The Obama-Era Uranium Investigation by the CFIUS Unfolds: What We Know Now

by: The Knowledge Group

November 06, 2017


As some of our readers are aware, among the high-profile investigations from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) is a probe of an Obama-era nuclear bribery case.

Here’s what we know about the case so far:

  • The Senate Judiciary Committee, observing that by 2009 the FBI already had evidence of racketeering by Russian nuclear officials, is pressing ten U.S. agencies involved in uranium approvals to disclose whether they knew about that evidence before a 2010 federal approval of a uranium sale to the Russian company Rosatom.
  • Committee chair Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has pointed out in public hearings that the U.S. Department of Justice was investigating Russian officials for extortion, bribery, and money laundering activities pertinent to Rosatom’s purchase of Uranium One.
  • Notwithstanding the federal criminal investigation, a fifth of U.S. uranium mining capacity was transferred to Rosatom, broadening President Putin’s access to the atomic energy industry on U.S. soil.
  • In 2014, the Department of Justice pressed charges. By then, the CFIUS, comprising multiple federal agencies, had approved Rosatom’s purchase of Uranium One, the Canadian mining company that controlled 20% of U.S. uranium.
  • CFIUS members during the sale included the Obama administration’s Attorney General Eric Holder Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and The Hill made a point of noting that Bill Clinton had received donations and honoraria from parties in Russia with interests in the deal’s approval.

What Happens Next?

Watch for Washington to oppose takeovers encompassing technologies with security applications. Change is underway, and it is vital for U.S. and international firms to observe these developments as they happen.

The Knowledge Group will present a webcast of interest on Wednesday, Nov. 15 at lunchtime. Whether your focus in continuing professional education is mainly on business law, compliance, or international investment, you’ll find the webcast “CFIUS Under the New Administration: Uncovering Significant Developments” valuable.

Joining us will be Dr. Bijan Kasraie, founding member of Kasraie & Fodor, LLC., and Mark V. Heusel of Dickinson Wright. They will consider the tensions between international commerce and national security.

Explore what current developments could mean to you, or any firm with which you might do business. Click here for webcast details.