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FBI uncovered Russian bribery plot before Obama administration approved controversial nuclear deal with Moscow



Before the Obama administration approved a controversial deal in 2010 giving Moscow control of a large swath of American uranium, the FBI had gathered substantial evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States, according to government documents and interviews.

Federal agents used a confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather extensive financial records, make secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009 that showed Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FBI and court documents show.

They also obtained an eyewitness account — backed by documents — indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow, sources told The Hill.

The racketeering scheme was conducted “with the consent of higher level officials” in Russia who “shared the proceeds” from the kickbacks, one agent declared in an affidavit years later.


Rather than bring immediate charges in 2010, however, the Department of Justice (DOJ) continued investigating the matter for nearly four more years, essentially leaving the American public and Congress in the dark about Russian nuclear corruption on U.S. soil during a period when the Obama administration made two major decisions benefiting Putin’s commercial nuclear ambitions.The first decision occurred in October 2010, when the State Department and government agencies on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States unanimously approved the partial sale of Canadian mining company Uranium One to the Russian nuclear giant Rosatom, giving Moscow control of more than 20 percent of America’s uranium supply.

When this sale was used by Trump on the campaign trail last year, Hillary Clinton’s spokesman said she was not involved in the committee review and noted the State Department official who handled it said she “never intervened … on any [Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States] matter.”

In 2011, the administration gave approval for Rosatom’s Tenex subsidiary to sell commercial uranium to U.S. nuclear power plants in a partnership with the United States Enrichment Corp. Before then, Tenex had been limited to selling U.S. nuclear power plants reprocessed uranium recovered from dismantled Soviet nuclear weapons under the 1990s Megatons to Megawatts peace program.

“The Russians were compromising American contractors in the nuclear industry with kickbacks and extortion threats, all of which raised legitimate national security concerns. And none of that evidence got aired before the Obama administration made those decisions,” a person who worked on the case told The Hill, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution by U.S. or Russian officials.

The Obama administration’s decision to approve Rosatom’s purchase of Uranium One has been a source of political controversy since 2015. That’s when conservative author Peter Schweitzer and The New York Times documented how Bill Clinton collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in Russian speaking fees and his charitable foundation collected millions in donations from parties interested in the deal while Hillary Clinton presided on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

The Obama administration and the Clintons defended their actions at the time, insisting there was no evidence that any Russians or donors engaged in wrongdoing and there was no national security reason for any member of the committee to oppose the Uranium One deal.

But FBI, Energy Department and court documents reviewed by The Hill show the FBI in fact had gathered substantial evidence well before the committee’s decision that Vadim Mikerin — the main Russian overseeing Putin’s nuclear expansion inside the United States — was engaged in wrongdoing starting in 2009.

Then-Attorney General Eric Holder was among the Obama administration officials joining Hillary Clinton on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States at the time the Uranium One deal was approved. Multiple current and former government officials told The Hill they did not know whether the FBI or DOJ ever alerted committee members to the criminal activity they uncovered.

Spokesmen for Holder and Clinton did not return calls seeking comment. The Justice Department also didn’t comment.

Mikerin was a director of Rosatom’s Tenex in Moscow since the early 2000s, where he oversaw Rosatom’s nuclear collaboration with the United States under the Megatons to Megwatts program and its commercial uranium sales to other countries. In 2010, Mikerin was dispatched to the U.S. on a work visa approved by the Obama administration to open Rosatom’s new American arm called Tenam.

Between 2009 and January 2012, Mikerin “did knowingly and willfully combine, conspire confederate and agree with other persons … to obstruct, delay and affect commerce and the movement of an article and commodity (enriched uranium) in commerce by extortion,” a November 2014 indictment stated.

His illegal conduct was captured with the help of a confidential witness, an American businessman, who began making kickback payments at Mikerin’s direction and with the permission of the FBI. The first kickback payment recorded by the FBI through its informant was dated Nov. 27, 2009, the records show.

