The attorney for an FBI informant who was deeply embedded in the Russian nuclear industry is demanding that Attorney General Jeff Sessions investigate a coordinated smear campaign against her client. After several decades working for the CIA and the FBI, William Douglas Campbell uncovered two related bribery schemes involving Russian nuclear officials, an American trucking company, and efforts to route money to the Clinton Global Initiative through an American lobbying firm in order to overcome regulatory hurdles, according to reports by The Hill and Circa.
After details of Campbell's undercover work for the FBI first emerged in an October 2017 report by The Hill - which did not divulge his name, Michael Isikoff of Yahoo News and Joel Schectman of Reuters published articles smearing Campbell, saying he was "so unreliable that prosecutors dropped him as a witness" in a case unrelated to his undercover work - while two "senior officials" within the Justice Department fed Congressional investigators the same thing during a December 15 briefing.
Both statements were lies, as the case was related to Campbell's undercover work, and he was dropped as a witness after the Baltimore U.S. Attorney's office botched their case, which Campbell's testimony would have weakened.
(Isikoff's name may ring a bell, as a Yahoo News article he wrote after being fed information by former UK spy Christopher Steele was used as supporting evidence alongside the "Steele Dossier" in a FISA warrant application to surveil the Trump campaign).
As part of the smear, Campbell's name was also divulged in a public filing by the DOJ, "making him unemployable in the industry and leaving him to survive on Social Security" after decades of loyal service to both the CIA and the FBI.
Campbell testified to Congressional investigators in February after an "iron-clad" gag order was lifted.
Campbell's lawyer Victoria Toensing, a former Reagan Justice Department official and former Chief Counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee, fired off a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday demanding an investigation into Campbell's character assassination - CC'ing DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, along with several Congressional Investigators and others involved in the matter.
The letter reads:
"We write on behalf of our client, William Douglas Campbell, to request an investigation of disclosures by anonymous "federal officials" to the media and of Congressional briefings by "senior officials" of the Justice Department. The former provided false information about Mr. Campbell to the media. The latter provided false information about Mr. Campbell to Senate and House committees."
Cloak and Dagger
After Campbell spent decades working for the CIA, he was "turned over" to the FBI for counterintelligence work due to relationships he had forged deep within the Russian uranium industry. While undercover, Campbell was required by the Russians - under threat, to launder large sums of money, allowing the FBI to uncover a massive Russian "nuclear money laundering apparatus."
The Russians forced Campbell to deliver bribes from Maryland transportation company TLI in $50,000 increments to Russian nuclear official Vadim Mikerin of Russian state-owned uranium subsidiary, Tenex. Campbell did so under the direction of the FBI in order to maintain his cover, fronting hundreds of thousands of dollars he says he was never reimbursed for.
While undercover, Campbell collected over 5,000 documents and briefs over a six-year period beginning in 2009, some of which are said to detail efforts by Moscow to route money to the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) through lobbying firm APCO Worldwide - including video evidence of bribe money related to the Uranium One deal being stuffed into suitcases.
“The contract called for four payments of $750,000 over twelve months. APCO was expected to give assistance free of charge to the Clinton Global Initiative as part of their effort to create a favorable environment to ensure the Obama administration made affirmative decisions on everything from Uranium One to the U.S.-Russia Civilian Nuclear Cooperation agreement.“ -William Campbell
Officials with APCO - the lobbying firm accused of funneling the money to the Clinton Global Initiative, told The Hill that its support for CGI and its work for Russia were not connected in any way, and involved different divisions of the firm.
As a result of Campbell's work, the FBI pieced together evidence of a "Russian uranium dominance strategy" involving Tenex, TLI, and a pay-for-play scheme to route money to the Clinton charity to obtain approval from the Obama administration for the purchase of Uranium One, while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State.
In January, TLI co-president Mark Lambert was charged in an 11-count indictment in connection with the scheme, while Vadim Mikerin, who resides in Maryland, was prosecuted in 2015 and is halfway through a four-year sentence.
Despite the FBI's knowledge of the money laundering scheme - while Robert Mueller was the Director, the Obama administration approved the related deal for Tenex to purchase Uranium One.
In a move which can only be interpreted as an effort to protect the FBI, the Obama administration and the Clintons, AG Jeff Sessions and Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein originally tried to suggest the nuclear bribery case uncovered by Campbell is not connected to the Uranium One deal.
Via John Solomon of The Hill last November:
“Attorney General Jeff Sessions in testimony last week and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in a letter to the Senate last month tried to suggest there was no connection between Uranium One and the nuclear bribery case. Their argument was that the criminal charges weren’t filed until 2014, while the Committee of Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) approval of the Uranium One sale occurred in October 2010.”
In response, several congressional republicans pushed back:
“Attorney General Sessions seemed to say that the bribery, racketeering and money laundering offenses involving Tenex’s Vadim Mikerin occurred after the approval of the Uranium One deal by the Obama administration. But we know that the FBI’s confidential informant was actively compiling incriminating evidence as far back as 2009,” Rep. Ron DeSantis, (R-Fla.) told The Hill.
“It is hard to fathom how such a transaction could have been approved without the existence of the underlying corruption being disclosed. I hope AG Sessions gets briefed about the CI and gives the Uranium One case the scrutiny it deserves,” added DeSantis, whose House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittees is one of the investigating panels.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) sent a similar rebuke last week to Rosenstein, saying the deputy attorney general’s first response to the committee “largely missed the point” of the congressional investigations.
“The essential question is whether the Obama Justice Department provided notice of the criminal activity of certain officials before the CFIUS approval of the Uranium One deal and other government decisions that enabled the Russians to trade nuclear materials in the U.S,” Grassley scolded."
“This is not just about bribery and kickbacks but about a U.S. company that was transporting yellow-cake for the Russians with our approval,” an unnamed U.S. Intelligence official told journalist Sara Carter in December, adding “This should raise serious questions.
Following the outcry, Sessions ordered Justice Department prosecutors to begin asking FBI agents to explain what they did with Campbell's evidence, and why it didn't factor into the Uranium One deal, according to NBC news. Where that investigation has gone, one can only imagine.
A senior law enforcement official who was briefed on the initial FBI investigation told NBC News there were allegations of corruption surrounding the process under which the U.S. government approved the sale. But no charges were filed.
And now, Victoria Toensing has another serious question for Jeff Sessions; will he get to the bottom of the coordinated effort to smear William Douglas Campbell - a man who dutifully served the CIA and FBI for decades until he chose an opportune moment to reveal a monumental corruption? We aren't holding our breath, but hey - Inspector General Michael Horowitz was CC'd on the letter, so there's hope.