The short version is that Hillary Clinton’s State Department signed off on a deal that handed Russia a perpetual chunk of America’s uranium resources and benefited foreign megadonors to the Clinton Foundation, all while the Clinton Foundation accepted multiple megadonations from those very same foreign megadonors.
The long version is exactly the same as the short version, with names, dates, timelines and dollar amounts rounding out the details.
About those dollar amounts — they’re huge. While Clinton officially remained separate from the Clinton Foundation for the window of time when she served as president Obama’s secretary of state, the foundation accepted $2.35 million from the uranium deal’s foreign brokers. Bill Clinton, meanwhile, accepted another $500,000 from a Russian bank linked to the deal as payment for a speaking engagement in Moscow.
The New York Times, giddy in the conviction that it has itself a real story, fleshed out with real facts, published a narrative of these exchanges in a stylized, page-turner-type article Thursday that borrows heavily from the reporting of author Peter Schweizer.
The NYT story is indeed long and detailed, but here’s the setup:
At the heart of the tale are several men, leaders of the Canadian mining industry, who have been major donors to the charitable endeavors of former President Bill Clinton and his family. Members of that group built, financed and eventually sold off to the Russians a company that would become known as Uranium One.
Beyond mines in Kazakhstan that are among the most lucrative in the world, the sale gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States. Since uranium is considered a strategic asset, with implications for national security, the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of United States government agencies. Among the agencies that eventually signed off was the State Department, then headed by Mr. Clinton’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.
And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.
At the time, both Rosatom and the United States government made promises intended to ease concerns about ceding control of the company’s assets to the Russians. Those promises have been repeatedly broken, records show.
Schweizer’s name has been in the news a lot this week, as several media outlets have teased their standing commitments to delve more deeply into revelations uncovered in his forthcoming book, “Clinton Cash.” Pro-Hillary detractors who’ve attempted to throw barbs at Schweizer’s alleged partisan motives were thrown a curve of their own Thursday, when several sources reported that he’s planning another book that focuses on Jeb Bush.
Republican presidential hopefuls have pounced on the stories so far put forward by Schweizer (even as the book awaits publication) and by media affiliates, like NYT, that have signed on for followup reporting.
But Hillary’s GOP adversaries face the same challenge they routinely face when attempting to message Hillary’s tedious, wordy and bureaucratically arcane scandals and alleged crimes: Hillary’s wrongdoing, while egregious, is hopelessly bogged down by miles of paper trails and data that defy sound-bite encapsulation and elude a ready appreciation from the general, media-consuming public.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) may have achieved a measure of success with his relatively succinct restatement of this latest scandal, telling Breitbart Thursday why Americans should be alarmed, and why the allegations against Clinton suggest a motive that makes her highly unfit to seek elected office (at least in the United States). Paul accomplished this by calling on our current president to recognize that her alleged actions warrant an investigation.
“If I were President Obama, I would want to know what other potential deals was she in charge of where she received donations to the foundation during the same period of time,” he said. “Really it is a question — there is a sense of impropriety, or an appearance of impropriety here, where they’re accepting money from shareholders of a company that was then sold to the Russians at the same time. So I just don’t see any reason why the Clinton Foundation should be accepting any money from foreign countries or from foreigners.”
There’s much more in the Times’ report, including a much more detailed rundown of the known donations the Clinton Foundation received before and after the uranium deal. Read the entire thing, but remember that the Clinton Foundation’s documentation — some of which has supplied the data underpinning Schweizer’s book and stories like the Times’ — is incomplete at best, and possibly criminal at worst.
“Hillary Clinton’s family’s charities are refiling at least five annual tax returns after a Reuters review found errors in how they reported donations from governments, and said they may audit other Clinton Foundation returns in case of other errors,” Reuters reported Thursday.
“… The [Clinton family] charities’ errors generally take the form of under-reporting or over-reporting, by millions of dollars, donations from foreign governments, or in other instances omitting to break out government donations entirely when reporting revenue, the charities confirmed to Reuters.”
Hmmm… wonder if similarly sloppy accounting practices were par for the course while Hillary had control of the State Department.
Oh, that’s right — they were — and then some.