The top Republican on the House intelligence committee announced Tuesday that his committee is launching a joint investigation into a transaction approved by the Obama administration in 2013 that gave a Russian company control of 20 percent of U.S. uranium production capacity.
Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., told reporters that his committee will be working with the House Oversight Committee to look into the deal, one of several such transactions completed between 2009 and 2013, and in particular whether the FBI or Justice Department had conducted any investigations associated with the transactions.
"This is just the beginning of this probe. We are not going to jump to any conclusions at this time," Nunes said. "One of the things we're concerned about is whether or not there as an FBI investigation, was there a DOJ investigation, and if so why was Congress not informed of this matter?"
The announcement comes on the heels of a report in The Hill last week that the FBI had spent several years investigating the Kremlin's use of bribes and extortion to expand Russian influence in the U.S. nuclear industry – and that a committee made up of representatives from U.S. government agencies responsible for approving the Russia deal may have been kept in the dark about the FBI's findings.
Republican lawmakers and President Donald Trump have long focused particular attention on the role of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whose agency was one of nine government agencies, as well as independent regulators, that needed to sign off on the transactions.
An investigation by the New York Times in 2015 revealed that people and groups linked to the company, Uranium One, made sizable donations to the Clinton Foundation, which were not previously disclosed, as Russia sought to gain control of the company and its uranium assets.