In evidentiary affidavits signed in 2014 and 2015, an Energy Department agent assigned to assist the FBI in the case testified that Mikerin supervised a “racketeering scheme” that involved extortion, bribery, money laundering and kickbacks that were both directed by and provided benefit to more senior officials back in Russia.

“As part of the scheme, Mikerin, with the consent of higher level officials at TENEX and Rosatom (both Russian state-owned entities) would offer no-bid contracts to US businesses in exchange for kickbacks in the form of money payments made to some offshore banks accounts,” Agent David Gadren testified.

“Mikerin apparently then shared the proceeds with other co-conspirators associated with TENEX in Russia and elsewhere,” the agent added.

The investigation was ultimately supervised by then-U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, an Obama appointee who now serves as President Trump’s deputy attorney general, and then-Assistant FBI Director Andrew McCabe, now the deputy FBI director under Trump, Justice Department documents show.

Both men now play a key role in the current investigation into possible, but still unproven, collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s campaign during the 2016 election cycle. McCabe is under congressional and Justice Department inspector general investigation in connection with money his wife’s Virginia state Senate campaign accepted in 2015 from now-Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe at a time when McAuliffe was reportedly under investigation by the FBI.

The connections to the current Russia case are many. The Mikerin probe began in 2009 when Robert Mueller, now the special counsel in charge of the Trump case, was still FBI director. And it ended in late 2015 under the direction of then-FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump fired earlier this year.

Its many twist and turns aside, the FBI nuclear industry case proved a gold mine, in part because it uncovered a new Russian money laundering apparatus that routed bribe and kickback payments through financial instruments in Cyprus, Latvia and Seychelles. A Russian financier in New Jersey was among those arrested for the money laundering, court records show.

The case also exposed a serious national security breach: Mikerin had given a contract to an American trucking firm called Transport Logistics International that held the sensitive job of transporting Russia’s uranium around the United States in return for more than $2 million in kickbacks from some of its executives, court records show.

One of Mikerin’s former employees told the FBI that Tenex officials in Russia specifically directed the scheme to “allow for padded pricing to include kickbacks,” agents testified in one court filing.

Bringing down a major Russian nuclear corruption scheme that had both compromised a sensitive uranium transportation asset inside the U.S. and facilitated international money laundering would seem a major feather in any law enforcement agency’s cap. But the Justice Department and FBI took little credit in 2014 when Mikerin, the Russian financier and the trucking firm executives were arrested and charged. The only public statement occurred a year later when the Justice Department put out a little-noticed press release in August 2015, just days before Labor Day. The release noted that the various defendants had reached plea deals.

By that time, the criminal cases against Mikerin had been narrowed to a single charge of money laundering for a scheme that officials admitted stretched from 2004 to 2014. And though agents had evidence of criminal wrongdoing they collected since at least 2009, federal prosecutors only cited in the plea agreement a handful of transactions that occurred in 2011 and 2012, well after the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United State’s approval.

The final court case also made no mention of any connection to the influence peddling conversations the FBI undercover informant witnessed about the Russian nuclear officials trying to ingratiate themselves with the Clintons even though agents had gathered documents showing the transmission of millions of dollars from Russia’s nuclear industry to an American entity that had provided assistance to Bill Clinton’s foundation, sources confirmed to The Hill.

The lack of fanfare left many key players in Washington with no inkling that a major Russian nuclear corruption scheme with serious national security implications had been uncovered.

On Dec. 15, 2015, the Justice Department put out a release stating that Mikerin, “a former Russian official residing in Maryland was sentenced today to 48 months in prison” and ordered to forfeit more than $2.1 million.

Ronald Hosko, who served as the assistant FBI director in charge of criminal cases when the investigation was underway, told The Hill he did not recall ever being briefed about Mikerin’s case by the counterintelligence side of the bureau despite the criminal charges that were being lodged.

“I had no idea this case was being conducted,” a surprised Hosko said in an interview.

Likewise, major congressional figures were also kept in the dark.

