactured scandals designed to distract from their own President’s problems and the threat to democracy he poses,” Merrill said.
A Clinton campaign post-election tell-all, Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign, claimed that Clinton blamed Russian interference for her election loss to Donald Trump “within twenty-four hours of her concession speech”:
“That strategy had been set within twenty-four hours of her concession speech. Mook and Podesta assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up. For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument.”
Despite attempts from Democrats to call Campbell’s credibility into question, Republicans are now looking at expanding the investigation into Russian corruption, in relation to the Obama administration and the Uranium One deal, based partially on Campbell’s testimony.
“My FBI handlers praised my work. They told me on various occasions that details from the undercover probe had been briefed directly to FBI top officials. On two occasions my handlers were particularly excited, claiming that my undercover work had been briefed to President Obama as part of his daily presidential briefing,” Campbell wrote.
According to reporting from The Hill:
“Campbell, whose work as an informant was first disclosed in a series of stories published last fall by The Hill, helped the FBI gather evidence as early as 2009 that the Russian nuclear industry was engaged in a kickback, bribery and racketeering scheme on U.S. soil. The criminal scheme, among other things, compromised the U.S. trucking firm that had the sensitive job of transporting uranium around America, Campbell testified.
Campbell says he provided the FBI the evidence of wrongdoing months before the Obama administration approved a series of favorable decisions that enriched Rosatom, including the CFIUS decision.
The Hill’s stories last fall prompted the Justice Department to take the rare step of freeing Campbell from his nondisclosure agreement as an intelligence asset so he could testify to Congress about what he witnessed inside Russia’s nuclear industry.
Campbell gave the congressional committees documents he said he provided to his FBI handlers in 2010 showing that the Russian and American executives implicated in the Tenex bribery scheme specifically asked him to try to help get the Uranium One deal approved by the Obama administration.”
Campbell’s testimony is of interest to congressional Republicans focused on potential indiscretion in the Obama administration’s approval of the Uranium One deal. The agreement gave Russian mining giant Rosatom control of nearly 20 percent of America’s uranium mining capacity, despite the fact that the United States imports more than 90 percent of the uranium used in its nuclear reactors, according to U.S. government figures from 2016.