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April 23, 2015

Hillary's Everyday Americans: Billionaire Frank Giustra, Vladimir Putin, and Assorted Kazakh Uranium-Sheiks

James Taranto digests the blockbuster New York Times story by Jo Becker and Mike McIntire.

[T]he Times follow-up dropped early this morning, and the story has developed considerably since 2008, by which point Giustra had sold off his mining concern, UrAsia Energy Ltd., to a company called Uranium One.

After the merger, the Times reports, "Uranium One began to snap up mining companies with assets in the United States" with the aim, as a company press release put it, of becoming "a powerhouse in the United States uranium sector with the potential to become the domestic supplier of choice for U.S. utilities."

But by June 2009, Uranium One was in trouble, its stock "in free-fall, down 40 percent." Its Kazakh partner "had just been arrested on charges that he illegally sold uranium deposits to foreign companies," including UrAsia. That's where the State Department came in. Uranium One "pressed the American Embassy in Kazakhstan . . . to take up its cause with Kazakh officials." It did: According to State Department cables, an unnamed U.S."“energy official" met with Kazakh officials "to discuss the issues on June 10 or 11":

Three days later, a wholly owned subsidiary of Rosatom [the Russian atomic energy agency] completed a deal for 17 percent of Uranium One. And within a year, the Russian government would substantially up the ante, with a generous offer to shareholders that would give it a 51 percent controlling stake. But first, Uranium One had to get the American government to sign off on the deal.

"Among the agencies that eventually signed off was the State Department," headed by Secretary Clinton, the Times notes. Meanwhile at the Clinton Foundation, the money kept coming in:

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.


A pathetic attempt at spin from a Hillary mouthpiece Brian E. Fellow then followed. Citing Yahoo news -- Yahoo news, itself a partisan outfit -- he can only manage this weak defense:

On yet another of his primary attacks, ​Yahoo News​points out that the author “marshals circumstantial evidence” only to find “no smoking gun.”

Can't wait to see that on a Hillary bumper sticker:

Vote for Hillary

There's only circumstantial evidence she sold America's uranium stockpiles to Russia, "no smoking gun" yet.

Gabriel Malor and Morgen Richmond have been pouring over this Reuters report that the Clintons seem to have deliberately falsified the foundation's 990 reports to hide the hundreds of millions in foreign government donations flowing to the "charity."

The 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.

The errors, which have not been previously reported, appear on the form 990s that all non-profit organizations must file annually with the Internal Revenue Service to maintain their tax-exempt status.....


For three years in a row beginning in 2010, the Clinton Foundation reported to the IRS that it received zero in funds from foreign and U.S. governments, a dramatic fall-off from the tens of millions of dollars in foreign government contributions reported in preceding years.

Those entries were errors, according to the foundation: several foreign governments continued to give tens of millions of dollars toward the foundation's work on climate change and economic development through this three-year period...

As JWF comments:

I have two thoughts here: First, I don't know what Reuters means by "overreporting and underreporting," but I can guess, and here's my guess: They did not acknowledge this money came from foreign governments -- thus "underreporting" foreign government donations -- and instead marked that money as coming from other sources, in other categories, thus "overreporting" in those areas.

But that is another way to say, I think, "deliberately falsified the sources of the money in question."

Note that James Carville will probably claim "so she overreported heah and underreported theah, it all washes out to a big nothin' at all," so bear in mind: If you're hiding the source of money but not the money itself, you launder it by denying its true source, while attributing it to another, more legitimate source.

Even Hillary Stalwart Politico is forced to admit that Hillary's first line of defense -- that this is all a Vast Right Wing Conspiracy (no, really, that's her defense) -- is "dead in the water."

And even a New York Times reporter is complaining that Clintons' response to every question is to claim the reporter is filled with rightwing partisan animus. Every question, this reporter says, is claimed to be "out of bounds."

Just re-watched that FoxNews report on selling half of America's uranium production to Vladimir Putin: Asked for comment by Fox, Frank Giustra claims "It's an old story."

Isn't it strange that a Hillary crony is offering up Hillary's Favorite Response to ethics questions?

NJ's Josh Kraushaar says the Democrats' all-in wager on Nothin' But Hillary is looking like a terrible bet.

The notion that she will be able to avoid the "distractions," to borrow her characterization of the growing controversies, is delusional. If she continues to insist that these pay-to-play allegations are another "right-wing conspiracy" and not deserving of a substantive response, it could be fatal for her campaign. The dismissive response from her allies is doing her nearly as much damage as the allegations themselves. It guarantees the coverage will last much longer than the current news cycle.

Democrats are badly misreading the polls showing Clinton as a formidable Democratic force. Her strong numbers are as much a product of a lack of primary competition as a result of her political strength. She's also benefiting from the country's partisan polarization at a time when there aren't many other Democrats offering themselves as an alternative and joining in on the criticism. But those benefits are looking awfully short-lived, as Clinton looks unprepared to tackle questions that undermine her credibility for higher office. The more Democrats bet on Clinton, the uglier the recriminations will get if things go wrong.

Oh and just when you say, "Surely this couldn't get any worse," BAM, you are WRONG, SON, because look at this.

Judicial Watch: State Department Documents Reveal Concern about Bill Clinton’s Activities with 'Saudi Entities'

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced that it has received 126 pages of documents from the State Department related to Hillary Clinton's possible conflicts of interest regarding her position as Secretary of State....

The latest group of documents shows that State Department officials had concerns in January 2011 about Bill Clinton's activities related to Saudi Arabia. An email chain, begun on January 25, 2011, includes several members of the State Department's Legal Advisor Office, and the subject line "Clinton Foundation Request – Saudi entities." The discussion is almost entirely redacted in the three-page email chain.

Other documents previously forced out through this lawsuit show that Bill Clinton worked with Tanmiah Commercial Group, a Saudi group based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, that paid Clinton $300,000...

Also, discussed is a Clinton Foundation request regarding an undisclosed country in Asia in August 2010...

I kinda wonder if that's Kazakhstan, though the next sentence in the story mentions that the East Asia desk of the State Department looked into that.

Now, given all that, you won't be shocked that in the latest FoxNews polling, Hillary Clinton's honesty is questioned by a majority of the public.

Also, Rubio got a bounce to top the GOP field. Which is not a huge deal. We all saw the Flavor of the Week effect in 2012.

Announcing your candidacy helps your poll numbers. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio receives a five percentage-point bump after his April 13 announcement and has the backing of 13 percent in the race for the Republican nomination -- just a touch over Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker who gets 12 percent among self-identified GOP primary voters....


Of those tested on the poll, Clinton, Biden and Cruz fare the worst on the “honest and trustworthy” question.

Currently, 45 percent of voters think Clinton is honest....Moreover, only 33 percent of independents see Clinton as honest. That’s down 13 points since last year.

Overall, Clinton’s honesty score is negative six (45 percent "yes, she is" minus 51 percent "no, she isn't"), Biden’s is negative four (44-48 percent) and for Cruz it's negative one (37-38 percent).

On the positive side: Rubio (+13), Paul (+12) and Carson (+7) score best on the honesty measure. Bush (+4) and Walker (+4) are also in positive territory.

Okay, that seems like enough for one post.

Open Blog!


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posted by Ace at 06:44 PM

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