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Congress probes 2010 uranium deal with Russia

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, R-California, announced Tuesday that his committee, along with the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, would investigate a 2010 uranium deal struck with Russia amid allegations that the FBI had gathered evidence about Russian attempts to influence Hillary and Bill Clinton through donations to the Clinton Family Foundation.

"One of the things we are concerned about is whether or not there was an FBI investigation, was there a DOJ investigation and if so, why was Congress not informed of this matter," Nunes told reporters at the Capitol Tuesday. The Hill reported last week that before the Obama administration approved the deal, the FBI had evidence that Russian nuclear officials had engaged in activities like bribery and extortion in their pursuit of uranium for Russia. 

Congressman Ron DeSantis, R-Florida, spoke of a confidential informant associated with the Justice Department who wants to talk about his role in the matter. The committee, he said, was in contact with the Justice Department to get him released from a nondisclosure agreement.

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) approved the deal after concluding that there were no national security concerns.The 2010 deal allowed Russian-owned company, Rosatom, to buy Uranium One, which produces about 20 percent of uranium in the U.S. 

Last Thursday, President Trump complained over Twitter that the media was ignoring the deal. Democrats have dismissed the story as widely debunked. The agreement was reached while Hillary Clinton led the State Department and some investors in the company had relationships with former President Bill Clinton and donated to the Clinton Foundation.  

Mr. Trump has persistently sought to link his former Democratic presidential rival to Russia's purchase of Uranium One and accused Hillary Clinton of selling one-fifth of the nation's uranium. Democrats contend Trump is seeking to deflect from the Russia probe and his friendly rhetoric toward Russian President Vladimir Putin.

On Monday, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called renewed interest in the uranium deal partisan "baloney" in an interview on C-SPAN.

"I would say it's the same baloney they've been peddling for years, and there's been no credible evidence by anyone. In fact, it's been debunked repeatedly and will continue to be debunked," she said.

"But here is what they are doing, and I have to give them credit: Trump and his allies, including Fox News, are really experts at distraction and diversion," she continued. "So the closer the investigation about real Russian ties between Trump associates and real Russians, as we heard Jeff Sessions finally admit to in his testimony the other day, the more they want to just throw mud on the wall."

Clinton added, "I'm their favorite target. Me and President Obama -- we are the ones they like to put in the crosshairs." 

On Tuesday, House Republicans also announced an investigation into the Justice Department's handling of the Clinton email case. This latest probe announcement comes after top Republicans said Comey drafted a letter exonerating Clinton before completing key interviews.  

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