Former Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), who chaired the House Intelligence Committee during the time the FBI probe was being conducted, told The Hill that he had never been told anything about the Russian nuclear corruption case even though many fellow lawmakers had serious concerns about the Obama administration’s approval of the Uranium One deal.

“Not providing information on a corruption scheme before the Russian uranium deal was approved by U.S. regulators and engage appropriate congressional committees has served to undermine U.S. national security interests by the very people charged with protecting them,” he said. “The Russian efforts to manipulate our American political enterprise is breathtaking.”

Indictment Affidavit by M Mali on Scribd


Warrant Affidavit by M Mali on Scribd



Mikerin Plea Deal by M Mali on Scribd

New Guam threat as North Korea still weighs powerful hydrogen test over Pacific

Reported by  |

New Guam threat as North Korea weighs powerful test over Pacific

Once again, North Korea on Friday raised the threat to launch a ballistic missile toward the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam. It still hasn’t followed through on another threat: to conduct an atmospheric hydrogen bomb test.

The new Guam threat comes ahead of planned U.S.-South Korean joint maritime exercises scheduled to start next week in the Asia-Pacific region. A Navy statement issued Thursday indicated exercises will include the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and at least two destroyer vessels.

In August, the North’s state-run KCNA news agency said the regime was “seriously examining … an enveloping strike at Guam.” The same propaganda outlet renewed the threat Friday against Guam, home to U.S. military bases with an estimated 6,000 troops. 

Then, last month North Korea’s foreign minister told reporters the regime’s leader, Kim Jong Un, was considering “the most powerful detonation of an H-bomb” in the Pacific. It followed Trump’s first address to the United Nations general assembly Sept. 19 in which he said the U.S. and its allies were prepared to “totally destroy” North Korea.

“If North Korea puts a nuclear warhead on the tip of a missile and explodes it over the Pacific, that would be the most provocative action North Korea could take short of starting a war,” said Kelsey Davenport, director for nonproliferation policy at the Arms Control Association, a nonpartisan disarmament group based in Washington.

Some experts see both the Guam and atmospheric hydrogen bomb test threats as bluster.

“I do not think the North Koreans now are going to make any provocative moves probably for the next month or so,” said Harry Kazianis, director of defense studies at the Center for the National Interest, a think tank founded by former President Richard Nixon. “Reason why is with President Trump putting so much pressure on Iran, the North Koreans are very smart to let the Iranians take the heat sort of in the international arena now.”

Students sit on the World War II remnants of a torpedo at Asan Memorial Park on the island of Guam, a U.S. Pacific Territory, August 11, 2017.

Kazianis added, “They would be very foolish to do anything on Guam or anything else. They might make threats. But I don’t think they’ll do any missile or nuclear tests in the short to immediate future.”

For its part, the Pentagon remains steadfast in its commitment to handle any threats against Guam.

“U.S. Pacific Command forces always maintain a high state of readiness and have capabilities to counter any threat to Guam, to include those from North Korea,” Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Christopher Logan told CNBC in an email statement Friday.

Meantime, if the North Korean leader does go ahead with the hydrogen bomb test above the Pacific some experts believe it would spur President Donald Trump to push for regime change in Pyongyang.

The U.S. conducted nuclear weapon testing in the Pacific from 1946 until 1962. The last such test, a 1.45 megaton weapon at high altitude some 900 miles from Honolulu, was dubbed Starfish Prime and roughly 70 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The 1962 blast produced a light flash seen throughout Hawaii, damaged power lines and generated enough intensity to trigger burglar alarms.

Still, the most powerful nuclear weapon test conducted by the U.S. was at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands in 1954 and code-named Castle Bravo. Its yield was estimated at 15 megatons, about 1,000 times larger than the 1945 Hiroshima bomb.

Radioactive fallout from the 1954 test spread over 11,000 square kilometers, or nearly 4,300 square miles, according to Davenport. She said it’s unlikely North Korea would test a weapon with the scale of the Castle Bravo explosion, which had the force of 15 million tons of TNT.

