As the investigation into possible Trump-Russia collusion continues throughout the White House, a source outside Washington has testified to a scandal which reverts back to the former administration.
FBI informant Douglas Campbell told Congress in a written testimony Wednesday that Russian nuclear officials admitted hiring American lobbying firm APCO Worldwide in the hopes of influencing relations with the U.S during the Obama administration.
According to The Washington Examiner, the goal was to get former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to “reset” the fragile relations between the U.S. and Russia, with funds going to support former President Bill Clinton’s charity efforts as well.
“The contract called for four payments of $750,000 over twelve months,” Campbell stated in regards to the deal while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State.
“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,” Campbell added.
The testimony took place before staff from the Senate Judiciary, House Intelligence, and House Oversight, and Government Reform committees, though the details have been starkly denied.
“All actions on these two unconnected activities were appropriate, publicly documented from the outset and consistent with regulations and the law,” APCO told The Hill, arguing its innocence in the testimony. “Any assertion otherwise is false and unfounded.”
The company added that, though the Russia lobbying did not involve Uranium One, it did focus on regulatory issues geared towards assisting Russia to become a stronger competitor in nuclear fuel contracts within the U.S.
Clinton spokesperson Nick Merill added that the testimony is just another way for White House officials to distract from the Trump-Russia investigation currently bearing down on Washington.
Many Democrats are pushing for the transcript to be released publicly, with some going after Campbell’s credibility and have accused the right-wing lawmakers of making “wild claims” about Campbell as well as Uranium One.
In a letter by Democrat Reps. Elijah Cummings and Adam Schiff, the officials asserted that they “could not trust” Campbell during his time as an FBI informant while also claiming that there had been “no allegations of impropriety or illegality” regarding the former Secretary of State.
Yet, in addition to the written testimony and interviews, Campbell holds firm to the accusations, with many Republicans are now looking to use the former informant’s allegations for their own investigation into relations between Russia and the U.S. during the Obama administration.
Campbell accused officials within the former administration of making decisions that directly benefitted the nuclear industry in Russia, which allegedly led to them seeking to build a monopoly in the global uranium market.
The former informant wrote that foreign executives “boasted” during their “vodka-fueled meetings” about how “weak the U.S. government was in giving away uranium business,” and how they were confident Russia would soon get the advantage over the U.S. in the uranium market.
“I expressed these concerns repeatedly to my FBI handlers,” Campbell said. “The response I got was that politics was somehow involved.”
Campbell also admitted to lawmakers that he gave the FBI “documentary proof that officials in Moscow were obtaining restricted copies of IAEA compliance reports on Iranian nuclear inspections, a discovery that appeared to deeply concern my handlers.”
Though most of his account involved matters of intelligence, Campbell also detailed the harrowing toll the double-life of undercover work took on him, especially during his bouts with cancer — though the FBI ultimately praised his work.
“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,” he stated. “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.”
Through it all, however, Campbell remains concerned over the former administration allowing so many decisions to benefit the Russian nuclear industry when evidence of wrongdoing — and ill intent toward the U.S. — was so clear.
“I was frustrated watching the U.S. government make numerous decisions benefiting Rosatom and Tenex while those entities were engaged in serious criminal conduct on U.S. soil,” he stated, adding that both were making billions while indulging in extortion, threats, and kickbacks.
But Campbell states he never got a satisfactory answer from those he reported to.
“I asked how it was possible CFIUS would approve the Uranium One sale when the FBI could prove Rosatom was engaged in criminal conduct,” Campbell recalled. “His answer: ‘Ask your politics.'”
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