The Department of Justice cleared the FBI informant – who brought the Uranium One scandal roaring back into national headlines with his claim, through his lawyer, to have information about the Clinton Foundation’s role – to testify before Congress Wednesday night.
The informant worked undercover to investigate bribery and intrigue in the Russian nuclear industry during the Obama administration and was, until Wednesday, bound by a gag order from speaking about what he knew.
According to sources at the Department of Justice, the informant is now cleared to testify about a wide range of issues including, specifically, the Clinton Foundation. In a statement, DOJ spokesman Ian Prior told media outlets:
As of tonight, the Department of Justice has authorized the informant to disclose to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, as well as one member of each of their staffs, any information or documents he has concerning alleged corruption or bribery involving transactions in the uranium market, including but not limited to anything related to Vadim Mikerin, Rosatom, Tenex, Uranium One, or the Clinton Foundation.
It is not yet clear what type of hearing will come from the DOJ’s decsion, but congressional leaders like Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) had made clear they hoped the informant could testify.
In a letter to Victoria Toensing, the informant’s lawyer, Grassley wrote:
[T]he reporting indicates that your client can testify that “FBI agents made comments to him suggesting political pressure was exerted during the Justice Department probe” and “that there was specific evidence that could have scuttled approval of the Uranium One deal.”
The informant story broke last week when Toensing came to The Hill with her clients story of bribery in the Uranium One-Rosatom deal. Among other things, she claimed, “the Obama Justice Department threatened him with loss of freedom. They said they would bring a criminal case against him for violating an NDA.”
Uranium One, a company that controlled roughly one-fifth of American uranium production, was sold to a Russian nuclear consortium, Rosatom, in 2013, after approval by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), chaired by then-Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and including then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then-Attorney General Eric Holder.