In September, North Korea conducted its sixth underground nuclear test, which produced a magnitude 6.1 earthquake. Initial yield estimates of about 150 kilotons were later revised upward to 250 kilotons (or 250,000 tons of TNT).

“It’s been decades since the last explosion in the atmosphere,” said Davenport. “There’s a reason why there was a push to ban explosions in the atmosphere before the push to completely eliminate nuclear testing took off,” said Davenport. “And that’s because the effects are so much more dangerous than underground testing.”

The Partial Test Ban Treaty signed in 1963 between the U.S., Soviet Union and Britain prohibited nuclear tests in the atmosphere, underwater and outer space. More than 100 countries joined the treaty as signatories but not North Korea nor its key ally China.

Experts point out that radioactive fallout from a North Korean atmospheric nuclear blast would depend on the size of the detonated device, the location where it explodes, wind patterns and a number of other environmental factors.

Regardless, there’s the potential for radioactive particles to be carried long distances in the air that could reach the U.S. West Coast.

“If radioactive particles became entrained in the jet stream winds, they could be transported toward the east quite quickly — the strongest winds in a jet stream can be over 200 miles per hour,” said Peter Jackson, an environmental science professor at the University of Northern British Columbia.

Jackson also explained that material from the nuclear blast could linger in the stratosphere for a long time similar to particle-size distributions from major volcano eruptions. Indeed, particles from significant volcanic events have been observed in the stratosphere for several years following eruptions.

“The fallout for a detonation in the atmosphere, or even on land, can move across the Pacific in a few days to a week,” said Ken Buesseler, marine radiochemist with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Massachusetts.

In the case of Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power facility disaster in 2011, Buesseler said it took “less than a week” for winds to blow the radioactivity to California. “You could detect that in San Francisco and other West Coast monitoring stations,” he said.

To be clear, even Fukushima-related radiation detected in the Western U.S. was not deemed to be at levels posing a health risk.

Similarly, if North Korea goes ahead with the atmospheric test in the Pacific there likely will be radioactive particles detected from California to states in other regions.

“If they set something off as an airburst in the middle of the Pacific, we can detect it here in New York and probably in Europe,” said Andrew Karam, a radiation safety expert consultant who has advised corporations and government agencies. “But that doesn’t mean that it’s dangerous.”

Either way, it’s unclear if North Korea would provide advance notice of any nuclear test in the atmosphere to reduce the danger to aircraft and ships.

The communist state failed to alert the world before it launched a Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile on July 28 that splashed down in the Sea of Japan. The missile test reportedly had a close call with an Air France passenger jet that had just passed the splashdown location.

Previous ballistic missile tests by the regime didn’t use active nuclear bombs. So the threat to use such a weapon for a test over the Pacific raises the stakes and the possibility of a nightmare scenario if something goes wrong.

For example, the nuclear-armed missile fired from North Korea could veer off course into a neighboring country and cause the unthinkable: detonation in a populated area.

“The risks are astronomical,” said Kazianis. “We don’t know for certain the amount of safety measures that they’ve worked into these weapons. If you talk about the United States or Russia, there are safeguards. So you might have an accidental war start by the North Koreans actually trying to test one of these things.”

Over a Million Poles Gather to Pray for their Country, Mainstream Media calls it Islamophobic

Reported By Onan Coca | October 11, 2017

The USS Ronald Reagan Just Got Its Orders… “Rocket Man” Is Gonna Be Ticked


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The USS Ronald Reagan just got orders, and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is not going to be happy about them.

The Yonhap News Agency reported Sunday that the Navy is moving the aircraft carrier to the Korean Peninsula, where it will conduct training drills with the USS Carl Vinson, according an unnamed defense official.

The joint drills carried out by the two carriers are to “detect, track and intercept the North’s ballistic missiles, in addition to anti-submarine warfare training,” the official told Yonhap.

“We are in consultations (with the U.S.) on a plan for the aircraft strike group led by the nuclear-powered USS Ronald Reagan to operate in the East Sea around Oct. 15,” Yonhap reported.

“The Reagan will likely be accompanied by several other warships belonging to the strike group, such as an Aegis destroyer, a guided-missile cruiser and a nuclear-powered submarine,” the report continued.

A U.S. Forces Korea official said the training would occur around Oct. 20, adding that an exact schedule had not been set. The official also said that the joint drill was “prearranged” and not a response to the growing tensions with North Korea.

Rear Admiral Marc Dalton, commander of the Reagan’s strike group, told the South China Morning Post the development was to keep the military ready to defend U.S. allies as well as maintain stability in the area.

“The United States has been very clear about leveraging all options in order to get North Korea to change its path,” Dalton said.

Kim must be getting a little nervous with this latest show of military might. We will have to wait and see how he responds to a group of warships just outside his back door.

H/T American Military News


Written by Thomas Holmes on November 3, 2015

Everybody’s favorite militant and oppressive- yet somehow peace-loving- cult of religious immigrants is back in the news. Last week, we reported on things getting serious in the U.K., today it’s all about Great Brit’s former colony of criminals, Australia. Yep, after escaping to Down Under and western freedom, a glut of Islamists now declare that Australia has no right to ask Muslims to sing their national anthem or value the democratic principles of western citizenship.

This, according to Islamic activist group, Hizb-ut-Tahrir, which is campaigning against Australia because they believe the country is enforcing democratic values and a “disputed view” of history which contradicts Islamic beliefs.

“Requiring schoolchildren to sing the national anthem, and the citizenship pledge supporting democratic values, are a part of an oppressive campaign by Australian authorities of ‘forced assimilation’ of the Muslim community”.

Hizb-ut-Tahrir spokesman, Unthman Badar

Well, if there’s one culture that knows a thing or two about “forced assimilation” it would be Islam. Mr. Badar goes on to insist that this supposed oppression is due to an “exaggerated fear of a security threat”. Yeah, because someone who represents a belief system with a history of violence while giving the finger to democracy from inside your own borders is a totally absurd thing to be concerned about. Personally, I think Mr. Badar is just ticked off because he thinks the government got their indoctrination process started before he could start his.

Getting back to the whole national anthem quibble, Mr. Badar asks, “If you don’t share those values, why should they [Muslim children] be forced to sing it?” Believe it or not, Mr. Badar does veer into a valid question, although he mistakenly thinks it lends credence to his argument. If our western leaders would take a second to remove their heads from a certain sun-less location they might realize what this question actually implies: If Muslims don’t share our values, why would they want to migrate to democratic countries? If they reject democracy in favor of continued Muslim/Sharia culture, are they really “fleeing” from that society at all? Why would we want people like that inside our borders? 

Mr. Badar makes another crucial point when he states, “The attempt to reform Islam is doomed to failure.” Truer words have never been spoken. Sharia living is inseparable from Islam as any Muslim who admits to living under the Quran will tell you. The so-called western Muslims are keeping quiet about all these “Bad Muslims” either because they’re in abject denial about true Islam, in outright disobedience – which would be a death sentence – or are secretly supportive. Either way, it’s past time western leaders took a page out of Islam’s dedication and started identifying liberty-centric principles to stand up for exactly what democracy is and… is not. Anyone who wants to stand on our side of the line is welcome, anyone who doesn’t can go back home and rape your own women and embrace global hate.

Read more:  Pamela Geller


State Department Rejects Erdogan’s Plan For Releasing American Pastor Jailed On Bogus Charges [VIDEO]

Reported by Photo of Chuck Ross Chuck Ross | Reporter | 12:12 AM 09/29/2017


The State Department poured cold water on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s proposal to swap an American pastor jailed in his country for Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim cleric living in exile in the U.S.

“I can’t imagine that we would go down that road,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said during a press briefing on Thursday.

Nauert was responding to a question about Erdogan’s surprise admission earlier in the day that his government would release Pastor Andrew Brunson from jail if the U.S. extradited Gulen, his main political foe. (RELATED: Erdogan Admits Using Jailed American Pastor As Bargaining Chip Against U.S.)

“The U.S. wants a pastor from us. You have a pastor of your own; you give him to us, then we return pastor to you,” Erdogan told a group of police officers at the presidential palace in Ankara on Thursday.


Erdogan accuses Gulen, his former ally, of masterminding last July’s failed coup attempt. He has pleaded with Presidents Trump and Obama to extradite Gulen, who lives in self-exile in Pennsylvania. The U.S. government has so far rebuffed the requests.

Brunson, a North Carolina native, has been in jail on bogus terrorism charges since Oct. 7. He was initially arrested along with his wife, though she has since been released. Turkish authorities have not laid out a case against Brunson, who has been accused in Turkish media of being a follower of Gulen, a sympathizer of Kurdish radicals, and a CIA operative. Gulen’s network of followers and the Kurdish separatist group PKK are both considered terrorist groups in Turkey.

“We continue to advocate for his release. He was wrongfully imprisoned in Turkey, and we’d like to see him brought home,” Nauert said Thursday.


Nauert said that U.S. diplomats have stayed in touch with Brunson, who operated a small Christian church in the coastal city of Izmir. She revealed that Brunson was last visited on Sept. 18.

“This is a very serious issue for us trying to get Pastor Brunson to home. This is a subject that President Trump had raised with President Erdogan not too terribly too long ago,” said Nauert.

Trump and Sec. of State Rex Tillerson have both pressed Erdogan to release Brunson. Erdogan brought up the issue with Trump during a meeting last week. Erdogan was in New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly.

Nauert said she had no updates to offer on the extradition request for Gulen. Despite Erdogan’s lobbying of his American counterparts, Trump and Obama, the process of removing the cleric would go through the federal court system. The Justice Department, which would handle any extradition move, has refused to comment on Gulen.


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Ghanaian Migrant Who Raped Camping German in Front of Her Boyfriend Calls Victim a ‘Prostitute’

Reported by Virginia Hale | 28 Sep 2017


WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/Frank Brehm/Bonn Police

The Ghanaian migrant accused of raping a German student whilst threatening to kill her boyfriend if he intervened has branded his victim a “prostitute” in court.

Identified only as Eric X. in local media, the failed asylum seeker is accused of raping the 23-year-old victim in a meadow near Bonn, after slashing the camping couple’s tent with a machete and demanding their valuables.

The pair handed over six euros and a portable set of speakers, before hearing their assailant tell the woman, “Come out, bitch. I wanna f*** you,” in English  — threatening to kill her 26-year-old boyfriend if he tried to prevent the assault.

Defying the advice of his lawyers to stay silent, the Ghanaian railed against his victims — who local media report to be heavily traumatised by the attack  — during his appearance at a district court in Bonn.

“I do not understand why I should be silent about a case I don’t know anything about,” he said, before lashing out at Judge Eumann for noting that the defendant’s DNA was an exact match to that found on the victim.

“If the court says that this is my DNA, then I must call the girl a prostitute,” Eric X. cried out, shackles rattling as he gesticulated wildly, according to Die Welt. 

“Anyone who supports this girl who claims she was raped is the dirtiest man on earth,” he added.

The court also heard Eric X. embark on a “long-winded narrative” about his life in Ghana, during which he was repeatedly told by the judge to “get to the point”.

According to the accused, his father owned several cocoa plants and “was like a king” in the African country.

“He had a lot of money and was very well known. In Ghana, a king can have as many women as he wants, if he can take care of them,” he told the court.

The suspect was arrested soon after the attack in nearby Siegburg after a man recognised him from a composite picture of the rapist that was released by German police.

It later emerged that Eric X. could have been deported since March 17th, when his application for asylum was rejected. Just 10 days before the attack, he was informed by authorities that he faced deportation to Italy, where he first filed an asylum claim.

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